Lorillard Tobacco Company

The oldest operating tobacco manufacturer in the U.S. It was named for Pierre Abraham Lorillard, who founded the company in 1760. By 1910, James Buchanan Duke controlled Lorillard through American Tobacco, but Lorillard kept its original name. In 1911, the U.S. Court of Appeals directed the dissolution of American Tobacco and Lorillard became an independent company again.

In 1925, Lorillard had a great transition when Benjamin Lloyd Belt became president. having been with the company since 1911. Belt made some profitable decisions. He began to promote the Old Gold brand instead of Beech-Nut chewing tobacco, sponsoring “Old Gold Presents Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, ” a weekly hour-long show on CBS in New York. The Whiteman Hour had its first broadcast in February 1929. When the Whiteman band went to Hollywood in mid-1929 to make the film King of Jazz, Old Gold leased a special eight-coach train to take Whiteman and his entourage to the West Coast. Belt was still president when he died in 1937.

Camp Old Gold is an interesting side note about cigarettes in Wolrd War II. It was one of the American Army camps established near Le Havre, France. The staging-area camps were named after brands of American cigarettes; the assembly area camps were named after American cities. The military chose the names primarily for security. Referring to the camps without an indication of their geographical location helped to ensure that the enemy would not know precisely where they were. Anybody eavesdropping or listening to radio traffic would think that cigarettes were being discussed or the camp was stateside, especially regarding the city camps. Secondly, there was a subtle psychological reason, the premise being that troops heading into battle wouldn’t mind staying where cigarettes must be plentiful and troops about to depart for combat would be comforted in places with familiar names from back home (Camp Atlanta, Camp Baltimore, Camp New York, and Camp Pittsburgh, among others). By war’s end, however, all of the cigarette and city camps were devoted to departees. Many processed liberated American POWs (Prisoners of War) and some even held German POWs for a while.

Lorillard Tobacco Company opened a new cigarette plant on East Market Street in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1956, moving cigarette manufacturing from Jersey City, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia.

Loews Corporation purchased Lorillard in 1968.

Wikipedia. “Lorillard Tobacco Company.” Last updated June 9, 2020. Accessed July 6, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorillard_Tobacco_Company