Cigar Box Lumber Co. and its competitors, of whom there were six.

Now to divert to personal history for a moment. As the office was then in Brooklyn (32 Court Street) it was natural that upon our arrival from the ranch we should locate in that city. Our first home was in Flatbush, which by this time was solidly built up with homes and apartments. The Flatbush that I had known as a boy was totally gone and only a memory. We took an apartment (they were exceedingly hard to find for there was then a housing shortage just as there was during and after World War II) just a block from the Parade Grounds where as a boy of 10 years and thereabouts I played baseball and football on Saturdays. It was here that our third and last child, Elizabeth Mills, was born June 4, 1922. Tiring of apartments after six months I bought a house on (23 Ridgewood Terrace) Glenwood Road. There we lived for a year and a half before tiring of City life for our children (and ourselves) and moved to Maplewood, N.J. where we have remained to this day, although we now have children and grandchildren in New York State near Connecticut, Ohio and California.

From the moment I stepped into the office my father began to acquaint me with all his personal affairs and to hand over the reins, both of those and of the business, as fast as I could take them. It was not long before he began leaving for the day at about one o'clock. His home was an apartment on Clinton Avenue with a housekeeper and maid until in 1923 he married Margaret Bohen, who for many years had been and still was the office secretary. It was then that he wrote the memoirs, to which this is an addition, and which were brought to an end in 1926 by her illness, which outlasted his life.

At about this time (circa 1926) DuPont put cellophane on the market and Cigar manufacturers adopted it for wrapping individual cigars. This marked the beginning of the decline in the volume of cigar box lumber, for cellophane had made possible the use of cardboard as cigar box material. Then came the idea of completely wrapping the box with lithographed paper imitating cedar grain. This admitted more cardboard, because it concealed the fact that under it was cheap cardboard instead of good lumber. This was of course hard competition, because lumber could not compete with it in price, and the cigar manufacturers were determined to reduce their costs of containers. A few of our competitors dropped out of business, but our volume kept up very well until 1932. In fact, 1931 was the biggest year we ever had. Then the effects of the market crash of 1929 hit the

Go to Page #37