17th May 1890. Pipe Dream.

Jewish immigration into Britain in the 19th saw the influx of many talented entrepreneurs into the tobacco trade and industry.

This was typified by the 18 year old Louis Rothman who arrived in Britain from the Ukraine in 1887, after being apprenticed to his tobacco-factory-owning father.


By Today in May 1890 Rothman had set up a cigarette shop in Pall Mall, London with £40, specializing in hand-made cigarettes, which he made at night before selling next day.

Soon he was to launch his Pall Mall Brand and by 1905 had acquired a Royal Warrant. Seeing that the future was in the cheaper Virginia as opposed to Turkish tobacco, the business thrived and in 1929 Rothman’s was listed on the Stock Exchange. Along the way Gallaher’s and P.J. Carrol were acquired.

With consolidation the Rothman Brand was joined by Players and Dunhill before being acquired by British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1999. Today the Brand comes under Rothman’s International, London.

One of the early leading tobacco-shop companies was founded by Samuel Gluckstein, who having emigrated from Germany was in business with Henry Gluckstein and Laurence Abraham. In 1870 the business split with Henry and Laurence moving into cigars at 26, Whitechapel High Street.

Samuel in a separate enterprise was now joined by his two sons and salesman Barnett Salmon-who had married Samuel’s daughter-thus Gluckstein and Salmon.

Broken window by Suffragettes 1912.

Broken window by Suffragettes 1912.

On the back of their success Samuel’s son Montague wanted to diversify into catering to take advantage of an increasing number of large exhibitions in London at the time.

However the Gluckstein Family only gave permission after it was agreed their name was not to be used; catering was considered rather infra-dig. They settled on Joseph Lyons a distant relative, which developed into the famous Lyons Tea-Rooms (1889) and food manufacturing..

images (2)

By 1889 Gluckstein and Salmon had 150 shops before being bought out by Imperial Tobacco in 1902, but keeping its name until 1955 when it became Bewlays.

Bewlays in Sheffield c 1960.s

Bewlays in Sheffield c1960.s


Most of the British tobacco manufacturers, as well as Rothman, became part of the world-wide BAT Company, including previously well-known household names such as Wills’, Churchman’s and Ogden’s.

A descendant of Barnett Salmon was Vanessa who married Nigel Lawson, once Tory Chancellor. Their daughter is the TV celebrity cook Nigella.




The 2 German Battle-Cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst were nicknamed Salmon and Gluckstein by British pilots.


Ref: fundinguniverse.co./rothmans.

Ref: wikipedia.org/salmon_gluckstein.

Ref: bbc.co.uk/history/family. Dr. Nick Barratt.

Ref: wikipedia.org/rothman’s_international.

Ref: oldshoppingstuff.com/Rothmans/ Pic Image.

Ref: museumof londonprint.com/Photo of shop.

Ref: tinboy.wordpress.com/Tin Image.

Ref: pipesmagazine.com/sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums.





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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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