Snuff Grinding

Image: Snuff Grinding: ruins of the snuff mill, wooden gearing and water wheel, Golden Valley, near Tickenhill, Bewdley (late 20th century) [Image from: Bewdley Museum]

4. Snuff Grinding 

This photograph and the one linked with the title of this section show the wooden gearing of the grinding wheel at Bewdley Snuff Mill, dating in all probability from the 18th century. To the right of the picture are the remains of the waterwheel, which translated water power into the energy required to produce snuff powder by crushing the tobacco. The tobacco stems and leaves were crushed by an iron pestle rotating in an oak-lined mortar. After grinding, the powder was sieved, to create an even texture and then aged in oak barrels to develop the nose or bouquet. It could then be marketed plain or blended with scented oils. It is not clear whether these later processes took place at Bewdley or elsewhere. The Gloucester Port Books indicate that tobacco dust was transported downstream from Bewdley.

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750-0The Making of Snuff 653-0Taking Snuff 211-0Work and Labour 154-0Bewdley Snuff Mill 210-0The Decline of Snuff Taking 212-0Snuff Grinding