Cornell & Diehl is a pipe tobacco manufacturing company that specializes in blending the finest smoking tobaccos the old-fashioned way – in small batches, by hand. They currently manufacture some of the world’s most popular pipe tobacco blends, including those created by G.L. Pease. All of their natural (non-aromatic) blends contain no additives and are moistened with distilled water only. As a result you may find their blends drier than others but you will enjoy the pure, natural tobacco taste.
Cornell & Diehl, Inc. in its’ present incarnation was founded in 1990. However, the company’s roots and heritage are well over 100 years old. C&D began life in the 1880’s in New York as The Atlas Blending Co. From the very beginning, the company flew somewhat in the face of convention; quality of product was stressed above profitabililty, and the focus of the company was on “English” blends rather than the mostly Virginias and Burley based tobaccos America was much more familiar with at the time. Interestingly, a number of the original recipes remain in our present day catalogue of blends, including the lone aromatic manufactured by Atlas back then, Spice Nut.
In the 1950’s a young master blender from Pennsylvania named Jack Creamer bought Atlas Blending Co. and moved it lock, stock and (literally) barrel from New York to Carversville, Pa. The Atlas Blending Co. now became something of an attraction since Creamer located the business in Carversville’s old Post Office building and stored the large barrels in which the raw tobacco leaf was shipped in full view of the building’s large plate glass windows. Jack Creamer also began a tradition that continues to this day, that of being primarily a wholesaler of his blends to tobacconists around the country, but also selling direct to customers who couldn’t find the Atlas Blends elsewhere and were willing to either go to Carversville or search out and contact the company about purchasing the blends via mail order.
By 1972 Jack Creamer was ready to retire and Atlas Blending returned to New York (specifically Long Island) when Sol Lefkowitz purchased the company and re-located it. For the first time the company also underwent a change of name when Sol decided to name it after his wife, a well known exotic dancer of the time who performed under the stage name of “Amar”. Thus, The Amar Blends came into being. By the way, there is no truth to the rumor (or at least, very little truth) that it was the fact that the company was named for an exotic dancer that led Craig to purchase it!
In fact the story of how the present incarnation of the company came to pass is much more interesting. We’ll let company President Craig Tarler pick up the story in his own words:
“In 1990 I was Director of Marketing for a firm which shall remain un-named for now. My wife Patty and I were preparing for a long planned and deserved trip to England when, two days before our departure I was invited to lunch by the firm’s president and told to have a wonderful time on my well deserved vacation and oh, by the way, not to bother returning to the office when we got back since my position had been eliminated. I’d been downsized! Now, I’d been a fan of the Atlas blends since the Jack Creamer days and continued to buy my tobacco from Sol after he took the company over. I called to lay in a supply for the England trip and Sol mentioned that he was looking to sell the company. The whole time Patty and I were in England the wheels wouldn’t quit turning in my mind so, when we got home, I put together a business proposal, went to the bank and got a loan for Sol’s asking price of $17,500. I went with my cousin’s wife in a van from our home in Bucks County, Pa. to pick up my new business. I returned with half a van full of tobacco and sauces for the aromatics and all the original blend recipes. Patty and I decided to re-name the business Cornell & Diehl, which is a combination of my middle and her maiden names. Our first year in business we grossed exactly what we had paid for it, $17,500. Needless to say,our gross is a little higher than that now!”
Cornell & Diehl moved again in May of 1994 when Craig and Patty decided to move to Morganton, N.C. to be closer to their daughters and grand-children. 1994 was a fateful year in the future of Cornell & Diehl in another way as that was when Craig, with his many years of marketing expertise, glimpsed the future and first launched a site on a new medium called the Internet. From 1994 until Sept. 2005 Cornell & Diehl was located in a space literally the size of a two car garage connected to the Tarlers’ home. To say the business was bursting at the seams is an understatement, so new quarters were found and the company moved to our present 5500 square ft. facility. Today Cornell & Diehl Pipe Tobaccos are known and sought out all over the world, whether it be our own blends or those we manufacture for others, such as the very popular and well respected G.L. Pease line of pipe tobacco blends and the Two Friends line of tobaccos. The success of Cornell & Diehl, Inc. can be attributed to our faithfulness to the origins of the company.