The Cigar Industry Changes Florida

Tampa's tobacco industry

This unit provides an introduction to one of Florida's earliest industries, cigar making, through photographs, lesson plans and exercises. It connects teachers and students to resources from the State Library and Archives, as well as other sites.

Commercial cigar rolling first came to Florida in the 1830s. In the decades after the Civil War, cigar making became one of the most important industries in the southeastern United States.

Cigar rolling grew from small-scale operations started by Cuban immigrants to encompass large, factory operations that attracted immigrants from throughout Europe and Latin America to Florida’s growing cities.