The Bonsack Cigarette Machine

The Bonsack cigarette making machine was introduced in 1883. By 1888, when Wild Woodbines were introduced, Wills had 11 machines. This had increased to 22 machines by 1901 when the output was about 500 - 600 cigarettes per machine per minute. Wills had paid 4,000 (2001 value: 206,178) for the absolute rights to the machine in the United Kingdom. This mechanisation was a major factor in the Company's growth over the 20 years up to 1901 when the Imperial Tobacco Company was formed.

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