Media: Slideshow

Export of Virginia Tobacco and Its Popularity in Britain

Virginia Tobacco

A Virginia Indian in a headdress holds a bow in one hand and tobacco leaves in the other. This wood-block image was used by an English company on tobacco labels to advertise its "Best Virginia" product. Tobacco was the major cash crop for the English colonists in Virginia.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: Eighteenth-nineteenth century

Medium: Wood-block print

Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society

Tobacco Auction in Liverpool

Thomas Ryan, tobacco broker, advertises an auction of "Fine James River Tobacco" scheduled to take place at a coffeehouse in Liverpool. This advertisment appeared in an English newspaper about 1780.

Original Author: Thomas Ryan

Created: ca. 1780

Medium: Newspaper advertisement

Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Snuff Box

This early eighteenth-century shallow box is elaborately decorated with tortoiseshell, silver, gold, and mother-of-pearl. Probably made in London, it likely held snuff, a pulverized, smokeless tobacco commonly used in Europe by the seventeeth century. The cover of the box depicts the Roman myth in which Diana, goddess of the hunt, turns the hunter Actaeon into a stag.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: ca. 1720

Medium: Snuff box

Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Eighteenth-Century Tobacco Advertisement

An eighteenth-century advertisement in an English newspaper extols the virtues of tobacco as a "Potent Herb, and Sweet Repast, Friend to the Thought, and grateful to the Tast." It further promises that "Exhaling healthful Fumes" will help "Clear [the Head] Of noxious Humour, and the Spirits Chear."

Original Author: Unknown

Created: Eighteenth century

Medium: Newspaper advertisement

Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Tobacco Wrapper

An enslaved African in Virginia holds a farm implement in one hand while puffing on a long-stemmed pipe in this seventeenth-century wrapper used to package tobacco in the bustling port town of Barnstaple, England. The tobacconist William Gribble was a retail shopkeeper who made his own blend using “Best Virginia Tobacco” and then wrapped it in labeled papers such as this one.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: Seventeenth century

Medium: Woodcut

Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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  • Virginia Tobacco

    A Virginia Indian in a headdress holds a bow in one hand and tobacco leaves in the other. This wood-block image was used by an English company on tobacco labels to advertise its "Best Virginia" product. Tobacco was the major cash crop for the English colonists in Virginia.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: Eighteenth-nineteenth century

    Medium: Wood-block print

    Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society

  • Snuff Box

    This early eighteenth-century shallow box is elaborately decorated with tortoiseshell, silver, gold, and mother-of-pearl. Probably made in London, it likely held snuff, a pulverized, smokeless tobacco commonly used in Europe by the seventeeth century. The cover of the box depicts the Roman myth in which Diana, goddess of the hunt, turns the hunter Actaeon into a stag.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: ca. 1720

    Medium: Snuff box

    Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

  • Eighteenth-Century Tobacco Advertisement

    An eighteenth-century advertisement in an English newspaper extols the virtues of tobacco as a "Potent Herb, and Sweet Repast, Friend to the Thought, and grateful to the Tast." It further promises that "Exhaling healthful Fumes" will help "Clear [the Head] Of noxious Humour, and the Spirits Chear."

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: Eighteenth century

    Medium: Newspaper advertisement

    Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

  • Tobacco Wrapper

    An enslaved African in Virginia holds a farm implement in one hand while puffing on a long-stemmed pipe in this seventeenth-century wrapper used to package tobacco in the bustling port town of Barnstaple, England. The tobacconist William Gribble was a retail shopkeeper who made his own blend using “Best Virginia Tobacco” and then wrapped it in labeled papers such as this one.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: Seventeenth century

    Medium: Woodcut

    Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation