"a twist of tarred rope"

American Civil War era twist tobacco
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAmerican Civil War era twist tobacco - Credit: unforth

Chewing tobacco was the most popular form of tobacco consumption in the United States until the early twentieth century, when cigarettes took over. The habit still persists in rural parts of the southeastern states. Chewing tobacco comes in four main types: plug, loose leaf, tobacco bits and twist tobacco, favoured by Colt. Twist tobacco consists of spun and rolled tobacco leaves formed into long strands, like ropes, and tied into knots. This was the most popular type of chewing tobacco in the nineteenth century.