Tobacco labels of the Köster company, around 1830

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