in 1950 by the French Museums Authority, the Tobacco Museum of
national interest was reorganized in 1982 according to new organizational
and display norms in premises renovated by the town of Bergerac
and called Maison Peyrarède. This 17th Century
hotel was built in full transition between the Renaissance and
Classical periods and is one of the architectural jewels of Bergerac.
It was inaugurated in January 1983 and, since then, has instigated
a varied and personalized policy of exhibitions. These will be
extended as research is carried out into the vast and diverse
fields of tobacco anthropology. The cultural history is shown
in four permanent exhibition rooms.
Room I - Usages and functions of tobacco in Pre-Columbian
America. Tobacco was an eminently cultural plant for native American
civilisations, which spread to Africa through slave trading (end
of the 16th Century).
Room II - Arrival of tobacco in Europe around 1560. The
sacred plant became medicinal and then an object of pleasure.
The first and most widespread method of consumption in France
was in the form of snuff.
Room III - Consumption of tobacco in the 19th Century inspired
craftsmen's imaginations and various materials were used such
as meerschaum, glass, ears of corn etc... for countless cigar-
or cigarette holders, or tobacco jars.
Room IV - This room is devoted to the techniques for manufacturing
objects used for smoking throughout history and the world.