ManufacturerAmerican Tobacco Company

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American Tobacco Company

The American Tobacco Company was founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke as a merger between a number of tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter and Goodwin & Company. The company was one of the original 12 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896.

Akin to the domination of Standard Oil in the same era, the American Tobacco Company dominated the industry by acquiring the Lucky Strike Company and over 200 other rival firms. The company built processing plants and warehouses in Reidsville and Durham in North Carolina. Antitrust action begun in 1907 against the American Tobacco Company, and broke the company in 1911 into several major companies:

  • American Tobacco Company
  • R. J. Reynolds
  • Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company
  • Lorillard

The company's share in British American Tobacco (BAT) was sold at the same time. In 1994 BAT acquired its former parent, American Tobacco Company (though reorganized after anti-trust proceedings). This brought the Lucky Strike and Pall Mall brands into BAT's portfolio.

American Tobacco left Reidsville and Durham in the later 1980's. A section of the East Coast Greenway, known as the American Tobacco Trail, runs along a railroad bed abandoned by the Durham plant of the American Tobacco Company in the 1980s. The railroad which runs behind the former Reidsville plant, which has been in place since the American Civil War days, is one of the main lines for the Norfolk/Southern Railroad.

Former Brands

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