Nathan Elson                  

Co-Founder, Grommes & Kennedy; Principal, Grommes & Elson: President, Nathan Elson & Co

John Baptiste Grommes
Co-Founder of Grommes & Kennedy; Principal, Grommes & Elson1900-1922
Andrew Joseph Kennedy
Co-Founder, Grommes & Kennedy
Jacob ElsonFactory Foreman: Uncle of Nathan Elson. See photo above.1907
Esther ElsonVice-President, Nathan Elson & Co; Nathan Elson's spouseUnknown
W.H. JonesField RepresentativeUnknown
Joe FastoffWorker, Chicago; Manager, New Orleans Factory; Nephew of Nathan Elson (See photo above where he is smoking what can only be assumed to be a Ben Bey cigar)
William BaxterSalesman, Grommes & Elson
E. F. PotterSalesman, Grommes & Elson1912-1914
Joe CowleySalesman, Grommes & Elson1919-20
Frank Cowley
Salesman, Grommes & Elson
Nathan Zazove
Cigar Packer.  Was Nathan Elson's niece's husband.
Solomon Tulsky
Cigar maker, Grommes & Elson; First Cousin of Nathan Elson1918-20
Rachel Ostrovsky
Unknown, (Listed in 1910 census as "Manufacturer-Cigars". Given that she was Nathan Elson's niece, it was likely at his factory, but this cannot be confirmed.)
George Bennett
Salesman, Grommes & Elson1920
Fanni Ostrovsky
Bookkeeper. Was Nathan's niece.
Rose Ostrovsky
Bookkeeper and later "Chief Assistant".  Was Nathan Elson's niece. Rosa Vista was reportedly named for her.  
Joe Goldberg
Salesman, Grommes & Elson1920
Eddie KleinSalesman, Grommes & Elson1920
Victor C.P. DreiskeSalesman, Grommes & Elson
Clark CutlerSales Manager, Click here to view a sales letter he sent in his role as Sales Manager
Paul ReinForeman, Grommes & Elson; Developed the blend for a "new brand" of cigar--Ben Bey. (From letter written by Paul Rein's son, Walter Rein about his father).  Note: This could have been related to the "re-establishment" of the Ben Bey brand which took place about that time.)       Died Aug 12, 1921
Arthur WorkmasterSalesman, Grommes & Elson1922
Al MayerSalesman, Grommes & Elson1922
Ben NewmanSalesman, Nathan Elson & Co1922
Jack BriskinSalesman, Grommes & Elson1922
Ben WienerOne of the three Incorporators of Nathan Elson & co; Brother-In-Law of Nathan Elson1922
Charles ColemanSalesman, Several years with Grommes & Elson, now Nathan Elson & Co Credit Department head1922
M. ShabsonManager, Nathan Elson & Co Factory No 59, Key West1922
Adolph Fischer
Leader role, Nathan Elson & Co Factory No 59, Key West
Morris Bold
Relative of Nathan Elson (niece's husband)
Adam Elson
President, Nathan Elson & Co from 1933; Son of Nathan Elson

The history of Ben Bey is populated by a long list of capable and talented people who contributed to the success of the brand and the company.  Many of the individuals who worked for the company over the years were mentioned by name in period newspapers and trade magazines.  Other identities have surfaced through genealogical research.   Numerous individuals employed were relatives of Nathan Elson.  A listing of people with a known connection to Ben Bey, their roles, and the earliest and latest documented date(s) of their association to the company is presented in the table below.

The Post Card Collection of Mary Elson Carlson

This web site pays special homage to the  leadership of Nathan Elson, one of the three founders of the company. He quickly transformed it from a modest regional enterprise into a national powerhouse once he assumed the role of President. A unique personal glimpse into Nathan and his family is afforded by a large assemblage of family post cards dating from 1905 to the early 1920's that remains intact.  Dr. Mary Elson Carlson, Nathan's granddaughter, is the owner of this marvelous collection. She graciously granted permission for the post cards to be scanned and included on this web site. Thank you, Mary!  While they reveal little about the company or the cigar industry, they paint a vivid picture of the personal family qualities of love, loyalty, dedication, compassion, humor, and charisma that undoubtedly contributed so much to the success of the company.  Click the icon immediately below to view this delightful collection

The People

Ben Bey Cigars     

John B. Grommes

Joe Fastoff

Automobile mileage reminder advertising premium used to track oil changes.  Brass. 1930's(?)​​

Jacob Elson

Nathan Elson