Tobacco came to Rochester, New York, first through businessman John Disbrow in 1838, who sold his company to Solomon F. Hess in 1867. S.F. Hess (as the name was later changed to) took over the cigar and chew sales business in upstate New York and is perhaps best known to the hobby for releasing the Creole N321 tobacco card insert set. Why a Rochester-based tobacco salesman created a regional 40-card release for California League players is one of the mysteries of history, but the 1888 efforts of Hess are certainly appreciated by collectors today. This pair of items relates to Hess and give a glimpse into the world in which his big business ran.
Solomon F. Hess signed check: dated Jan. 29, 1884. The official S.F. Hess & Co. check for $8.80 is signed by Solomon (d. circa 1930) on the bottom right edge with an ("8") penning. A torn upper left corner and staining on the reverse make this a low grade collectible, but it presents much better on the obverse. Vintage notations are present on the reverse;
S.F. Hess & Co counter top tobacco sales display: 9x9x5(width) cube shaped display with glass top, tin frame and colorful paper advertisement. The ad shows an elderly man underneath a tree with a dog and a drink and reads "S.F. Hess & Co. Hermitage Plug Rochester, N.Y."