Philip Morris Incorporated $1000 bond certificate 1959 (tobacco)
Uncommon tobacco collectible. Great vignette of a reclining classical female figure with books and oil lamp. Issued and cancelled. Dated 1927.
Philip Morris USA is the United States tobacco division of Altria Group, Inc. Philip Morris USA brands include Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Benson & Hedges, Merit, Parliament, Alpine, Basic, Cambridge, Bucks, Dave's, Chesterfield, Collector's Choice, Commander, English Ovals, Lark, L&M, and Players. On January 27, 2003, Philip Morris Companies Inc. changed its name to Altria Group, Inc. Even under this new name, Altria continues to own 100% of Philip Morris USA. Some view this name change as an effort by Altria to deemphasize its historical association with tobacco products.
The company's namesake Philip Morris was born in Whitechapel, United Kingdom in 1835, the son of a recent immigrant from Germany who had taken the name Bernard Morris. In 1847, the family opened a shop in London. The first cigarettes that Philip Morris made were in 1854. In 1902, Philip Morris & Co., Ltd. was incorporated in New York City. George J. Whelan bought the American division of the company in 1919 and created Philip Morris & Company Ltd. along with fellow shareholders Reuben M. Ellis and Leonard B. McKitterick. In 1929, the company made its first cigarettes in Richmond, using an existing factory the company purchased. In 1933, this factory was racially integrated more than thirty years before the law required it. In 1938, the company offered preferred stock to ordinary buyers.
In 1924, Philip Morris began advertising Marlboros specifically to women. The cigarettes had "new cork-tip filters housed in a flip-top box with a red roof design." In 1957, Joseph Cullman III takes over management of the company. In 1960, George Weissman, credited for making Morris the leading exporter of tobacco products in the U.S., is named director of international operations.
In 1970, Philip Morris made the first of several acquisitions with the purchase of Miller Brewing Company. In 1985, Philip Morris Cos. became a holding company and the parent of Philip Morris Inc. and bought General Foods. The acquisition of Kraft Foods came in 1988, after which Kraft and General Foods became Kraft General Foods. In 1976, Marlboro becomes the leading brand in the U.S.; Morris operates as the largest seller of tobacco in the U.S. and the second largest in the world.
In 2001, Kraft Foods launched an IPO for 11.1% of the company that raked in $8.7 billion, making it the 2nd largest IPO in American history at the time. In 2002, Miller Brewing and South African Breweries became SABMiller, the second-largest maker of beer in the world, though Philip Morris kept an interest in the merged company. In 2003, Philip Morris Cos. changed its name to Altria Group Inc.
In the fall of 2003, Philip Morris USA moved its headquarters from New York City to Richmond, Virginia. On March 30, 2007, the remaining 88.9% stake in Kraft Foods was spun off to share holders. Philip Morris International was split from Philip Morris USA in March 2008. This has caused a drop in the needed cigarette production due to no need for export product. Philip Morris shut down its Concord, North Carolina manufacturing facility in 2010 and moved all domestic production to Richmond, which now contains the largest Philip Morris plant in the world, producing 146 billion cigarettes in 2010.