Spittoons through History

The origins of the spittoon can be traced to medieval China where gold spit jars were among the ceremonial items on display during rare public appearances of the Emperor. The introduction of spittoons in 16th century China roughly corresponds with the first wave of tobacco farming in its coastal regions. A spit flask held a place of honor in the most elegant households, and the use of snuff became commonplace in the Chinese culture.

Spittoons in the Old West

As many western movies indicate, spittoons were popular and necessary items in saloons and brothels of North American and Australian frontier towns. However, 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. Additionally, some portable spit containers were designed for patients with tuberculosis and other respiratory afflictions.

Flow Through Spittoons

The flow through spittoon was an architectural oddity that had a brief period of popularity in the United States. 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 method for disposal. Only a few flow through spittoons are still in existence. The Brick Saloon in Roslyn, Washington, hosts annual water spittoon boat races in its working flow through spittoon.

Wet Tobacco and Baseball

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 advertising billboards for Bull Durham tobacco products on display at the park. Baseball players and other sports figures continue to enjoy smokeless tobacco dips, chews, and snuff products and are seen as early adopters of new tobacco accessories including pocket spittoons, designer snuff flasks, and other tobacco dip cup products.

An Overlooked Market

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

FLASR – An Evolution

The evolution of the spittoon from a bulky ceremonial device to a pocket-sized accessory allows added convenience for smokeless tobacco users. Today, new products specifically made for smokeless tobacco users are ideal solutions for managing the use of dip and snuff more discreetly, conveniently sized to fit inside a jacket pocket. Available in an extensive selection of elegant designs, FLASR pocket spittoons feature exclusive Thumb-Lok twist cap for easy, one-hand opening and closing. By eliminating the risk of spills and leaks, FLASR is a perfect solution for busy professionals who enjoy dip, chew, or other forms of smokeless tobacco.