How the Cigarette Machine Had a Massive Economic Impact on the 20th Century

Engineer Guy Bill Hammack makes the case that the first cigarette-rolling machine, created in 1880 by inventor James Albert Bonsack, may be the invention with the single greatest economic impact on the 20th century. The invention, which replaced hand-rolling with a mechanical process, was a driving force in the 20th century smoking boom, producing up to 120,000 cigarettes a day.

The economic impact of his work might put him up there with Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the flying Wright Brothers.