"Mail Pouch is one of Wheeling's most recognizable products. Aaron and Samuel Bloch began making chewing tobacco after experimenting with "cigar scrap." This afterthought quickly became a favorite with local coal miners and soon the rest of the country took notice with the help of Mail Pouch barns. From such humble beginnings grew one of America's most easily recognizable products. Mail Pouch's rustic appeal and popular barn advertisements have become a symbol of Americana.
The Bloch family emigrated to Wheeling from Germany in 1840s and opened a dry goods store on Main Street, between 12th and 14th Streets. The enterprising family also ran a stogie operation on the second floor of the building. After the flood of 1884 destroyed their grocery inventory, Aaron and Samuel Bloch sold their interests in the dry goods business and focused on tobacco production. The fact that the flood did not destroy their tobacco was taken as a sign that tobacco was their future."
More of the story here.