Barrel

A method of shipping cigars in the United States in the early 1800s. Cigars, often quite cheap cigars, would be packed in barrels of 2,500. Mark Twain, one of the most famous cigar smokers in history, once said that he paid very little for his barrels of cigars. “I have always bought cheap cigars—reasonably cheap, at any rate,” he said at his seventieth birthday speech. “Sixty years ago they cost me four dollars a barrel, but my taste has improved, latterly, and I pay seven now. Six or seven. Seven, I think. Yes, it’s seven. But that includes the barrel. I often have smoking parties at my house; but the people that come have always just taken the pledge. I wonder why that is?”