Posted by Ed Kiser on June 02, 2003 at 18:10:36 from 188.8.131.52 user Kisered.
In Reply to: Arthur Ransome's pipe tobacco posted by Jon Dixon on June 02, 2003 at 09:08:26:
Tobacco is referenced in quite a few places in the Ransome
stories. There is also the frequent usages made of the tobacco
tin, for quite a variety of purposes. Likewise, the cigar-box
was also a great storage container. The pipe seems to be the
dominant mode of smoking, but there was also some usage of
cigars. Cigarettes were seldom mentioned, used by Owdon and
friend, by Tim Towzer (River Watcher) and by Dr. Dugeon, and by
careless picnickers who start fires.
Here are the references I found regarding these tobacco related
Ed Kiser, South Florida
SA-CH7 - Mr. Dixon gave John a tobacco tin of worms when he
first went over to get the morning milk. These were to be used
as bait, with which Roger got his "shark."
SA-CH13 - A cigar box was found to be put to a rather unusual
usage in that the charcoal burners kept their pet viper in one.
SA-CH18 - While Titty was left along on Wild Cat, she was visited
by her mother, whom she referred to as "Man Friday." In looking
through the stores Titty had, Mother went through it all, and
prepared a meal. Among the stores she found was a tobacco tin
with sugar in it.
SD-CH3 - When the Amazons finally got away from the GA to be
with their friends, the Swallows, they reported that their smoke
from Wild Cat had been spotted by Uncle Jim who had gone up the
fell to have a smoke. The GA did not allow for tobacco to be
used there in the house, so he had to get away before lighting
up. It is not apparent in what manner was the smoking done,
cigar or pipe.
SD-CH7 - Captain Flint was with John, working on a temporary
patch to the stove-in wound in Swallow, using small tacks to
fasten a section of ground-sheet over the hole. These tacks were
given to them by Mr. Jackson at Holly Howe in a tobacco tin.
SD-CH12 - Roger as he hurried though the heather, was keeping a
lookout for snakes, with the understanding that there might be
one that was not kept in a cigar-gox by the charcoal burners.
SD-CH15 - The Swallows went up to the tarn with Captain Flint to
have a go a fly fishing for trout, but Titty and Roger, using a
worm that Roger had put, at some unrecorded previous time, in a
tobacco tin. Using this worm, they caught a two-pounder, which
they sent to Holly Howe by Captain Flint for Mother and Bridget
SD-CH31 - When Roger hurt his ankle, he spent the night in the
tent of the Billies. For supper they had a duck egg apiece,
salted with a pinch taken from an old tobacco tin of salt.
Makes me wonder how long a tobacco tin could be kept in such
usage, due to the corrosive nature of salt, before the tin
becomes quite rusty.
Roger also saw again the viper kept in a cigar-box by the
PD-CH5 - A Peter Duck started telling sea stories to his
fascinated audience as he was "pushing the dottle of tobacco into
his pipe with a horny thumb."
Here is the usage of another quantity of measurement, the
"dottle". Wonder just how much that was. Apparently it is the
amount it takes to properly charge a pipe.
PD-CH6 - Peter Duck continues his sea tales, describing how he
was swapped to a China Clipper for a bag of "negro head" which,
when the question was raised, explained that it was tobacco. Why
tobacco got such a name, I cannot imagine. This is yet another
example of how language and customs, over time, do change.
Same chapter - Peter Duck's story went on to the concept of
treasure. Captain Flint had been listening to this tale, and had
been smoking his pipe, tapping out its contents as he remarked
about it was a shame to just leave such a treaure for the crabs.
PD-CH14 - They were on their way. At one point Peter Duck
pointed out that they were near to the location where he had
been tradied to the Frenchies for a bag of tobacco, as he had
prevously described in his earlier telling of sea stories.
PD-CH15 - Bill saw his chance to "show off" when he noted Nancy's
comment about the more active movement of the ship, so he pulled
out a plug of chewing tobacco. The lesson on how to cure sea
sickness was about to begin, in a most unpleasant way, while up
on deck Peter Duck and Captain Flint were both enjoying their
Same chapter - Bill got them all sea sick with his chewing
tobacco, and his tales of how to cure it by... never mind.
He continued to show off, especially when the seas became rather
rough, with his chewing of tobacco and not letting it affect him.
Captain Flint warned him not to share this skill with the others,
as they are not able to put up with it. Bill admitted he had
been chewing it since he was young (whatever that means).
PD-CH18 - As they approached the shallows, Peter Duck used a
sounding lead on a line to check the depths and the nature of the
bottom by pushing tallow into a cavity at the bottom end of the
lead, pushing it in by "using his thumb as if he were pushing
down tobacco in his old pipe."
PD-CH19 - They prepared to go exploring ashore. Peter Duck got
ready by "pushing the tobacco hard into his pipe."
PD-CH22 - Peter Duck and Bill were left alone on the ship. As
they sat quitely fishing over the side, Peter Duck enjoyed his
pipe while Bill chewed on a small piece of tobacco that Peter
Duck had given him. The wonder here is, was that some chewing
tobacco that Duck gave Bill, or perhaps a pinch of his pipe
tobacco? Not being a devote of the art, both sound rather
disgusting to me personally.
WH-CH14 - Nancy, ill with mumps, had sent a small package via the
Doctor to the explorers, who eagerly investigated its contents.
In another moment string was cut and paper torn off and they
were looking at an old tobacco tin.
"Navy cut," said John. "That's what father smokes."
In this tin was the key to the houseboat, along with the tag,
PP-CH1 - Even before the D's got to the lake, a farmer's wife on
the train expressed the fears of the locals that some visitor,
with no brains, would start a fire with a careless cigarette.
PM-CH22 - They had a day of freedom. Timothy was with them as
they hiked up to their old mine of last year. He had run out of
matches, using his last one to start the Primus. The others had
some, enabling him to light up a pipe with great satisfaction as
he was not liking having to go without from lack of matches.
WD-CH3 - Jim admitted that he had just started smoking these
holidays, having promised his uncle he would not start until he
had left school. He was having a bit of trouble keeping his pipe
lit, going through quite a few matches, but blamed that problem
with the explanation that the tobacco was a bit damp.
WD-CH4 - They were on their training cruise in the local waters.
Jim apparently was still having problem with his pipe, having to
relight it while only partially filled, left over from a previous
lighting that had soon failed.
WD-CH7 - When Jim left for shore to go fetch fuel, he apparently
had not planned to be gone long as he had left his pipe, partly
WD-CH23 - When on shore in Holland, they were amazed to see young
Dutch children, smoking a cigar. Daddy bought a box of those
Dutch cigars, to take home with him.
WD-CH24 - Sailing back home late in the night, Daddy lit one of
those Dutch cigars, whose red glow could be seen in the night, as
he began to sing as he manned the tiller.
WD-CH26 - Daddy offered a Dutch cigar to the customs officials.
WD-CH27 - Once back in a safe harbour, Daddy smoked one of his
Dutch cigars as he conferred with Jim down below, as John managed
CC-CH6 - Tom's father, the doctor, was enjoying a cigarette as he
sat out on his lawn by the riverside in the early dark of the
evening, resting from dealing with his "victims."
CC-CH19 - The twins had taken passage on the wherry with Jim
Gooddall and Old Simon. They saw Jim somewhat clouded by blue
tobacco smoke. It is not obvious in what form it was being
smoked, cigar, pipe, or cigarette. Apparently he also enjoyed it
in the form of chewing tobacco, as a packet of supplies contained
a big block of chewing tobacco.
BS-CH2 - Here is a RARE mention of cigarettes: George Owdon and
his friend were smoking cigarettes as the strolled by, making
snide comments about the D&G's as being the kind of people that
would cast of boats.
BS-CH3 - The old eel man admitted that he was quite willing to
collect those bird's eggs, so he could sell them to collectors in
order to get money to spend on tobacco for his old pipe.
BS-CH6 - Jim Towzer, one of the River Watchers, while crusing on
the watch at night was identified by the glow of his match as he
lit a cigarette.
BS-CH15 - In making rapid cleaning up of the Coot Club meeting
place, reference is made to "tin tobacco boxes", with the
unexpressed feeling that such were used for storge of small
items, the exact nature of which remain unspecified.
ML-CH2 - They are becalmed in their schooner. Captain Flint was
smoking one of the cigars he had bought in Papeete instead of his
usual pipe. It was the smell of the tobacco smoke that woke
ML-CH2 - The most infamous usage of a cigar is when the one that
Captain Flint had just set down, lit, was snatched up by Gibber,
the monkey, who disposed of it by dropping it into a convenient
hole, which just happened to be the opening hole to the fuel tank
that they were using to pour into from their reserve supply. The
result of course was an explosion and fire that completely
distroyed their ship, making them take to the small boats as life
boats, far out to sea.
GN-CH3 - The dropping of the tide had let the Sea Bear down onto
her keep and "legs", permitting her crew to scrub down her
underside, normally under water. The younger ones were going
ashore to explore, while the elders prepared to scrub. Captain
Flint supervised, enjoying his pipe, sitting on the cabin
GN-CH5 - As they explored the land, they got wind of some locals
by noting the scent of tobacco smoke. Although they could not
see anyone, they knew they must be downwind for them to have
caught that scent, so they had an idea of what direction the
natives must be. But when they ran into that suspected
direction, they found no one, and so called that tobacco smell a
GN-CH15 - They set to work, making netting, using a cigar-box
that had been modified, its lid split into netting needles, and
the sides of the remaining box, corners rounded and smoothed, to
be used as "measures" or "meshes", to be used in the creation of
the netting material. This cigar-box had been formally set aside
by Captain Flint to be used to hold feathers before being used in
the creation of trout-flies. This is a wooden box, not tin, but
like a tobacco tin, it was quite useful for storage of small
GN-CH24 - Captain Flint had been doing some touch-up painting on
their ship while keeping a watch on the egg collector in his
Pterodactyl, and in the process had smoked an ounce of tobacco.
That's all I found, so there, put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.
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