Tobacco growing was only authorised in the Dordogne in 1857 and in the Vallée de l’Isle in 1869.

The development of tobacco growing took place at the end of the 19th century as a relief crop after the appearance of phylloxera and mildew on the vines, then spread in the inter-war period to meet the increase in consumption and reached its peak after 1945 when the transition to production farming took place. It was during this period that dark wooden tobacco dryers, painted with coaltar tar, were built almost everywhere in the plantation areas.

Tobacco fermentation shops were set up in 1875 to receive the harvest, to evaluate the remuneration of the growers according to the quality of the tobacco delivered and to prepare the tobacco for use in the factories.

This crop was present mainly in the Dordogne and Isle valleys on small plots of land. Tobacco growers were required to work meticulously: sowing, transplanting, planting, hoeing, ridging, disbudding, picking, garlanding and setting on slopes for drying, care during desiccation and, finally, packaging for delivery to the Tobacco Board.

Illustrations :

– Postcard from an office in Mussidan in the 1920s. The advertisement for Zig-Zag rolling paper can be seen on the shop front. (Don Chica ©Musée André Voulgre) 2014.9.503

– Photograph of tobacco growers at the Mas à Beauronne in 1942 (Collection Climaque).

– Photograph of tobacco growers putting the harvest into the dryer with a Babiole Super Babi 203 tractor from 1953 in Boissonnie in 1960 (Collection Coustillas).

– Photograph of a tobacco kiln at Cazot in Saint Médard de Mussidan. The dryer, with its vertical openings and ceramic air vents, was built in the 19th c. as a continuation of the original barn, located near the dwelling house. (©Musée André Voulgre)

– Photograph of a 1960s drying kiln blackened with coaltar tar at Chantereine in Sourzac. (©Musée André Voulgre)

– Photograph of a 1930s drying room at Chataunie in Bourgnac (©Musée André Voulgre)

– Photograph of a tobacco field in the 1980s in the Isle valley (©Musée André Voulgre) 0.1522

– photograph of a tobacco planter sorting tobacco for packaging in the 1980s (Photo Pierre Broussouloux © Musée André Voulgre)