Wild Hygiene Practices From The Old West That Seem So Wrong Today

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Spitting Was Dangerous To Your Health

Boredom Files

One central theme that’s often portrayed in cowboy movies is chewing and spitting tobacco constantly. That’s because back in the Wild West, chewing tobacco was one of the most popular hobbies, so much so, bars often had sawdust-filled spittoons for the men to spit their used up chew in. But the problem was that when it dried out in the sawdust, it would ferment. Since most of the spittoons were hardly ever emptied out or cleaned, all that dust and dirt would go back into the air, causing people to get respiratory infections because of it. While spitting is already pretty gross in nature, this was like one huge spit-fest that never ended and brought the term gross to a whole other level.