Article ID: CBB001202172

The “Tobacco Trust” in Puerto Rico: From Cigarette Manufacturing to Agribusiness, 1899–1911 (2015)


This article examines the transition of the Puerto Rican operations of the “Tobacco Trust” from a cigarette manufacturing operation in 1899 to an agribusiness by 1911. The Porto Rican American Tobacco Company (PRATCO) created monopolistic conditions by absorbing the two major domestic cigarette factories and their former owners as shareholders. When the American Tobacco Company (ATC) entered the US cigar trade in 1902 in earnest, the PRATCO initiated an enormous expansion. While the trust never became a leaf grower save in Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Porto Rican Leaf Tobacco Company (PRLTC) developed sizable plantations of shadegrown tobacco for cigar wrappers. When the US Supreme Court mandated the partition of the ATC in 1911, the PRATCO emerged as a large US cigar manufacturer with a near monopoly of local cigarettes, and the PRLTC proved to be the major leaf grower.

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Authors & Contributors
Proctor, Robert N.
Milov, Sarah
Trujillo-Pagan, Nicole Elise
Iida, Kaori
Teresita Levy
Mary C. Neuburger
Tobacco Control
The Lancet
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Social History of Medicine
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Johns Hopkins University Press
Cornell University Press
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
University of California Press
Harvard University Press
Tobacco industry
Public health
Cancer; tumors
Wüst, Fritz
Morrison, Phillip
Johannsen, Wilhelm Ludvig
Burnham, John Chynoweth
Bourdieu, Pierre
Beijerinck, Martinus Willem
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
Puerto Rico
United States
Balkan Peninsula
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2003 May 21)
World Health Organization (WHO)
United Nations

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