Company Overview Visit rjrt.com website
The tobacco manufacturing company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was named after Richard Joshua Reynolds, the man who patented the process of making chewing tobacco moist and fresh. The company's roots go back to 1875 when 22-year-old Richard Joshua got into his father's business by buying a small shop that sold smoking tobacco. Two years later he had opened his own tobacco company which produced chewing tobacco in 1881 using the latest technology (e.g., an innovative Cottrell roller press) available at that time for processing of tobacco leafs without compromising taste or quality.
A year later, in 1882, has faced financial difficulties with previous companies he had owned, especially with his first one "Powell Tobacco Company", he sold his second company "Reynolds Tobacco Company" to his father. Three years later, in 1885, he went on to open a new tobacco manufacturing company which was named "Lucky Strike's Tobacco" after the main brand of the product it manufactured. Two years later he re-opened his original tobacco company under its former name "Reynolds Tobacco Company", but this time as an independent business entity with no family ties.
The first factory was opened in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where R.J. Reynolds had moved from Salem in 1874 at the age of 13 along with his parents and siblings after the end of the American Civil War. As Winston-Salem already had a long tradition in the tobacco industry (e.g., it was named after Sir Walter Raleigh who introduced smoking tobacco to England), he decided to settle there and start his own business.
Now, "Reynolds Tobacco Company" started producing not only chewing tobacco but also RYO (roll your own) and pipe tobaccos. However, its main success came when Reynolds began selling branded cigarettes at affordable prices by using a special method for cigarette making that offered a better taste and less expense compared to standard methods used at this time.