Durham is about to become the Best Place to Look at a Spittoon Collection.
The State Historic Sites Division has agreed to purchase a collection of 282 brass, glass and porcelain spittoons from Connecticut collector Jim Kinner, for display at the Duke Homestead State Historic Site. The price was $6,700, about half the collection's market value, the state agency said in a press release Monday.
The acquisition will make the Duke Homestead's collection the nation's largest.
Spittoons became necessary pieces of furniture in the 19th Century when numerous men and women adopted the habit of chewing tobacco or dipping snuff, a more powdery form of the weed. The result was saliva too nasty to swallow — and spitting on the floor was considered bad form.