Tobacco – Historical Facts

Published on March 29th, 2013 00:00
tobacco history

The typical tobacco plants of trade had obviously been utilized for many years by peoples from Western before contact with Europeans took place in 1492. The plants were harvested by native Americans in Central and South America. Tobacco initially had mostly religious functions.

The launch of the spread of tobacco from the Americas to the other parts of the world inevitably seems to go as far back to 11 October 1492, when Columbus was given dried tobacco leaves at the House of the Arawaks, and decided to bring the plant to Europe. Most probably, the method of smoking was noticed at the same time. The plant was called ‘nicotiana’ in honor of the French ambassador to Portugal, who is claimed to have delivered it to the French court. The tobacco cultivated in France and Spain was known as Nicotiana tabacum, which originated from seed that appeared in Brazil and Mexico. The types first harvested in Portugal and England was Nicotiana rustica, the seed delivered from Florida and Virginia, respectively.

Despite a lot of statements that were made that tobacco had been used previously in China, no effective records for this exists, but it is obvious that tobacco was used broadly and that a range of premature communities found out the consequences of a self-administered amount of nicotine separately of each other, which signifies that the plant was extensively dispersed, at least around the Americas.

Tobacco was cultivated, lighted up and chewed by a number of peoples and ultimately became used worldwide; it is definitely featured as a significant tradeable resource of revenue from the moment of its finding by Columbus until the present day. As about modern history of tobacco it starts with the invention of the cigarette machine in the nineteenth century; this discovery was patented in 1880 by James Bonsack.

Starting 1920s, the majority of tobacco has been used in cigarettes, with cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco decreasing to comparatively smaller dimensions of the worldwide use. This does not suggest that these other types of use are unimportant, as trends have began for the use of chewing tobacco and cigars as strategic marketing tricks within the last two decades.

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By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer.
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