Vending Machines

Briggs Tobacco

QUESTION:  William C. Briggs invented a number of non-cigarette related items including which of the following?
A)  Tri-focal glasses
B)  Typewriter return carriage
C)  Indoor miniature golf course
D)  Water cooler backpack

Tobacco is, was, and quite possibly will be one of the most profitable exports to spread from the United States to the rest of the world. The American Treasure Tour blog will not get into the health hazards associated with the cash crop (don't smoke!), but we would like to talk about one man who made his livelihood on tobacco during the early twentieth century: William Cyrus Briggs.  Born in 1861 in Maine, moved south as a young man first to Brooklyn then to North Carolina.  Briggs had a knack for work with machinery, his first invention of note being a cigarette vending machine. That was only the beginning.  Around 1890, he developed a machine that actually rolled cigarettes, something previously done by hand.  It could handle up to 300,000 cigarettes in a day.

Briggs devoted much of his professional life to tobacco. When not working for himself, he was employed by R.J. Reynolds and other producers of tobacco products. The Briggs line of pipe tobacco may or may not be associated with him; but he merits a nod for his innovation at the dawn of the twentieth century.  Briggs died in 1918.  At the time, he was living in Lynchburg, Virginia.  His remains were transported to Turner, Maine, where you can visit him to this day. 

ANSWER:  B)  Typewriter return carriage