Oscar Hammerstein I (left) was a businessman, theater manager and composer
in New York City. His passion for opera led him to open several opera houses,
and he rekindled opera’s popularity in America. In 1883 Oscar Hammerstein
patented the first cigar-rolling machine and began to make a fortune that he
promptly reinvested in theaters and concert halls. He was the grandfather
of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein ll.