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Snuff Boxes, etc. 

Once you have your snuff, you have to have a way to carry it and a place to keep it.  We're going to cover some traditional snuff boxes, some modern snuff boxes, and some very practical ways to carry your snuff as well.  In the end, you'll find what works specifically for you.  First we'll cover how to carry your snuff with you and then we'll cover snuff storage.

How to Carry Your Snuff with You

There are a number of goals to keep in mind when choosing a snuff box or container to carry on your person.  You want a container that:

PREVENTS SPILLAGE.  There is nothing worse than a snuff box failure that leads to you having a half-empty snuff box, and a half-full pocket of loose snuff.  Besides being a serious waste of snuff, this is just a mess you don't want to experience.  So, find a container that stays closed and keeps its contents inside.

Tin with Lid

IS COMFORTABLE IN YOUR POCKET.  You have to live with this container in your pocket.  You want a snuff box that is shaped in a way that rides comfortably in your pocket.  This is easier in the cooler months, because the container can go in your jacket pocket.  But, during the hotter months, you'll want a container that is comfortable in your pants or shorts pocket.

FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE.  If you are a lawyer or business manager and spend your day behind a desk or in a professional environment, you can choose a snuff box that is a little less indestructible.  If you are a plumber or a mechanic, you might want to go with something that can take some hits without failing you.  Just ensure that whatever container you choose, is suited for spending all day with you in your everyday life. 

Plastic Box


KEEPS YOUR SNUFF FRESH.  I tend to think of this an area of least concern.  As long as your snuff box or container is not overly large, you will be snuffing your way through it fairly quickly.  In many cases, way too quickly for the snuff to dry out or go bad.  But, if you are an infrequent user or light snuffer, you may want to consider whether your snuff box of choice will keep your traveling snuff safe and fresh for the duration.

Some containers that work well for carrying snuff:

  • Small metal tins with screw-on lids

  • Small metal pill bottle of container from the drug store

  • Small glass or plastic bottle with a screw-on cap

  • Wooden, plastic, or metal pocket-sized snuff box

  • A plastic or metal "bullet," which also allows you to measure out the snuff you take
  • A plastic tap-box, for tapping out snuff onto the back of your hand

  • The container the snuff came in, if small enough

  • Anything that fits in your pocket and will securely hold powder



A Place to Hold Snuff in your Home

We'll address snuff storage farther down this page.  What we're going to discuss now is a topic not frequently brought up.  In the comfort of your own home, you could simply continue using the snuff container that you carry with you during the day.  After all, it is already in your pocket and it is convenient for pinching or taking snuff.

But, consider having a specific snuff box or container at home, that is meant for your casual snuffing throughout the evening.  This container does not have to meet all the same requirements of the snuff box you carry with your during the day.  It does not have to match up with the needs of your occupation.  It does not have to be hardy and up to the task of staying sealed in your pocket.

Shoe and Box


What we're talking about is a container that is the height of luxury and convenience.  It can be a a lovely and inspiring snuff box that sits on your coffee table or the table near your favorite chair.  It can have a flip lid, rather than a screw on lid.  It can be fancy, ornate, or artisan made.  It can be carved from wood, fashioned from metal, or something as exotic as hand-painted paper mache.

Chef Daniel of Old Mill Artisan Snuff (Rest in Peace), used to use these small simple white ceramic sauce bowls as his snuffing container when at home.  He would put enough in the little bowl for the evening, and just snuff from the bowl throughout the night without having the even lift a lid.  As a gift he sent me some of these bowls, and I use them now and again.  They are pleasure to snuff from, and a nice way to remember the good Chef.

The point to consider, is the container you carry with you during the day must meet certain practical needs that limit your choices.  But, the snuff box or container you snuff from while at home, is limited only by your own style and imagination.

Bowls



Some Tips for Snuff Storage

If you buy a small tin of Silver Dollar brand snuff, and start using it when you receive it, you don't have to really worry that much about storing it properly.  But, if you order 25 small tins of snuff and 5 large containers of snuff all at once, then it would be a good idea to at least think about how you are going to protect the freshness of your investment.

The enemies of snuff over time are AIR, LIGHT, and TEMPERATURE.  So, whatever storage method you settle upon must address all three of these enemies.

Most of the snuff you order will already come in an air-tight container.  But, most do not remain air-tight after you have opened them.  So, it can be wise to transfer snuff you intend to store for an extended time, into a purpose-built air-tight container.  The simplest of these to use and acquire is a mason jar with a rubber gasket.  Remember to label your snuff.  Ten or twenty mason jars filled with various shades of brown powder are sort of hard to tell apart without labels.

Jars


Storing your snuff in a dark place, such as a closet, a dedicated wooden box, or the darkness of a freezer is easy enough to accomplish.

And you will want to store your snuff in a cool place.  Putting your snuff in the refrigerator or freezer is always an option.  Though such a storage method absolutely requires that the containers are air-tight.  Refrigerators and freezers pull all the moisture out of the air, and if you snuff is not in an air-tight container, the snuff will dry out very quickly.  It is also lightly that your snuff will pick up the scents of the various foods stored along side it.

For my part, I have always decanted snuff I was going to keep long-term into glass mason jars, and kept them in a cool dark closet in my home.  But, it has never been my goal to store snuff for years on end.  If you plan to store your snuff long-term, consider this page as simply a starting place.  Do your own research, talk to other snuff-users that store their snuff long-term, and find the best method that will work for you.



Places to Get Snuff Boxes and Containers

The links below are a good place to start when looking for snuff boxes and containers.  But, many boxes, bottles, tins, bowls, or containers can be repurposed from holding other powders, to holding nasal snuff tobacco.  You can spend any where from less than a dollar for a very practical round tin with a screw on lid, to a couple of thousand dollars on an artistic masterpiece of an antique snuff box.  It is really up to you!

Ruby Lane Vintage - Beautiful old snuff boxes and snuff bottles.
Antique Boxes at Toque - Beautiful vintage snuff containers.
Accessories at Toque - Inexpensive snuff containers and tins.
Specialty Bottle - Many small inexpensive metal containers.


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Modern Snuff  2015, 2016, 2023 by Mark Stinson

Modern Snuff features information, resources, and links regarding nasal snuff tobacco.

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Dry snuff, moist snuff, Scotch snuff, fine snuff, course snuff,

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Snuff boxes, snuff bullets, snuff spoons, snuff mills, snuff rasps, and all snuff accessories.