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Record 226/261
Black lacquered paper mache box with silver decorations and leather strap hinges in 2 locations. According to donor James Duane Doty carried this snuff box while he was the Territorial Governor of Wisconsin. Snuff is a finely ground and flavored tobacco product that is sniffed into the nose. Snuff began as the tobacco choice of royalty and the elite in 17th-century Europe before being provided to the masses. It declined among the well-to-do around 1850. To take snuff: An appropriate quantity, or pinch, of nasal snuff was taken out of the box, placed on the back of the hand or between two finger tips, and inhaled gently through the nostrils. The nasal snuff tobacco was only to be drawn into the nasal cavity, so it was to be sniffed as if smelling a flower or enjoying the bouquet of an exquisite old wine. The experience was supposed to be refreshing, creating a stimulating effect immediately after taking a pinch. After three to four minutes the moisturizing of the nose would be stimulated, which was a thoroughly desirable effect of good nasal snuff tobacco. That this also caused vigorously sneezing was considered a harmless side effect, however was one that required a handkerchief to be kept handy.
Snuffbox -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009