These widespread practices in the Far West demonstrate how very wild the times were

Spittoons in the saloons

In the Old West, it was quite normal to spit. This is the reason why spittoons were common in the region at the time. Fortunately, some countries ban it in public these days. Chewing tobacco produces saliva, and it contains hydrating compounds. Although tobacco is very addictive, this was how the people in the Wild West kept their mouths moist since drinkable water was scarce. Chewing tobacco was a preferable method of quenching thirst during the workday, as water chugging was impossible.

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Chewing tobacco was so popular in the nineteenth century that saloons had a special vessel for customers to spit it into when the accumulation of saliva became too much for their mouths to accommodate. This habitual sputum was an ideal vector for the spread of unsympathetic diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia. The spittoons were placed in the saloons on the floor along the counter at the level of the famous copper rail, which must therefore be dripping with saliva. Chewing tobacco was the only alternative that people in the Wild West came up with to stay hydrated.

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