Friday, March 18, 2011

Types of Tobacco

"Used to get sick of seein' the weed. Use to work from sun to sun in that old tobacco field. Work till my back felt like it ready to pop in two. Marse ain't raise nothing but tobacco, except a little wheat and corn for eating, and us black people had to look after that tobacco like it was gold."--Henrietta Perry, Slave Narrative from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 (spelling corrected, dignity restored)

"There is an herb called uppowoc ... but the Spaniards generally call it tobacco ... its use not only preserves the body, but if there are any obstructions it breaks them up. By this means the natives keep in excellent health, without many of the grievous diseases which often afflict us in England."--Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, 1588

1. Fire-cured tobaccos

Lorillard manufactures the brands Newport, Kent, True, Old Gold, Maverick, Triumph, Satin, and Max

Lorillard is USA's third-biggest tobacco company said revenue excluding excise taxes increased more than 9 percent to $1.02 billion. (7 Feb. 2011)
Fire-cured tobaccos, used for snuff and chewing tobacco, grown in central Virginia, western Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee.
Snuff is a generic term for fine-ground smokeless tobacco products. Originally the term referred only to dry snuff, a fine tan dust popular mainly in the eighteenth century. This is often called “Scotch Snuff”, a folk-etymology derivation of the scorching process used to dry the cured tobacco by the factory. Snuff powder originated in the UK town of Great Harwood and was famously ground in the town’s monument prior to local distribution and transport further up north to Scotland. (source: Tobacco)
2.Dark air-cured tobaccos
Scrap, or looseleaf chewing tobacco, was originally the excess of plug manufacturing. It is sweetened like plug tobacco, but sold loose in bags rather than a plug. Looseleaf is one of the more popular forms of tobacco in modern times. Among those, popular brands are Red Man, Beechnut, Mail Pouch and Southern Pride. Looseleaf chewing tobacco can also be dipped.(source: Tobacco)
In 1822 George Weyman, inventor of Copenhagen Snuff, opens his tobacco shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Moist snuff is also referred to as dipping tobacco or smokeless tobacco, and its use is known as dipping. In the Southern states, taking a “dip” of moist snuff is called “putting a rub in,” the moist snuff in the mouth is known as a “rub.” This is occasionally referred to as “snoose” in New England and the Midwest and is derived from the Scandinavian word for snuff, “snus.” Like the word, the origins of moist snuff are Scandinavian, and the oldest American brands indicate that by their names. However, snuff may also be called a “dinger” or a “lipper” in New England, and its user may “pack a dinger.” American Moist snuff is made from dark fire-cured tobacco that is ground, sweetened, and aged by the factory. Prominent North American brands are Copenhagen, Skoal, Timber Wolf, Chisholm, Grizzly, and Kodiak. (source: Tobacco)
Dark air-cured tobaccos, used for chewing tobacco, grown in central Kentucky, central Tennessee, and north-central Virginia
3. Maryland tobaccos (air-cured) used for cigarettes
Traditional curing barns in the U.S. are falling into disuse, as the trend toward using prefabricated metal curing machines within factories allows greater efficiency. These machines are also found on location at tobacco farms in 2nd world countries.
Curing and subsequent aging allows for the slow oxidation and degradation of carotenoids in tobacco leaf. This produces certain compounds in the tobacco leaves very similar and give a sweet hay, tea, rose oil, or fruity aromatic flavor that contribute to the “smoothness” of the smoke. Starch is converted to sugar which glycates protein and is oxidized into advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), a caramelization process that also adds flavor. Inhalation of these AGEs in tobacco smoke contributes to atherosclerosis and cancer.
Maryland tobaccos (air-cured) used for cigarette and smoking mixtures, grown in southern Maryland

4.Cigar tobaccos (air-cured) used for cigar wrappers and fillers, grown in the Connecticut Valley and small areas of Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio

5. Flue-cured tobaccos, used for cigarette, pipe, and chewing tobacco, grown in southern Virginia, central and eastern North Carolina, eastern South Carolina, southern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and northern Florida.
Flue-cured tobacco barn
Flue-cured tobacco was originally strung onto tobacco sticks, which were hung from tier-poles in curing barns (Aus: kilns, also traditionally called Oasts). These barns have flues which run from externally fed fire boxes, heat-curing the tobacco without exposing it to smoke, slowly raising the temperature over the course of the curing. The process will generally take about a week.

6. Burley tobacco (air-cured) used for cigarette, pipe, and chewing tobacco, grown in central Kentucky, central and eastern Tennessee, southeastern Indiana, southern Ohio, western West Virginia, and western North Carolina


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  3. My 92 year-old-father, the famous fiddler's first cousin (Joe Thompson), is writing his story, YOUR HEAD IS A STORE HOUSE; he says, "to let the young people know how blacks lived nearly a 100 years ago." So I am asking to use the image tobacco%2Bbarn.jpg to describe a scene that he's talking about in curing tobacco.

    1. Hey, I'm so excited to hear that your 92 year-old father has decided to pen his memories. We need more first person accounts of history. Even if he doesn't finish writing his story, YOU SHOULD RECORD HIM!

      Thanks for your inquiry about the photograph, but unfortunately, I OWN NOTHING. I don't own the rights to any of these photographs, this is an educational site and the photographs are just there to enhance learning. This is a non-commercial site with no advertising or monetary support whatsoever.

      Since, tobacco was the first slave-grown export cash crop of North America, that opened the flood gates for the subsequent expansion of slavery in America, it seemed only fitting that this commodity be explored.

      I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. I wish you all the best with your writings....take lots of photographs and copious notes.

      --Ron Edwards, US Slave Blog

    2. Ron, is there anyway you can put me in touch with the photographer who took the pix of the flue-cured tobacco barn that you have in this display or the company who owns the picture.took the picture asap. Thanx for any help in identifying this pix


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