Cigars in Europe
In 18th century cigars were very popular and they were smoked practically at all courts.
Russian empress Catherine II was sent cigars adorned with silk ribbons so that her queen fingers wouldn't touch tobacco leafs. Some similarities of these ribbons we see also on modern cigars.
For Cuba in the middle of 18th century tobacco became more profitable export article than coffee. Certain cigar sorts began to appear. Such sorts, as, for example, "Punch" and "Romeo y Julieta" that we know today as well, remained, practically, the same just from that time.
20th century. At the beginning of 20th century cigar manufacturing has reduces a little as they began to be supplanted by cheaper cigars of mass production.
Cigar manufacturers decided not to give up and to return the market with the help of made by machine and accordingly cheaper cigars.
In silent movies where were required simple, intelligible symbols - high lifted cigar became symbol of success.
Cigar made by machine, of course couldn't be compared with traditional, rolled up manually. Thanks to specificity of production and in purpose of reduction in price of the product, in the quality of "stuffing" chopped tobacco began to be used, wastes of rolled cigars production, more tiny leafs and so on. Of course, it had a sudden impact on the quality. If manually rolled cigar has the same soft taste till the very end, than machine cigar, similar to cigarette, in process of smoking acquires dry, rough, heavy taste. Machine, mass, cheap cigar just doesn't have enough natural humidity, juiciness of entire leaf for that unique soft taste that is inherent for manually made cigars.