5 Parts of a Tobacco Pipe
A pipe is a very simple tool used to hold burning tobacco. The smoke released from the burning tobacco is then drawn through a small tube and into the pipe smokers mouth. As simple as a pipe seams there is an incredible amount of skill that goes into making a finely crafted pipe. The Indians of North and South America over the course of a thousand years were only able to craft crude pipes made out of stone or clay. However, the European craftsmen were able to perfect the art of pipes in only a couple of centuries. Below you will find a diagram of a pipe and the 5 different parts that make up a pipe.
- Bowl – This is where the tobacco is burned
- Shank – Generally part of the bowl is used to neck the pipe down.
- Stem – Stem fits tightly into the shank via a mortise and tenon joint
- Lip – Raise ring around the Stem
- Filter – Generally a metal piece attached to the Stem
Once a pipe is assembled, filled, and lit the smoke travels from the bottom of the bowl, through the shank, around the filter, through the stem, and into the mouth. The lip provides the mechanism to keep the stem from slipping from the mouth. The total design of the modern day pipe comes from years of trial and error and experimentation.
Tobacco Pipe Materials
The Briar pipe is always the first choice of any pipe smoker. Briar comes from a tough little tree called Erica Arborea, which is a member of the heather family. It grows no more than 20 feet high, and would never be thought of as a premier pipe material. The burl, which pipes are made from, is found just under the ground. It’s not tree trunk nor roots, it’s actually the meeting place for the two.
Today nearly 30,000,000 tobacco pipes are manufactured across the world and the Briar Pipe is in reach of nearly every pipe smokers’ wallet. Ebay is an excellent place to find a great deal on a briar pipe, so check out their huge selection.
Meerschaum is a mineral that comes primarily from Turkey. This material is soft and easily shaped but wasn’t used as a pipe material until the discovery of tobacco. Its scientific chemical name is hydrous magnesium silicate and is thought to be remnants of prehistoric sea shells. Once the pipes are carved they must be dried and polished. Meerschaum’s are renowned for the cool, mellow smoke, and remain very popular today. Meerschaum pipes have quite a long break-in period, but the smoker is rewarded with a beautiful autumn brown pipe and a full ripe quality and flavor.
Corn Cob Pipe – Did you know that a small town in Missouri pumps out 15,000,000 corn cob pipes a year? The corn cob pipe industry has been supporting farmers since 1969. Farmers can sell the corn kernels then hand over the cobs to the pipe makers. The corn cob pipe is a great starter pipe since they are readily available and extremely cheap. Most pipe smokers prefer corn cob pipes only to the coveted Briar Pipe.
EVOLUTION OF ENGLISH CLAY TOBACCO PIPES, 1580-1860
(Source: Ivor Noël Hume, Artifacts of Colonial America, 1985:303)
30 pipe designs which where adored by famous smokers. They belong to the following well-known personalities:
1. Sigmund Freud
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Albert Einstein
4. Greta Garbo
5. Jack Lemmon
6. Anthony Hopkins
7. Pablo Picasso
8. Ernest Hemingway
9. Neil Armstrong
10. Clark Gable
11. Joseph Rudyard Kipling
12. Roald Amundsen
13. Vincent Van Gogh
14. Cary Grant
15. James Joyce
16. Gerald Ford
17. Douglas Mac Arthur ουρ
18. Graham Bell
19. Leonardo Da Vinci
20. Bertrand Russell
21. George Simenon
22. Charles Baudelaire
23. Johann Sebastian Bach
24. Bing Crosby
25. Jerry Lee Lewis
26. Jean Paul Sartre
27. Arthur Miller
28. Isaac Newton
29. Marc Twain
30. Pablo Casals
The collection will number only 4490 series for Greece and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the International Unique Collections will accompany each one.
Extra gift: a wooden display-a real ornament for your house – with three shelves especially designed for the collection of pipes.
Van Gogh Smoking a Pipe (In the Manner of van Gogh)
Tom Keating (1917-1984 British)
The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a pipe,” I’d have been lying!
Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958 French)
Oil on canvas
Musee National d’ Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Shown here is actor Glenn Ford, who passed away in 2006.
Albert Einstein of course…..
Even female celebrities such as Andie McDowell. I bet she doesnt complain about the pipe smell.
President Gerald Ford
How can you have a list of pipe people without this pic?
How about this guy
And the crooner Bing Crosby….. Though the Schwartz fellow is easily the more intelligent looking and handsome of the pics(I accept cash or money order Melvin).
Paul T. Spaniola 7 time world champion pipe smoker
Fred McMurray, yeah the My Three Sons guy. He didn’t just smoke a pipe for the show. In real life he was indeed an avid pipe smoker
Oh well, not exactly famous, but here is a pic of me leading my company towards battle during a Civil War reenactment in Lamoni, Iowa.
The picture Michael wanted to show:
Mr. Norman Rockwell
I first saw this painting in an art appreciation book as a Freshman in college 30 years ago. I loved it and had to have it. I tracked down the fact that it belonged to the Corchoran Gallery in NYC. I contacted them asking for a reproduction.
Ever since then it has had a prominent place wherever I lived. Whenever I caught a girlfriend looking at it I said “Study it closely and be forewarned”. One of them married me anyway…. 26 years ago.
The Fabulous Sartre!
Even we anarchists enjoy a good pipe! (Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN, a figurehead of the anti-globalization movement and leader of the uprising in Chiapas. Always depicted with a pipe.)
Lt. Cmdr Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Pipes were frequently shown in this popular animation series from the late 50’s and early 60’s. Here is Bullwinkle J. Moose himself:
(Allegedly) Barack Obama’s Father:
Pipesmoker gone bad
Yes, Joe Stalin
Incredible thread!!! Here’s my submission, since I got here late.
Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe.
images from the Pipe Club of London
Marshal Tito smoking a pipe while working at his desk-Yugoslavia-1945
The great W. Somerset Maugham:
(seems like pipes and writers are a natural fit)
Anwar al Sadat ,President of Egypt(1970-81)
Pipesmokers in uniform:
General George S. Patton
Arnold Schwarzenegger (better known for his cigar)
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson caused a stir when he lit a Porsche branded pipe during a show in 2007. The BBC refused to apologize.
Pipe-smoking men of letters:
Alexander Graham Bell
Ernesto “Che” Guevara
Vincent van Gogh
Philosopher Edmund Husserl
Psychiatrist Carl Jung
Ronald Reagan (clearly an advertisement…I don’t think he made a habit of it)
The Prince of Wales who became the Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII)
In an ad for Sasieni from Vanity Fair (1926)
Post-WWII German playwright Friedrich Wolf
Composer Carl Orff
Actor Lee Van Cleef
Croatian literateur Milorad PaviÄ‡
Actor Rudolph Valentino
A few old magazine illustrations and advertisements with pipe smokers posted at the blog of the Houndstooth Kid.
Suit ad from the Saturday Evening Post
Illustration from Esquire
Montgomery Ward Catalogue (1940)
A couple more vintage magazine illustrations
At the club
The collegiate look
Finally, the Houndstooth Kid himself