United Cigar Stores

United Cigar Stores

1917-04-19 the cowcatcher of the Flatiron Building United Cigar Store was transformed into a mock fort for the "Wake up America Day" parade.]
daylight saving time bill.] United Cigar Stores was the largest chain of cigar stores in the United States. Though initially cigar stores, they eventually sold many other items, such as Mickey Mouse watches and shoe trees. [cite news |title= Schulte & Specialties |work=TIME |date=1937-11-29 |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,758501,00.html] The chain was founded in 1901. [cite news |title=Milestones |work=TIME |date=1941-12-22 |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,931998,00.html] Although it was unofficially denied, the chain represented the interests of the Consolidated Tobacco Company, the tobacco trust that controlled the American Tobacco Company and others. In September 1903 a settlement was reached with the chain's competitors and all competition ended. [cite book |chapter= Consolidated Tobacco Company and affiliated corporations. 'The Tobacco Trust.' |pages=69–96ff |title= The Truth About The Trusts: A Description and Analysis of the American Trust Movement |author= John Moody |publisher= Moody Publishing |location= New York |date=1904 |oclc=1832950] By 1926 the chain had close to 3000 retail stores. [cite news |title=Salesmen |work=TIME |date=1926-12-20 |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,711536,00.html]

The company was controlled by Whelan-Schulte interests, but control passed to George Kenan and Frederick Kenan Morrow in August 1929. [cite news|title=Two Morrows|work=TIME|date=1929-09-02|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,737772,00.html] The company also was in real estate. As the Depression deepened the real estate subsidiary accumulated huge losses, so in September 1932 the holding company declared bankruptcy. Before its bankruptcy it had 975 cigar stores and 219 drug stores, but most of its assets were in real estate. [cite news|title=Cigar Stores|work=TIME|date=1932-09-05|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,744307,00.html] The chain recovered and had 1300 outlets in 1951. [cite news|title=United Cigar|work=TIME|date=1951-10-15|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,815565,00.html]

United Cigar Stores became part of United Cigar-Whelan Stores Corp., then United Whelan Corp.; in the 1960s this was merged into Perfect Film & Chemical Corp., a film-processing and mail-order seller of drugs and vitamins. [cite news|title=New Man for Curtis|work=TIME|date=1968-05-03|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,841264,00.html] Perfect Film & Chemical renamed itself to Cadence Industries in 1973; perhaps its most famous subsidiary was Marvel Comics, which it owned from 1968 to 1986.

United Cigar briefly sponsored a radio program in 1935-'36. "The Good Evening Serenade," featuring Isham Jones' orchestra, aired on the Mutual network but lasted only six weeks.Fact|date=October 2008


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