As early as the XVIIth century, the first
tobacco manufacturing companies started to set up in the Kingdom. We
notice the existence of snuff tabacco manufacturing work-shops in
PARIS as early as 1670. A manufacturing activity also appeared in the
cities of MORLAIX and DIEPPE in 1680.
MORLAIX and DIEPPE's tobacco manufacturing companies.
manufacturing - Dijon.
Snuff tobacco was "purified" by numerous
washings until it lost its natural smell. Then, the decoction was
dyed and flavoured with additional various flower
essences.Snuff tobacco was elaborated for every
hour of the day: for the morning, noon and for after dinner. Some
were especially made for ladies, the aged, the young
etc...It used to be available in the shape of a
carrot ( used as a symbol that can be seen outside French tobacco
shops nowadays) of which leaves were dried, rolled and tied up, then
it needed to be cut in pieces and ground.Ready ground tobacco was not within
everyone's means due to its high cost.THE TOBACCO GRINDERIn order to grind tobacco, we used a
specific object made either of wood, china, ivory or metal and most
of the time composed of a grinder with holes and an inbuilt support :
the tobacco grinder.
Clergymangrinding a carrot of tobacco with a wooden
grinder.Picture: Musée du tabac,
Here below some examples:1/ Tobacco grinder of French origin,
circa 1750.2/ Tobacco grinder made of ivory, Dutch
origin, circa 1730
The tobacco grinder generally ended in a
shell-shaped compartment enabling to get enough snuff for one
Soon after, a little compartment was
added above the grinder in order to store the snuff:Picture 2bDuring the XVIIIth century, with the
appearance of "ready to snuff tobacco", first of all sold by private
shops and then by "official grinders" who used to go from door to
door to grind tobacco, this yet engaging object gradually disappeared
in favour of the widely sold snuff box which became very popular.
Post card by Santini for ready to
snuff SCAFERLATI tobacco