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"Gold Washers" Snuff Box

"Gold Washers" Snuff Box

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This snuff box was made in London and used around 1860. The box’s lid is painted with an image four men—two white, and two African-Americans—working a stream for gold with the text “Gold-washers in California” below. Both slave and free African Americans participated in the gold rush as laborers and gold washers. A snuff box carried a powdered tobacco called snuff that was pinched and inhaled nasally.
Object Name
snuff box
Date made
ca 1860
place made
United Kingdom: England
Physical Description
paint (overall material)
paper mache (overall material)
composition board (overall material)
overall: 3/4 in x 3 5/8 in; 1.905 cm x 9.2075 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Occupation, general
California Gold Rush
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mining
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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