Well, if you love tobacco that much, then visiting the Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum is right up your alley!
The growth of tobacco was the financial backbone that was used to grow and develop Durham, North Carolina in the mid 1800’s. I was awe-struck by this information especially since this hidden wealth of knowledge is not taught to students throughout their years spent in the American Education System.
When I entered into the Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum it was like stepping back into time. On a self-guided tour, I learned that Washington Duke and his sons worked together as a team to establish what is now known as the “international tobacco empire.”
The showcases depicted the cultivation of the land on the tobacco farm, the barns that the tobacco was once stored in, and the original home of Washington Duke and his family. There were black and white photos of the Duke family that hung on the wall because the cameras with color didn’t exist during that time period.
What I enjoyed the most was the exhibits that were presented as a pictorial story. For example, the exhibit “The Growth Stages and Crop Management,” exemplifies the various growth stages of tobacco from the beginning to the end. Additional photos included actual farmers working the land in the 1800’s and eventually ended with the modern day technology used to grow tobacco.
It is one thing to see how life was in the 18th century in a photo and it is another to see the original tools and factory machines that played a significant role in the production of tobacco.
One of the most intriguing exhibits were the“Farming Tools” in which the tools used on the tobacco farm back then was on display for us to see today. Similarly, there was the vending machine marked “Cigarette,” the “Cigarette Packers,” the “Quest Cutter,” and the “SCM Maker” just to name a few. What was pretty cool about these exhibits was that they had male and female mannequins that were dressed in the 1800th clothing attire and they appeared to be busy operating the machines. As of right now your probably wondering why I was interested in visiting this museum.
Well just to be clear, I do not smoke, chew or eat tobacco ice cream. However, the Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum is a very unique and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to check this place out!
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