In 1932 Paul Jennewein was commissioned to complete a design for the entrance of the British Empire Building at Rockefeller Center in New York. He eventually settled on a design of nine high relief figures in gilt bronze representing the major industries of Britain's Empire: Tobacco, Sugar, Cotton, Coal, Wool, Salt, Wheat, Cattle and Fisheries. Below the figures Jennewein placed a bronze sunburst symbolizing the Empire on which the "sun never sets"; he also designed the limestone seal above the bronze door. Architects for the building were Reinhard and Hofmeister; Corbet, Harrison and MacMurray; and Hood and Fouilhoux.
Head of Tobacco appears to be the only design that Jennewein reproduced in another medium; only one other example is known in the Estate of the artist. For his ceramic sculptures, including the massive pediment figures at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Jennewein relied on the expertise of the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.