Albert A. Davis fonds
Albert A. Davis fonds [textual record]. -- [1925-1941].
1 cm of textual records
Albert Davis was born in Yovil, Somerset, England in 1856. At the age of sixteen,
Davis booked passage to the United States to join an uncle in Michigan who had
promised to teach Davis cigar manufacture. Davis later moved to Chicago where he
was active in the Cigar Makers Union eventually serving as President. He quit
this job to join a travelling stage show. Arriving in California, he quit the
touring company and tried prospecting for gold. He soon discovered, however, that
he could make better money rolling cigars and returned to that trade and to
performing. In 1880, Davis was in a stage show that appeared in Nanaimo at the
Institute Hall. After several subsequent visits to Nanaimo, he decided to settle
here in 1894. Davis found employment with Phil Gable's Cigar Factory and
eventually became a partner. In 1896, Davis left for the Klondyke to prospect
for gold but, unsuccessful, he returned to Nanaimo. While continuing to work as
a cigar maker, Davis, with partner W.K. Leighton, became a representative for
shows at the Opera House owned by John Mahrer. They brought in wrestling,
boxing, and plays. Gable sold his interest in the cigar factory to Davis. In
1902, Davis was a charter member of the Ancient Order of Arabic Shriners and was
active in several other organizations. The Loyal Order of Moose, Nanaimo Lodge
No. 1052 was founded by Davis. Davis was well known for his expertise in hand
rolling cigars under the trade name "Enterprise". With the introduction of cigar
making machines in 1908, Davis continued to hand roll , but on a limited scale
until the federal government introduced the new Excise Laws and Tax on imported
tobacco leafs and cigar boxes. After that, Davis made fewer cigars for selected
patrons willing to pay a premium for hand rolled cigars. Davis died in Nanaimo
on March 12, 1946.
Ten of the certificates were in the possession of Barbara Cowling who donated them
to the Nanaimo Community Archives. The licence for 1925-6 was donated by Donald
McAllister to the Nanaimo District Museum (Museum Accession No.: 1976.3) in 1976
and transferred to the Nanaimo Community Archives in 1993.
Fonds consists of eleven cigar manufacturer licenses issued to Albert Davis by the
Canada Excise and Inland Revenue agency.
Title based on the contents of the fonds.