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W.H. Kildow Cigar Company Records - MS 576
The papers of the W.H. Kildow Cigar Company, of Tiffin, Ohio span the years 1908-1969. The correspondence consists of telegrams, letters concerning financial transactions, shipment of goods, and personal matters. The legal documents include copies of the company's certificate of trade mark registration and cigarette dealer's licenses. The financial documents, which detail the financial status and conduct of the company, include receipts of purchase, invoices, accounting ledger books, product ledger books, journals, day books, and a check register. The printed materials included in the collection provide information on the marketing and advertisement strategies of the company. These include copies of boxes and bundle labels, binders of cigars, cigar magazines, and articles and booklets on the company and the tobacco industry.
The records were transferred to the Center for Archival Collections with the assistance of Glen Harper, Historic Preservation Officer for the Ohio Historical Society, in 1991. No restrictions exist on the research use of this collection and duplication is permitted for scholarly purposes. The collection was arranged and finding aid compiled in October 2000.
Little information exists, unfortunately, concerning the origin and development of the company. Similarly, there is little information available concerning the current status of the company. Nevertheless, certain details in existence allow for completion of a rough outline of the company's development. W.H. Kildow founded the W.H. Kildow Cigar Company in Tiffin, Ohio in 1892. Originally, Kildow operated the business as a cigar manufacturing enterprise and was largely successful. In the 1920s, Kildow's son, T. Monroe Kildow, joined his father's business and, eventually, would take over the reins of the company. By the 1940s, the company had become involved in the wholesale cigar business. Again, the company was quite successful. Indeed, by the 1960s, the company, now permanently under the tutelage of T. Monroe Kildow, was distributing to 1,000 retail outlets in 10 Ohio counties.
The development of this business was influential in the economic development of Tiffin, and Ohio throughout the turn of the century. Kildow's company was but one example of the entrepreneurial enterprises that exploded across Ohio during this period. As a result of this commercial explosion, Ohio continued to transform from a state with an economy based in agriculture, to a fully modern commercial and industrial center.
The most valuable aspect of the W. H. Kildow Cigar Company Collection lies in the extensive financial records. The records include a number of ledgers, receipts, bills, checks and financial correspondence most of which date from 1903 to 1938. The records provide significant evidence of the financial status of the company during the formative years of its existence. Similarly, this information provides the researcher a tool for analysis of the costs and benefits of the cigar industry in Ohio at the turn of the twentieth century, as well as the administrative procedures for operating a small business in this era.
The collection also contains a number of printed materials which provide information on the company's marketing and publicity techniques. This information also gives some indication of the society's popular culture by highlighting certain images thought to be popular during this time period. Correspondence and legal documents are included in this collection documenting business transactions and such legal issues as registration of trade marks and labels.
As a whole, the collection is significant for the knowledge of the cigar business at the turn-of-the century which it provides to the researcher. The collection clearly reveals the economic profitability and risk involved in such a venture, as well as some of the advertising and marketing methods used during the era. Although the collection is limited in scope, it does sufficiently reveal the costs and benefits of operating a semi-small business in mid-western American at the beginning of the twentieth century.
W.H. KILDOW CORRESPONDENCE
1913, 1918, 1931
Includes letters to Kildow concerning deeds to real estate, financial transactions, shipment of goods, and personal letters
CERTIFICATES OF TRADE MARK AND LABEL REGISTRATION
Includes yearly certificates of trade mark and label registration
CIGARETTE DEALER'S LICENSE
Includes copies of official Cigarette Dealer's Licenses
1908-1938 (scattered -most are dated 1918)
Includes receipts of transactions, shipment of goods
Includes copies of invoices for transaction of cigars
ACCOUNTING LEDGER BOOK
Book detailing the financial records of transactions, deposits, profits, and prices of the Kildow Cigar Company and of W. H. Kildow
PRODUCT LEDGER BOOK
Includes book listing various kinds of cigars sold by Kildow.
Includes book recording sales of cigars to customers with addresses and phone numbers of customers
Includes record of checks written by Kildow's company for various charges and reasons for the charges
Includes books with names, addresses and accounts of customers of Kildow
BOXES AND BUNDLE LABELS
Includes copies of labels found on cigars and boxes of cigars sold by Kildow listing company name
Includes copies of various size binders found on Queen's Tobacco Manufacturing Company stogie and cigars
Includes copies of "United States Tobacco Journal" and "The Tobacco Leaf."
Includes one blank order book
MISCELLANEOUS PRINTED MATERIALS
1928, 1944, 1969
Includes gift certificates for Kildow cigars, page from United States Tobacco Journal, award to T. Monroe Kildow and "The Salesman's Post-War Retraining Program" booklet
- Correspondence, 1913, 1918, 1931
- Certificates of Trade Mark and Label Registration, 1888-1916
- Cigarette Dealer's Licenses, 1956-1959, 1968
- Bills and Receipts, 1908-1938 (scattered holdings-most are dated 1918)
- Invoices, 1918, 1921
- Private Account Ledger of W. H. Kildow, 1903-1907
- Product Ledger, 1916-1917
- Check Register, 1936-1938
- Blank Order Book, n.d.
- Box and Bundle Labels, n.d.
- Cigar and Stogie Sizes of Pure Tobacco Binders, n.d.
- Magazines (United States Tobacco Journal and The Tobacco Leaf), March 8 and 29, 1947 and May 1, 1948
- Printed material (Certificate redeemable for cigars at W. H. Kildow, 1928; Page from United States Tobacco Journal with article on award given to T. Monroe Kildow, April 10, 1969; and Salesmen's Postwar Retraining Program by National Association of Tobacco Distributors, March 2, 1944
- Journal, 1916-29
- Day Book #1, 1909-11
- Day Book #2, 1909-11
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