Alsfeld is smoking!Beginning of the tobacco and cigarette industry
For decades, the Köster “tobacco factory” was not only an important economic factor, but also a household name in the town. When the company had to close in 1929 as a result of the world economic crisis and structural changes in the industry, an almost 100-year Alsfeld craft and economic history came to an end.
But it was not Theodor Köster from Hannoversch Münden, who founded a tobacco factory there as early as 1812, who shaped the beginning in Alsfeld. The first documented tobacco manufacturer here was Hermann Bücking, who was registered as a citizen of the town with this occupational title in 1825.
His business, about which no details are known, in any case included a small, unlicensed printing shop for the production of tobacco labels, not unusual at that time.
Together with Julius Heinrich Lückhard, he acquired a plot of land in front of the Hersfeld Gate in 1829 and erected a larger building. According to the fire cadastre, a factory with a tobacco kiln had been insured there since 1830. But already in 1833 the company has to declare insolvency.
Later, it was Wilhelm Eduard Hyppolite, born in Rotenburg/Fulda in 1799 and listed as a “tobacco business for own account” in 1826, and Georg Gerland from Kassel, commissioned by Th. Köster, who set up the tobacco and cigarette business in Alsfeld. NH