Archive for July 7th, 2010

The Sibilant Swish of a Spit

July 7, 2010

A few random chewing tobacco themed articles and  CLIMAX Chewing Tobacco advertisements:


SCIENCE’S latest gift to humanity is chewing tobacco with the flavor of rum. It is the discovery of a Wisconsin University professor who is keeping the formula a secret, for one reason or another. Perhaps he is waiting for modification or repeal in order to play it safe.

In some circles this discovery comes at a most opportune time, particularly if the tobacco has the effects as well as the flavor and bouquet of rum. Think of the economy for the fellow who boasts both habits and whose depression ration is but one plug.

Tobacco growers are showing interest. For them it may spell new prosperity. Distillers and bootleggers have not yet talked for publication.

Middletown Times Herald (Middletown, New York) Jan 16, 1933


A Mixture of Them Nearly Cause a Loss of Life.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., March 3 — W.C. Brink, who hails from Jump River, had a narrow escape from death. Brink went to drug store in this city and purchased a quantity of strychnine, which he deposited in his overcoat pocket, the same receptacle containing a package of fine cut chewing tobacco, going along North Barstow street.

Brink got hungry for the week and deposited a huge quid in his mouth. Shortly after he was seized with a death-like feeling and fearful pains, he staggered into Braensels restaurant, north side, and Dr. Parker was summoned. On the doctor’s arrival he saw at a glance that the man was suffering from poison, and he dosed him liberally with mustard water, using a gallon. In about an hour the man commenced to feel better, and was sent to the American hospital for further treatment.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 3, 1887

Two dromios of the senate are Murphy of New York and Smith of New Jersey. They are two of the biggest men in the senate, robust, round, well-fed statesmen, who are great friends, ans who love nothing better than an evening together at Chamberlin’s. But of late each has noticed that the other is getting too fat, and each has convinced his chum that something must be done about it. So they have organized themselves into a walking club and every morning, rain or shine, pace up to the capitol, a good mile and a half, and then down again after the session is over.

When they come sailing along the avenue arm in arm and both a little out of breath other pedestrians have to get out of the way.

Senator Murphy owns a race horse which bears the peculiar name of Hot Shot and it is reported on what appears to be good evidence that the animal possesses another peculiarity in that it is fond of chewing tobacco. At least, the senator says that the only way Hot Shot can be induced to run true is to hold a plug of Seal of the State of Connecticut before his eager eyes as the jocky climbs up and promising him the whole chew if he wins the race.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Dec 12, 1894



He Tells the Story of His Experience With the Shade of an Old Fellow Whose Wife Objected, and With Some Success, to the Tobacco Habit.

The man in the smoking compartment was chewing tobacco, and at intervals he spat at the cuspidor, with the sibilant swish incidental to tobacco chewing, and every time he did this a studious looking man in the corner started nervously and looked up from the book he was reading.

After half an hour or so the chewer, having finished his quid, went back into the car, and the reader looked at me, with an evident desire to say something.

“I don’t like that,” he remarked mildly.

“It’s a vile habit,” I assented at once.

“No; not that. It’s ghosts.”

“Ghosts?” I exclaimed, and I shot a quick glance at the cuspidor, the reader and the way to get out in case my traveling companion should prove to be crazy.

“Yes, ghosts,” he went on calmly enough. “Let me tell you about it. A little more than two years ago I rented a fine country house not far from New York at a low figure because it bore the reputation of being haunted and had not been occupied since its owner died, about two years before my advent. It was a handsome place, and when I had touched it up a bit, put half a dozen servants into it and invited some friends to spend the opening week with me it was anything but a ghostly place. When they had taken their departure, I settled down quietly to my work of writing and found an excellent place for it in the cozy library the late owner had fitted up for his special use.

“For the first few nights I did not work there until quite a late hour, and observed nothing out of the ordinary. As to the ghostly visitants, it seemed about the last place in the world a ghost accustomed to the disagreeable surroundings of a graveyard would care to frequent. Neither were there any ghostly indications in any other part of the house, nor did my servants notice anything to be alarmed at. One night, however, I went into the library about 8 o’clock and sat down at my desk, a new one I had set in the middle of the floor at a comfortable distance from the big open grate. I presume I had been at work 15 minutes when I heard just such a sound as that man made in here a while ago when he spat at that cuspidor. I looked up quickly, for I thought it was my hostler, who I knew used tobacco, but no one was visible. I resumed my work, and in two or three minutes I heard the sibilant swish again. This time it came from the direction of a big old armchair just in front of the fire, and I fancied the spitter might be occupying it and using the fireplace for a cuspidor. I really knew that could not be the case, but where did the sound come from? I waited again, watching the fire to see if it would give any response, but there was none, thought at intervals of two or three minutes the sounds came from the direction of the old chair.

“Once I got up and walked around the room and out into the adjoining rooms and hall, but nothing was visible. It was an audible ghost merely, and apparently not otherwise disposed to be active. I could see nothing or feel nothing, and there was none of the usual disagreeable concomitants of the ghostly visitants I had read about, such as cloudy presences, vague shadows, stifling atmosphere, and all that sort of thing — nothing, in fact, except that peculiar noise, which was really soothing in its effect, for I knew how much comfort a chewer could get out of his chew as he dreamily chewed before an open fire. At last I gave it up and went to my work again and paid no more attention to it until about 10 o’clock, when I observed that it stopped, and I was not disturbed further that night. The next day I kept my own counsel, and the next evening when I went to the library again, shortly after dinner, I sat down in the big chair to smoke. A few minutes later I heard that ghostly spit again, this time from the side of the fireplace, where an old sofa stood. Then I thought it was rather comical than otherwise, and I felt as if I were a visitor and the ghost was enjoying my company and his chew at the same time. In any event, when I sent back to my desk the sound seemed to come from the direction of the old chair again, and I proceeded with my work until 10 o’clock, when the noise ceased as before.

“Well, this peculiar ghostly visitation continued for nearly a year, varied now and again by two noises and sometimes by three, as if the tobacco chewing ghost had invited a few kindred spirits in and they were enjoying a quiet quid apiece. Sometimes I felt sure I would hear a laugh, or a voice or a chair shoved back, for the spitting was so extremely natural that it seemed impossible not to be accompanied by other evidences of a personal presence. But no such sounds ever manifested themselves, and as the time went by I began to grow more or less nervous. It was not fear exactly, for I had been sitting up of nights with that ghost for months, and our relationship had actually been more pleasant than not, and I am sure I would have felt lonely  not to have heard it as I worked, but there’s something in the air when ghosts are around that makes one’s nerves sensitive. I don’t know what it is, but any man will find it to be true if he ever has an opportunity to test it as I did. Finally I concluded to go to my landlord and make a few inquiries concerning my predecessor in the house.

“‘Queer old fellow,’ said the landlord in response to my inquiry as to what manner of man he was. ‘Queer old fellow. Lived here with his wife and servants; wife died, and he lived alone after that, as he had no children; wife was high tempered and painfully neat. He loved to chew tobacco, she wouldn’t let him chew in the house, so he built that room you use for a library. Used to chew there every night till 10 o’clock; always went to bed at that hour; sometimes he had a friend or two in with him who chewed; never did, though, while his wife was alive; she wouldn’t allow any dissipation of that kind. I guess he chewed himself to death; that’s what the doctors said. The servants found him one morning in his big chair dead, with a chew in his mouth. After he died the servants went away, and the house was put up for rent by the heirs. Somehow a story got going that the house was haunted, and nobody would live in it. That’s all bosh, though. No such things as ghosts nowadays. You’ve been there and know. You never saw anything, did you?’

“‘I’ve never seen a thing,’ I responded truthfully, for I hadn’t, and, much to his astonishment, I gave him notice that I would get out at the end of the year.
“It may be foolish on my part, for surely no ghost ever harmed me in its life, but somehow I can’t help feeling a bit nervous when I hear the sibilant swish of a spit.”

— W.J. Lampton in New York Sun.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Apr 4, 1896

Some time ago, says a writer in the Chicago Journal, I had occasion to speak about the gum-chewing habit of girls; a habit which, to my old-fogy notion, is just as bad as for a man to chew tobacco, and few people realize the extent of it unless they are somewhat observing. I wonder if this does not have something to do with spoiling many that would otherwise be beautiful rosebud mouths.

My attention has been recalled to the habit more or less lately — rather more than less — for it does seem to me that about three out of every four of the fair creatures whom you meet seem to be addicted to it.

No matter where you go, you see their jaws go like cows chewing their cuds — in the street cars, at the theatre, in the stores, at the library, and I am sorry to say that I have seen girls so far forget themselves as to actually chew gum in church. and I believe from what I have heard that the habit seems to acquire as firm a hold on its victims as tobacco chewing, and a good many of us know how hard it is to stop the latter.

A friend of mine had the misfortune, shall I say, to marry such a one, and he made an agreement with her that he would stop chewing tobacco if she would stop chewing gum. And who do you think was the first to break the agreement — the woman, of course.

Turn girls, turn, why will ye come,
To such an end from chewing gum?

The Daily Northwestern ( Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 10, 1888

F.W. Barber pleaded guilty of being drunk in municipal court this morning and a fine of $2 and costs or ten days in the work house was imposed.

When arrested a motley assortment of articles was found in his pockets. There were two kinds of smoking tobacco, two kinds of chewing tobacco, a bottle of liquor, about a dozen cigars, two pipes, a bag of licorice tablets, several flint arrow heads, letters, papers, two jack-knives, some figs, a handkerchief, gloves and a large quantity of cards and papers and some money.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Nov 23, 1899

School Humor

July 7, 2010

On the postcard:

The teacher’s class was raw and green,
Says she “Now, what does Dogma mean?”
Then Willie stuck his hand right up,
“It means a dog that has a pup.”

Teacher — Why wasn’t you at school yesterday, Johnny?
Johnny — We’ve got a new baby at our house.
Teacher — Ah! brother or sister?
Johnny — Neither.
Teacher — W-h-a-t?
Johnny — No. Cousin.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 5, 1890

On the postcard:

The teacher was asking what sun spots were,
I’ve seen ’em said Fred, not far from here,
There’s a case of sun spots right on our street,
Where a girl got freckles and prickly heat.

School Memories.

How dear to my heart is the school I attended,
and now I remember, so distant and dim,
that boy Bill and the pin that I bended,
and carefully put on the bench under him.
And how I recall the surprise of the master
when Bill gave a yell and sprang up from the pin
so high that his bullet head smashed up the plaster above, and the schollars set up a din.
That active boy Billy, that high-leaping Billy,
that loud-shouting Billy, who sat on a pin.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 5, 1890