American Tobacco Company Warehouses


For over 80 years, the American Tobacco Company facility in Reidsville, North Carolina was the heart of the community. After the breakup of American Tobacco in 1911, the restructured company concentrated its tobacco manufacturing in Durham and Reidsville, N.C.; Louisville, Ky.; and Richmond, Va. The Durham facility had been built by the Duke family and included the former William T. Blackwell plant. The Reidsville plant was the former F. R. Penn Tobacco Company, which the American Tobacco Company had purchased shortly before the dissolution of the American Tobacco Trust in 1911. Charles A. Penn became a director of American Tobacco in 1911 and the vice president of manufacturing in 1916. He perfected the blend for a new cigarette known as Lucky Strike, which was later to become one of the leading brands in the history of the industry. Mainly through Charles Penn's efforts, the former Penn plant was enlarged to produce Lucky Strike, and Reidsville soon became one of American Tobacco's four major production centers.

With production in Reidsville ending in the mid-1990s, the many tobacco warehouses on site are now being dismantled, with hundreds of thousands of board-feet of tight-ringed heart pine reclaimed and repurposed in commercial architecture, flooring and now, electric guitar bodies. We were fortunate to gain access to reclaimed hard maple flooring from this same facility, which, due to our neck design, is now used in creating beautiful and highly stable guitar necks.