History of the Spittoon

The Evolution and History of the Spittoon

Most experts trace the origins of the spittoon to medieval China; a spit jar made of gold was one of the ceremonial items on display during the rare public appearances of the Emperor. The appearance of spittoons in the Chinese culture roughly corresponds with the introduction of tobacco to the coastal regions in the 16th century. The use of snuff soon became commonplace. A spit flask held a place of honor in the most elegant households as well as in the homes of peasants in China.

A Fixture of Frontier Living

As many western movies indicate, spittoons were popular and necessary items in saloons and brothels in the frontier towns of North America and Australia. These spit containers were not solely the province of men; women also used snuff and availed themselves of the spittoon bottle or smokeless tobacco flask as necessary during public outings. Not all spittoon flasks were intended for snuff users; some portable spit containers were designed for patients with tuberculosis and other respiratory afflictions.

Flow Trough Spittoons

The flow trough spittoon was an architectural oddity that had a brief period of popularity in America. Rather than providing customers with their own spit cup or a communal spittoon, some bars featured a trough with a constant flow of water from one end to the other. Chew and snuff users could spit into the trough as they sat at the bar, making it a convenient and relatively hygienic solution for spitting out tobacco juice. Only a few examples of flow trough spittoons are still in existence; the Brick Tavern in Roslyn, Washington, hosts annual Water Spittoon racing competitions in its working flow trough spittoon.

Smokeless Tobacco and Sports

The all-American sport of baseball has long been linked with the use of smokeless tobacco products. Dip use was popular among professional baseball players; it was not unusual to see the famous Babe Ruth with a dip spit container in hand while awaiting his turn at bat. In fact, the baseball bullpen got its name from Bull Durham tobacco products and the advertising billboards on display at the park. Baseball players and other sports figures continue to enjoy smokeless tobacco dips, chews, and snuff products and are typically early adopters of innovative new tobacco accessories including the pocket spittoon, the designer snuff flask, and other tobacco dip cup products.

A Shift in the Market

During the 1950s, the increasing popularity of cigarettes reduced the market share of snuff and smokeless tobacco products in the United States. Chew and dip users became a largely overlooked niche of the marketplace.  Dip spit containers were makeshift affairs made from empty cans or bottles that could not be easily transported for use indoors or on the go. Worse yet, a dip bottle and a dip spit flask could easily overturn to spill the contents inside vehicles or on floors, creating a messy and embarrassing situation for the smokeless tobacco user.

Forgotten No More

Today, new products are available specifically for smokeless tobacco users. The FLASR smokeless tobacco flask is conveniently sized to fit inside your jacket pocket and is an excellent replacement for a can or cup. The FLASR portable spittoon and other tobacco snuff gifts are ideal solutions for managing the use of dip and snuff more discreetly. Available in an extensive selection of elegant designs, pocket spittoons from FLASR feature the exclusive Thumb-Lok Twist Cap for one-hand ease of use. This innovative closing solution virtually eliminates the risk of spills and leaks, making it a perfect solution for busy professionals who enjoy dip, chew, or other forms of smokeless tobacco. Therefore, they also make thoughtful tobacco snuff gifts. The evolution of the spittoon from a bulky ceremonial device to a pocket-sized accessory allows added convenience for smokeless tobacco users. The FLASR tobacco flask is an ideal solution for taking the pleasure of snuff, dip, or chew along wherever your personal journey leads.