Chewing tobacco—also known as plug tobacco or “chaw”—was the most common way to consume the tobacco plant in the mid-to-late 1800s in the United States. American tobacco companies produced a variety of products for tobacco chew including pouches, pipes, and spittoons. A number of these sold or or offered in the late 1800s and early 1900s used Masonic symbols and imagery on their products or as part of their brand name, including this Master Mason plug tobacco produced by the Rock City Tobacco Company in Canada.
A pouch recently donated to the Museum collection advertises "on the Square" plug tobacco and features a square and compasses at center. The Courier-Journal newspaper published in Louisville, Kentucky, include simple advertisements for "On the Square" tobacco in the early 1900s. Staff are looking for more information about the company that manufactured "On the Square" tobacco. Have you heard of “On the Square” tobacco? Let us know in the comments section below!
To learn more about other tobacco related ephemera in our collection see our previous blogs about collectible tobacco silks.