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.
Postcards showing MORLAIX and DIEPPE's tobacco manufacturing companies.
Snuff tobacco 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.
In 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.


Clergyman grinding a carrot of tobacco with a wooden grinder.
Picture: Musée du tabac, Bergerac/France
Here below some examples:
1/ Tobacco grinder of French origin, circa 1750.
2/ Tobacco grinder made of ivory, Dutch origin, circa 1730
1 Picture:  2Picture: Picture:
The tobacco grinder generally ended in a shell-shaped compartment enabling to get enough snuff for one take:
Picture 2a
2aPicture: 2bPicture:
Soon after, a little compartment was added above the grinder in order to store the snuff:
Picture 2b
During 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