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Facts about the legend: Lucky Strike.

Yes, despite the fact that in our country these cigarettes have long ceased to have anything in common with the original, it is a true legend of the tobacco world. And today, in a brief summary, I present to your attention some facts that you may not have known about.

Fragment of a print advertisement for Lucky Strike tobacco, 1904

Lucky Strike is one of the oldest tobacco brands in the world, founded as early as 1871. But it was originally a brand of smokable tobacco suitable for chewing, one of the most widely consumed tobacco products in the southern states of North America.

The founder of RA Patterson and Son’s Tobacco, which first introduced the Lucky Strike brand to the world, was Richard Archibald Patterson, and historical documents do record a deal to purchase the burned tobacco warehouse at a significant discount. But Wikipedia’s fantasies about the history of the name Lucky Strike are nothing more than fantasy. In fact, the name of the brand is closer in meaning to “rare luck” and it is a reference to the times of the Gold Rush in the States.

The era of gold prospectors in the United States began in 1848, and Lucky Strike tobacco came on the market in 1871 – a very close date. Besides, among gold miners the concept of “lucky strike” already existed, which meant finding a gold-bearing vein. After all, only 4-5 out of thousands of gold miners were really lucky to find a vein, and that is really rare luck. So Richard Patterson did not invent the names of tobacco, but simply borrowed their slang from the workers.

Lucky Strike cigarettes became cigarettes only in 1905, when Patterson was forced to sell the company to the future tobacco concern American Tobacco Company. The reasons for the sale were simple – the market was overpopulated with cigarettes, plus American Tobacco initially had a very aggressive policy towards competitors. So the appearance of Imperial Tobacco in due time became a measure of counteraction of British tobacco growers to aggressive Americans, who almost exterminated the traditional English tobacco market. And the now famous British American Tobacco is the result of a peaceful agreement between two irreconcilable partners.

Already in the 1960s, in the USA, there was an explanation for the name Lucky Strike. So there was a persistent legend that the cigarette manufacturer conducts an unspoken lottery and in some packs you can find a couple of “joints” instead of cigarettes. But the “winnings” are so few that finding such “rare luck”)) By the way, since the 90’s in Russia there was also a rumor that it was in Lucky packs that a folded hundred dollar bill was found))) As the saying goes – who lacks what, dreams about what…..

In many historical documents there is a mention that the “father” of Lucky Strike cigarettes was a certain Matt Tellman, but at the moment there is not a single official document with his signature. This is also a historical fact.

Since 1917, the slogan “It’s Toasted” has appeared in Lucky Strike’s advertising campaigns and was used to explain the brand’s advantage over competitors’ cigarettes, as the tobacco was supposedly “toasted” rather than dried during production, which allowed it to retain its flavor and aroma. In fact, “toasting” is a vapor-thermal treatment of tobacco, when it is simultaneously moistened and heated, and this stage of production was used by all more or less large companies. It’s just that Lucky Strike was the first to use an incomprehensible word to describe the quality of the final product).

The secret of Lucky Strike’s flavor was hidden not in publicly available technology, but in the tobacco. Or rather, in the tobacco bag. Virginia Bright gave the smoke sweetness and fullness, White Burley – nutty flavor, Turkish Orientals – aroma, and for the high strength we should thank Maryland, a tobacco related to Burley, but still somewhat different in the smoke. But that’s not all – the Lucky Strike bag was separately aged in the company’s warehouses for at least four years before going into production.

At first, the so-called Bright Blend was composed entirely of Light Virginias from four states. Then Virginia blend was additionally aged with Orientals, and Burley with Maryland and only then it was mixed at the factory during cigarette production. And why all these subtleties for a common man? In the end we stopped at “toasting” =))))

A 1930 Lucky Stricke cigarette commercial

The brand’s advertising campaign of the 1920s and 1930s is still considered one of the most successful and profitable to this day. Despite the fact that it was based on a false claim. The advertising slogan read: “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”, meaning that cigarettes were offered as an alternative to carbohydrates and were supposed to be a panacea for weight gain. The result of this campaign, which lasted almost a decade, was a 200% increase in sales. In a world where money is the main value, this is a great result.

Lucky Strike’s trademark green pack became white in 1942. The company explained it as a patriotic impulse, because copper and chromium used in the production of ink were required for military needs. They even invented a corresponding advertising campaign – “Lucky Strike Green went to war”. In fact, neither war nor patriotism had anything to do with it)))) Just the percentage of women smokers began to increase rapidly just by the early 1940s, and market research showed that ladies prefer cigarettes in lighter-colored packs. So American Tobacco killed two birds with one stone.)

In 1945, the mysterious abbreviation “LS/MFT” appeared on the Lucky Strike packet, which really just meant “Lucky Strike means fine tobacco”. It’s not that cigarettes became significantly better from ’45 onwards, or that they were worse before…. They just had to maintain their “reputation for exclusivity” to stay in their sales niche.

During World War II, Lucky Strike was included in the daily ration of American troops, though along with 9 other brands. And although it was not a planned action of the company, but after the victory almost all Europe was literally occupied by American cigarettes. American tobacco companies entered the international market, or rather the European market, just after the 45th. Before World War II, Americans were interested only in the shores of Foggy Albion, because for a long time the tobacco market in England was considered the largest and most prestigious in the world.

The popularity of Lucky Strike among the people couldn’t help but make its mark on the culture. The cover of jazz saxophonist Lucky Thompson’s 1964 album Lucky Strikes features a cigarette pack logo. Billy Joel’s 1983 song “Keeping the Faith” from the album An Innocent Man mentions the brand in the lyrics. A pack of Lucky is mentioned in the lyrics of the song “Sunday Hardcore Matinee” by the Dropkick Murphys. And all this is not advertising, although American Tobacco has always been particularly careful to “brainwash” its customers, but a consequence of the fact that the brand was really popular with many smokers.

I hope it was interesting and informative for you.

Original Source