Best of the “Letterheads”: number 4, 1996

Give that man a cigar!🎩

Born in North Manchester, Indiana in 1854 Thomas Riley Marshall became Govemor of Indiana in 1909 and in 1913 was elected 28th Vice-President of the United States serving under Woodrow Wilson.

Shortly after assuming his duties as presiding officer of the Senate, a leading legislator came into the Senate chamber to discover the “beautiful, gilded and dignified chair” was gone from the desk of the Vice-president & in it’s place, “a dinky little chair”. Marshall explained that “In the next four year I expect to sit in the Senate chamber and listen to many long-winded speeches you and other senators will deviver, but I’ll tell you right now I am not going to have any additional punishment inflicted upon me by having to sit in an uncomfortable chair.” It was Marshall, growing weary of one of those dull and “long-winded speeches” during which a senator repeatedly used the phrase, “What this country needs…” who leaned over to speak to one of the clerks with a voice loud enough that others could hear and said, “What this country really needs is a good five cent cigar”.

Marshall selling Liberty Bonds

The humor of Thomas Marshall enlivened many a dull senate session. He became a friend to many and much sought after speaker. It was Marshall that also said, “Lest we forget it is the business of the people to support their government and not the business of government to support its people.”

This information provided by David Grandstaff, Florence Freed and The Whitley County Historical Society

🍀✌🏼Celtic Brushfest✌🏼🍀


The cigar store Indian, forever offering forth a bundle of choice cheroots remains our symbol of the tobacconist. Frozen in his stance just as Sir Walter Ralegh may have encountered the natives of the new world, this enduring symbol of trade has become a part of America’s heritage. While in Britain the Highlander offering cigars remains their symbol for the tobacco store.

Cigar Art: John Studden

An offshoot of L.A.Signs & Graphics John Studden’s Cigar Art Specializes in period and reproduction glass advertising panels.

Keepers of our craft: J.O.Roberts

Like dollars chasing nickels… a cigar maker’s best onvestment was in the art and production of their labels


Many tobacconists were small cottage industries but larger companies such as the Frankle Bros. flourished also.
The Frankle Bros. werw supplied bulk tobaccos from wholesalers such as H.Rippen…
The bulk tobaccos were then broken down and blended to create their special cigars.

Frank Harrison Atkinson

Perhaps no other artist had more influence on turn-of-the-century sign and graphic design than Frank Atkinson. And it’s through his books and lessons that survive yet today that we are still able to draw inspiration. Born in Chicago on Oct.22 1871, just 2 weeks after Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over the lamp. And it was Frank’s father who sent him to St.Louis so he could learn the trade of carriage painting. In 1891 he returned to the growing city of Chicago, working at several sign shops, eventually becoming the foreman of the noted McArthur shop, which was highly renowned for producing some of the country’s most artistic signs.

In 1909 he took a position at the Thomas Cusack Company then, the largest outdoor advertising concern in the world. Known as a premier sketch artist he also started the Superior Art School to teach sign and showcard design. Atkinson worked in several shops in the midwest making several trips south to Jackson, Mississippi. He met Dallas Perkins on one of those trips and in 1939 went into business with him as A & P Outdoor. He then moved to Oceola, Indiana for a while but missed the people and pace of life in Mississippi. In 1943 he settled in Jackson doing sketch work, portraits and freelance work. Atkinson died July 12, 1956.

Atkinson’s first book, Atkinson Sign Painting, published in 1909 became a popular staple of many shops. This led to Scene Painting in 1916, A Show at Showcards in 1918 & his final book in 1950, Atkinson’s Sign Art.

Fifty stone lithographed cigar labels (from the Glawson historical archives)

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