Today in Entrepreneurial History: February 27

Hammerstein Cigar Roller

On this day in 1883, Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar roller.

From sweeping the floors of the cigar factory, to innovator in the cigar industry in ten years, Hammerstein held patents on 44 cigar manufacturing inventions.

Although cigars made him wealthy, his real love was opera. His passion for led him to open several opera houses, and he rekindled opera’s popularity in America.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because his grandson Oscar Hammerstein II, was the Hammerstein half of the Rodgers and Hammerstein American songwriting duo. With Rodgers composing the music and Hammerstein writing the lyrics, five of their shows, Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, were outstanding successes.

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