Romeo chewing tobacco label
James Moran & Co.'s Romeo, fine
cut, chewing tobacco
St. Louis: James Moran and Co., 1873
Prints & Photographs Division (23)
The first recorded production of a Shakespeare play in America
was an amateur Romeo and Juliet in 1730 in New York City.
This tragic account of "star-crossed lovers" remains
one of the most popular and well-known Shakespearean plays, as
demonstrated by numerous popular film adaptations. The appearance
of Shakespearean characters on a tobacco label demonstrates the
popularity of certain plays among all American social levels in
the nineteenth century, when many Americans chewed, dipped, and
smoked tobacco that came packaged with illustrated, colorful labels
designed to attract consumers in an increasingly competitive marketplace.