Downtown Greenville holds a lot of history and as this little city continues to grow, it’s important to preserve some of its historic charm in the this modern world. Our venue, located in the Historic West End is certainly a nod to the history of Greenville, SC. Built in 1882, The Old Cigar Warehouse embodies the rustic charm of the West End since it’s establishment 133 years ago. As our staff thought about how old our building really is, it dawned on us on how many other historic events or developments that it may surpass in age. Here are 5 things that our historic venue is older than!
1885 | The First Automobile
Though the inventor of the first automobile engine, Karl Benz, was granted a patent for his design in 1879, his first Motorwagen wasn’t built until 1885. He began promotion of his vehicle in July of 1886. From then on, innovations and additions to the automobile progressed exponentially. Henry Ford’s contribution of mass production through the assembly line led to affordable cars being available to the public. Greenville, SC began to see more cars on the road and The Old Cigar Warehouse witnessed the first automobile passing down South Main Street.
1889 | Clemson University
Prior to his death in 1888, Thomas Green Clemson had wanted his estate to be left to the advancement of education in South Carolina. Almost a year after he passed, Clemson’s dream came to life when Gov. Richardson signed the bill accepting Clemson’s monetary and physical donations. It was then, in November 1889 that the Clemson Agricultural College – a passion of Clemson’s – came to life.
1886 | Coca-Cola
Out of our southern neighbor, Atlanta, came another great invention- Coca-Cola. Coke was invented by Confederate Colonel John Pemberton as an alternative to morphine, which he had become addicted to during his recovery from Civil War battle wounds. His first recipe drew much inspiration from Europe’s coca wine. With the passing of prohibition legislation in 1886, Pemberton created Coca-Cola as a nonalcoholic version of French Wine Coca. He began selling Coke at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, GA on May 8, 1886 as a patent medicine for 5 cents. Today Coke can be found in over 200 countries worldwide, with consumption at more than 1.8 billion servings each day.
1890s | Film
The early days of film came about in 1890s with William Kennedy Laurie Dickson leading the modern film age with his motion-picture camera—a machine commissioned by Thomas Edison and named Kinetograph. In the same year, Dickson filmed his first experimental film, named Monkeyshines No. 1, which would become the first American motion picture to be produced on photographic film. Edison and Dickson made several innovations in the film world with Edison receiving a patent for their Kinetoscope design in 1893 and beginning commercial operation in 1894. From there, Edison and Dickson continued to expand the film world with innovations and inventions that have lead to the modern world filled with Hollywood stars, YouTube and video cameras in our pockets.
1903 | Flight
Humans first became airborne in the predecessor to today’s design not too far from The Old Cigar Warehouse’s location in Downtown Greenville. In Kevin Devil Hills, NC, the Wright brothers began their quest to be the first in flight in 1900 as they began developing gliders. They quickly became frustrated by the poor performance of their gliders and began adapting their design leading the design of the Wright Flyer while making huge strides in aeronautical engineering. On December 17, 1903, the Wrights made their momentous ascent into the sky in the first sustained, controlled, powered heavier-than-air manned flight on the coast of NC. The brothers continued their climb into flight history with many successes and failures to follow, but would be forever cemented into history as the first in flight.With more than a century under its belt, The Old Cigar Warehouse has seen many events and inventions that have changed the course of history. We love that you can see and feel the years it has witnessed whenever you walk into our space, and as we open the antique doors each weekend it only continues to witness the history of our clients and their guests.