MAIL POUCH CHEWING TOBACCO and BLOCH BROTHERS TOBACCO COMPANY dates from 1879, when Samuel S. Bloch and Aaron Bloch started their business with ten women at 1501-1503 Main Street in Wheeling, West Virginia. The tobacco business amounted to a group of women rolling cigars on the second floor of the Bloch Brothers dry goods store. Left overs (the sweepings) of this process was flavored with licorice, packaged and sold as chewing tobacco in a paper pouch.
They had a contest to name their new product and chose the name suggested by a Wheeling Postman, ‘Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco’. The brothers sold their first pouch of tobacco Oct. 15, 1879.
In 1884, the Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company purchased and moved into South Wheeling’s old sugar mill located between Thirty-Ninth and Fortieth Streets in Wheeling, eventually expanding the works to Forty-First Street. Bloch Brothers were the pioneers of ribbon cut tobacco. Along with the famous ‘Mail Pouch’ signs painted on barns by Harley Warrick, Bloch Bros., placed an 8-foot ‘Mail Pouch’ thermometer and their ‘Mail Pouch’ spittoons on every steamboat that ported at Wheeling.
The company in 1912 employed five-hundred at their present location at Thirty-Ninth Street. Bloch Bros. Tobacco Co. in the 1940s purchased the Augustus Pollack stogie plant. The Swisher International Group currently produces Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco.


MAIL POUCH SALESMAN and Model T Truck 1920

MAIL POUCH TOBACCO 8 foot Thermometer and Spittoons on a Steamboat’s Main Deck

U.S. MAIL Leather Pouch by John Bowman

THE WHEELING “STOGIE” by John Bowman Book Cover “Bloch Bros. Mail Pouch Tobacco” History

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