Q&A on the News

Q: Is it true, that in the 1930s, individuals had their own cigarette machines? How did they work? How much did a pack of cigarettes cost in the 1930s?

—Brandon Lucero, Decatur

A: There were "roll your own" cigarette devices in the 1930s, that after the initial cost, helped people save money. "They were simple roller type devices into which you inserted a cigarette paper and a little loose tobacco and turned a crank to produce a cigarette," Dick Elliott with the Cigarette Pack Collectors Association told Q&A on the News. He said he has one called "Rol-A-Cig" in his collection.

Packs of cigarettes from larger brands such as Chesterfield, Camel and Lucky Strike were 15 cents a pack or two for 25 cents in the 1930s. The Great Depression spawned smaller brands – Twenty Grand, White Rolls, Paul Jones, Wings and Avalon, for example – that sold for 10 cents a pack. “The price difference was significant enough at that time to attract quite a few smokers,” Elliott wrote. “For instance, the Axton Fisher Company in Louisville (Ky.) was running round the clock in 1934 to keep up with demand for their Twenty Grands.”

Q: What did Michelle Nunn do in President Barack Obama’s administration and when?

—Sylvia Teasley, Canton

A: Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, has never worked in the Obama administration. She has spent most of her professional career working for nonprofit organizations, most recently as CEO of Points of Light. She took a leave of absence from that position in August 2013 to run for the Senate.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).