I remember the mid-1920s when evenings were spent visiting relatives in New Bremen...
My father, Leonard Christian Jordan, and my mother, Wilhelmine ("Minnie") Laut Jordan, would visit my mother's oldest brother, Clarence Laut, and his wife, Luetta Speckman Laut. The ladies stayed in the living room (starched lace doilies on the upholstered sofa and chairs) while the men and I went to the basement where Uncle Clarence had a work area for making "hand-made" cigars.
As Uncle Clarence was working, he and my dad talked about the "Good Old Times" and the Cincinnati Reds' baseball team. As a youngster I was not involved in the conversation and sat quietly through the evening as a listener.
Uncle Clarence sat at his work bench which included a flat work area plus storage areas for the coarse tobacco filler, coarse tobacco leaf, and fine tobacco leaf.
The cut tobacco filler was placed in a coarse tobacco leaf slightly larger than the size of the cigar molds after shaping by hand. A round shape was obtained by rolling the rough cigar back and forth under a block of wood on top of the flat work area. These "in process" cigars were then placed in a two-piece mold with spaces for about 20 cigars (see picture above). About 5" long, the joined molds were placed in a press to shape the cigars under pressure. This completed the first stage of making a cigar by hand.
After the press time was completed, the molds were removed from the press as the second stage was now completed. The rough cigars were then finished by wrapping them in a piece of fine tobacco leaf and rolling them with the block of wood for the final round shape. The wrapper end of the cigar that went into the mouth received a small slit for the wrapper to fit smoothly around the end. Some milky mucilage was applied at that end for an effective bond. The end of the cigar to be lit was then cut by a small guillotine-like device, making a sharp clean cut.
The highlight of the evening was when Uncle Clarence handed a newly made cigar to my dad, saying: "Here Leonard, have one." We then went upstairs for tasty refreshments served by Aunt Luetta.
I have never forgotten about my roots and memories involving New Bremen. This account was made from my memory bank of about 70 years ago. I am now donating my cigar mold set to the New Bremen Historical Museum.
Thank you for letting me share these thoughts with you.