The history of what is now a global company can be traced back to Philip Morris’s 1847 opening of a single shop on London’s Bond Street, selling tobacco and ready-made cigarettes. On Mr. Morris’s death, the business was taken over by his wife Margaret and his brother Leopold. In 1881 the Company went public, Leopold Morris joining Joseph Grunebaum to establish Philip Morris & Company and Grunebaum, Ltd. This partnership was dissolved in 1885 and the Company became known as Philip Morris & Co., Ltd. The Company finally left the founding family’s control in 1894, when it was taken over by William Curtis Thomson and his family. Under Thomson, the Company was appointed tobacconist to King Edward VII and, in 1902, was incorporated in New York, by Gustav Eckmeyer. Ownership was split 50-50 between the British parent and American partners. Eckmeyer had been sole agent for Philip Morris in the U.S. since 1872, importing and selling English-made cigarettes.
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