|Turn of the Century postcard of La Insular Cigar and Cigarette Factory|
|Postcard by Lambert|
In my collection I have some old postcards, photos and cigarette labels of La Insular which I would like to share. The photos depict the daily life of tobacco workers inside the factory. Here is a glimpse of the glory days of the La Insular Cigar and Cigarette Factory.
|Sepia toned postcard of the factory|
|Postcard of the factory with |
Binondo Church belfry at the background
History: La Insular, Plaza Calderon de la Barca Plaza Calderon de la Barca in Binondo retained most of the period houses and buildings built during the 19th century. One of those was the La Insular Building. The company of La Insular was founded by Joaquin Santamarina way back during Spanish colonial times. In 1878, Santamarina decided to go into the tobacco manufacturing business. He stored tobacco leaves in a warehouse for five years before he went into manufacturing. In 1883, he used five-year old tobacco leaves to make his cigars and La Insular was born.
The building of La Insular was built in 1888 at Plaza Calderon de la Barca with Juan Jose Hervas, then Manila's Municipal Architect as designer. Designed along Moorish lines, the building became a notable landmark in Binondo's major plaza, together with the old Hotel de Oriente. As a business, La Insular continued to be an economic presence in the
Philippines until the prewar years.
|Turn of the century photo of the La Insular building |
beside the Hotel de Oriente on the left.
La Insular exported cigars and tobacco to different countries abroad, with the majority going to the United States and England. Its Tres Coronas were especially favored by the English. One of the best customers of La Insular was King Alfonso XIII of Spain. He gave the company royal authority to name a cigar, "King Alfonso XIII" with his own signature.
The La Insular building retained its old Spanish period building in Binondo. It was later destroyed by fire caused by bombs during the Second World War.
Source: Binondo In The Twentieth Century by Lorelei D.C. de Viana
Photos inside the La Insular Factory
|La Insular's tobacco workers|
|Tobacco being sorted|
|Packaging of the cigars|
|La Insular's cigar factory line|
|La Insular's cigar storage room|
|Large humidifiers to control the humidity in the room.|
|Large stacks of tobacco inside the warehouse|
|Dried tobacco leaf being sorted out.|
|Insular storage room with nice poster of the factory|
|La Insular's display room for its finest cigars and cigartte|
|Delivery trucks of La Insular|
La Insular's Cigarette Wrappers
|HEBRA 30 Cigarillios, Plaza De Binondo|
|HEBRA 5 Cigarillios, Plaza De Binondo|
|HEBRA 30 Cigarillios, Plaza De Binondo, 18 centavos|
|HEBRA 30 Cigarillios, Plaza De Binondo, 25 centavos|
|HEBRA 30 Cigarillios, Fuerte, Plaza De Binondo,|