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An Antique Tobacco Sorter

I came across an antique tobacco sorter, also known as a tobacco sizing box, that I could not pass up.  Little did I know that such tools have been used for about two centuries in this country by tobacco farmers to size the leaves of the tobacco plant upon harvesting.  After a lengthy discussion with a good friend of mine who has gone tobacco picking on a farm in Massachusetts, I was surprised at what an ingenious tool this wooden frame really was for farmers.  

At first glance, you might come to the conclusion that it is a spice rack, much like the one that I own (click here).   Did you know that a tobacco sorter such as the one above was the actual inspiration for my Martha by Mail spice rack?



The first time I saw a tobacco sorter was on the set of Martha Stewart Living Television several decades ago.  I assumed it was a spice rack or a spice shelf, because that is how Martha was using it on the set (above).  Little did I know I was completely wrong.

It wasn't until years later…

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