Rolling papers/Rizla/1500's?

Thu Jan 27 15:15:30 UTC 2005

        According to Wikipedia, cigarettes were largely unknown in the English-speaking world prior to the Crimean War.  However, was this account of the invention of the modern cigarette:

        <<1832: TURKEY: Invention of the paper-rolled cigarette? While Southwest Indians, Aztecs and Mayans had used hollow reeds, cane or maize to fashion cylindrical tobacco-holders, and Sevillians had rolled cigar-scraps in thrown-away paper (papeletes), an Egyptian artilleryman [in the Turk/Egyptian war] is credited with the invention of the cigarette as we know it. In the siege of Acre, the Egyptian's cannon crew had improved their rate of fire by rolling the gunpowder in paper tubes. For this, he and his crew were rewarded with a pound of tobacco. Their sole pipe was broken, however, so they took to rolling the pipe tobacco in the paper. The invention spread among both Egyptian and Turkish soldiers. And thus . . . (Good-Bye to All That, 1970)>>

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: Rolling papers/Rizla/1500's?

I actually researched this once, so naturally I can't remember anything I found out
except that cigarettes in one form another predate the Crimean War. Hey, the OED has "French ladies" smokin' like chimneys in 1842!  So my credibility is thoroughly back!

Before then, I seem to recall, "cigarettes" might be referred to in literature as "(little) cigars" or something similar.

Most of my early knowledge came from comic books, Wilson, so I share what must be your profound disillusionment.


Wilson Gray <wilson.gray at RCN.COM> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: Rolling papers/Rizla/1500's?

FWIW, I've always had the impression that cigarettes weren't invented
until the time of the Crimean War. Supposedly, Turkish troops ran out
of the easily-broken clay pipes that they normally used for smoking.
So, someone came up with the bright idea of using the paper meant for
rolling gunpowder to make cartridges to roll tobacco, instead. I read
this in an official, board of education-sanctioned comic book of
history when I was in about the fifth grade. Though the comic book had
nothing to say on this point, clearly, it was the use tobacco that
occasioned the downfall of the Turkish Empire. The "Sick Man of Europe"
died of lung cancer.

-Wilson Gray

On Jan 26, 2005, at 8:56 PM, Sam Clements wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Sam Clements
> Subject: Rolling papers/Rizla/1500's?
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> <> =
> time - 400+ years. That's right. It was in the mid 1500's when a
> member =
> of the LaCroix family made the first tobacco rolling papers. They =
> weren't called Rizla then, not until they started using rice compounds
> =
> for paper. (Riz - French for Rice and La - for LaCroix). They became =
> popular in the US and Europe (they originated in France) by the mid =
> 1800's. >>
> This is lifted from the website =
> While this may be slightly out of the scope of this list, I'd love =
> anyone who has insights or abilities to confirm or deny their
> assertions =
> about rolling papers in the 1500's. =20
> Thx.
> Sam Clements
> PS--as usual, this one came up over at The Straight Dope.

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