Did cowboys on the trail prefer to smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars?

Did cowboys on the trail prefer to smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars?

Chris Tramel

Liberty, Tennessee

Cigarettes. The real demand for tobacco came after the Civil War. Roll-your-own cigarettes (called quirlies by the working hands) were in great demand after ex-Confederate soldier John Green introduced Bull Durham. Many cowboys, especially in Texas, used corn shucks for cigarette paper. This originated with the Indians and was adopted by Mexicans and Southwesterners.

The Philadelphia Exposition in 1876 first promoted and displayed factory-made cigarettes. Cowboys did not take to the idea, calling them “sissy sticks” or “pimp sticks,” because only pimps could afford them.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu