“Mr. Sam” wasn’t always in charge. He wasn’t born as the boss. In fact, once upon a time, he was just a reader. At cigar factories, they called them...
“Mr. Sam” wasn’t always in charge. He wasn’t born as the boss. In fact, once upon a time, he was just a reader.
At cigar factories, they called them “lectors,” and it was their job to keep the cigar rollers entertained and informed while they performed the somewhat monotonous task of rolling up one cigar after the other for hours on end. Lectors could draw from a variety of material, including the newspaper, a novel, or even perhaps a play, if they were feeling up to it. In fact, anyone who wanted the job generally had to audition and be approved by a committee before they could take to the lector’s chair, which was often positioned above the crowd (even on a table) so that their voice could reach all ears.
Despite being born in the Ukraine, Sam Paley was apparently a decent lector in factories located in America. But he had bigger dreams than that, and after being surrounded by cigars for long enough, he decided to open his own factory in Chicago. The Congress Cigar factory started operations in 1896, and the cigar brand they produced was called La Palina. The owner became known to most simply as “Mr. Sam.” In a way, every La Palina cigar can be traced back to him, but this one is truly his namesake.
La Palina Mr. Sam cigars feature an Ecuador Habano wrapper around a blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos. The smoke is rich, offering flavors of earth and wood, with a nuts and cedar on the finish. Today, Mr. Sam’s grandson Bill Paley runs La Palina, having revived the brand after years on the shelf. We think he’d be quite pleased to see his cigar making operation alive and well again over a hundred years after he first opened those factory doors. Perhaps we could even convince him to light up a Mr. Sam cigar and read us the daily news, for old times’ sake.
We’d like that.
Please browse our selection of La Palina Mr. Sam Cigars at your leisure.