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The Wolfsonian–FIU Presents Smoke Signals: Cigar Cutters and Masculine Values



As the popularity of cigars boomed on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 19th century, manufacturers began marketing a new device to support this habit: cutters designed to snip off the end of a cigar before lighting. Not just utilitarian tools, many cigar cutters were elaborate decorative and figural objects intended for display, serving as personal emblems for the men who used them. Smoke Signals features cutters in many forms—hunting dogs, champagne bottles, pistols, and more—as well as complementary materials from The Wolfsonian's collection. Together, these items offer an unusual window into the broader masculine culture around cigar smoking, from social ambition to attitudes about women.


Made possible by Richard Kronenberg and his recent donation of cigar cutters.


By ML Staff. Courtesy of The Wolfsonian–FIU

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