A brass tobacco dispenser from the Globe Inn, Newbury. The dispenser comprises a box container on four ball feet, with a halfpenny slot and key winds. The dispenser is marked ‘RICH/PATENTEE/BRIDGEWATER’ and dates to the early 1800s. At this time, grocers and publicans were the only retailers of tobacco. Inns and public houses often had smoking rooms with tobacco boxes like this on the table for customers to refill their pipes. Often these boxes had on them a verse: “A halfpenny drop into the till, press down the knob and quickly fill, when you have filled, without delay, shut down the lid, or sixpence pay.”
From around 1649 to 1868 the Globe Inn was located in a timber framed Jacobean building on Bridge Street, Newbury. Local historian Walter Money described it as one of the most attractive architectural relics of Newbury, with eight pointed gables, barge-boards, oriel windows and massive chimneys. The building was demolished around 1868. The present Globe Inn, Newbury, has traded since the late 1800s and is now located at 148 Bartholomew Street.