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smokingA short time ago I had the great luck to obtain a rare book published in 1899 – The Domestic Cyclopedia: An Instructor on Nursing, Housekeeping and Home Adornments.

That’s quite the combination of topics and it is a fascinating research tool, filled with information otherwise lost to posterity. At that time it was found that cigarettes often contained opium “physicians and chemists were surprised to find how much” or “Havana flavoring … made from the tonka bean, which contains a deadly poison” and that the appropriate wrapping of rice paper was commonly found to be “filthy scrapings of ragpickers bleached white with arsenic”.

Whhhooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa. Things have ‘come a long way, baby.’

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