5 Places That Existed Then That Are Better Now

January 28, 2015 4 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Here are five historic sites in Jacksonville that have gotten better with age.

5. Swisher International

Inside of Swisher on June 22, 1946. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/167727

Swisher International dates back to 1861 when David Swisher of Newark, OH received a small cigar business as a part of a debt settlement. The business would remain small until Swisher’s sons, Harry and John, took over in 1888. They soon changed the named to Swisher Brothers.

By 1895, the company had grown to three factories, producing over 300,000 cigars daily. In 1924, Jacksonville's Springfield was selected as the company's new headquarters. Here, the country's first "fresh work" rolling machines were placed into operation to mass-produce cigars. Soon, Swisher became the first company to individually wrap cigars in cellophane, with an easy remove cigar band.  The company would continue to grow with its King Edward becoming the world’s bestselling cigar by 1940. Today, Swisher is the world's largest cigar company and America's largest cigar exporter, shipping to nearly 90 countries.

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