Tobacco had been in use in the Americas long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, but it was the Garrett family—the founders of one of predecessor companies that became American Snuff Company—who developed and perfected a signature method for making dry snuff that made the product a huge commercial success.
John Garrett II starts a business
Toward the end of the Revolutionary War, John Garrett II returns to his home outside of Wilmington, Delaware, after serving as captain of the 6th Delaware Militia Company. He builds a snuff mill on Red Clay Creek and begins to manufacture Garrett Scotch Snuff.
Levi Garrett & Sons
Levi Garrett begins running his father's business under the name Levi Garrett & Sons. He opens a store in Philadelphia to sell the family's dry snuff, kegs of twists (a form of chewing tobacco made from a twist of Virginian tobacco), rolls of plug tobacco and "segars." Snuff is packaged in bottles, beef bladders and containers made from animal gullets.
W.E. Garrett & Sons
Levi's two sons follow him in the business. His son William brings his own sons. The company name is changed to W.E. Garrett and Sons.
Garrett Snuff Trademark
Garrett Snuff is one of the first ten trademarks issued by the newly formed U.S. Patent Office.
American Snuff Company is founded
Headquarters moves to Memphis
The headquarters of the new American Snuff Co. is moved from New York to Memphis, Tennessee, and fierce competition between the three companies begins. The key brands for American Snuff Co. are Levi Garrett, W.E. Garrett, Dental Scotch and Honest Scotch.
Acquiring Taylor Brothers
American Snuff Co. purchases Taylor Brothers of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Founded by William B. Taylor in 1883, Taylor Brothers is a manufacturer of plug, twist and loose leaf chewing tobacco, with brands including Bull of the Woods and Cannon Ball. Later, Conwood brands and Red Fox brands were added.
Acquisition of Scott Tobacco Company
Scott Tobacco Co., a business based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is acquired. Scott Tobacco manufactures popular twist chewing tobacco, including the brands Mammoth Cave and Warren County.
Introduced in 1974, Levi Garrett chewing tobacco had a distinctive taste compared to previous loose leaf products.
Hawken is introduced into national distribution with a unique cut and as the first product of its kind in the loose leaf category. It is the first smokeless product to be marketed in a round plastic can.
Kodiak moist snuff is successfully launched and sales grow steadily.
Sold to the prominent Pritzker Family of Chicago, IL and name changed to Conwood Company
Grizzly Long Cut Wintergreen and Fine Cut Natural are introduced in a three-state market. Results are outstanding and distribution is soon expanded into surrounding states with full national distribution by the end of 2002.
Acquisition by RAI
Reynolds American Inc. acquires Conwood Holdings, Inc., which held the rights to Grizzly and other brands.