Spiffing up a KBB Blue Line Bakelite Poker 1908-1914


Blog by Troy Wilburn

Here is my old KBB I got from EBay after some light cleaning and buffing. I had found out these were quite rare and was lucky to win the bid on it.

I was thinking after some initial research that these pipes were from around 1910 – early 1920s. Seems it’s a little older than I thought. I got this info from a Kaywoodie and early KBB collector who has had several Blue Lines.

“Your pipe is made by Kaufman Brothers and Bondy, or KB&B, which later (1915) created the Kaywoodie line we all know. But this pipe is Pre-Kaywoodie, as they were making pipes under the KB&B branding from about 1900 to 1914. Bakelite was invented in 1907, so this pipe was likely made from 1908 to 1914, as the Bakelite was quite the technological wonder of the time, and was used in many products (still in use today). These “Blue Line Bakelite” pipes are rare pieces, seldom seen.”

All Blue Lines came with a case but sadly the one for this one is missing. Most pics I’ve seen so far of the Blue Lines, the metal banding has stampings of Sterling Silver and KBB. Mine has none and I don’t believe it’s silver (I think nickel as I could not get all the discoloration from it). Mine may be a lower priced model.

The pipe as it arrived.Blue1 The pipe was in remarkable shape for its age. It was not caked up and the pipe was nice and clean, ready to smoke. All I did was go over it very lightly with some 2500 grit and 000 steel wool over the banding lightly. Then I applied some light buffing and a new coat of wax. The pipe was too original to mess with much .The stem has a gorgeous red color that was bought out with a little brown and then white Tripoli before waxing.Blue2

Blue3

Blue4

Blue5

Blue6

Blue7 The stampings are very nice for a 100 year old pipe. As you can see it looks like it was repaired once. The repair looks quite old in person and don’t think it was done anytime recently.Blue8

Blue9 It’s a smaller poker. It is in between the size of a Medico Poker and a Dr.Grabow 85 Poker. It’s around 4 11/16 inch long with a 1 1/2 tall bowl. I will probably dedicate it to my new favorite flake tobacco.Blue10

12 thoughts on “Spiffing up a KBB Blue Line Bakelite Poker 1908-1914

  1. Pingback: The Scintillating Antique KB&B Redmanol Pipe | rebornpipes

      1. Robert M. Boughton

        Hey, Troy, thanks for the reply! I was hoping you’d get my note. Beautiful job, BTW. My bad about missing the Bakelite stamp, but that’s why I added the link to Pipephil: the Bakelite company absorbed the two competitors who had infringed on its patent, and therefore Redmanol and Condensite became known as Bakelite — even though Redmanol is clearly superior, with its amber quality, to typical Bakelite. Again, great find and excellent work, in particular the restraint of not fixing what wasn’t really broken enough to mess with such a piece of history!

        Reply
        1. Troy W

          Thanks Robert,
          I do recall reading about the court case when i was researching the age of the pipe. I do like a light hand on restoring or preserving old pipes as they are only original once. Once you take away the originality it is gone forever.
          Check out my blog sometime https://baccypipes.wordpress.com/ and my archives for other old pipes of mine.

          Reply
      2. Robert M. Boughton

        Oh, sorry! I didn’t mean to sound as if I were correcting you. With that pipe, the proper designation is Bakelite, as that’s the nomenclature. I just meant the Redmanol info FYI. BTW, I’m working on a restore for a friend of another KB&B Blueline Bakelite from the same time but with a different tenon material. It looks like bone but I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s shattered in bits and I need to replace it. I’m emailing you pics in the hope that you can identify the material. Also, I apologize also for my unusual lack of tact in not saying you did a great job on this blog. Yours is a real beauty!

        Reply
        1. Troy W

          No problem, and thank you.
          Steve has restored a lot more of these early pipes than me he would be the one to ask as what material the tenon might be. I only have 3 pipes prior to 1920’s and none need any parts replaced. I know Steve has repaired broken tenons on these old pipes before.

          Reply
  2. Troy

    Thank you all for the kind comments , I try to not change no more than i have too on plder pre 1950s and especially pre war pipes . Originality is top priority .

    This pipe was just as much fun researching as it was cleaning it up and smoking .

    Reply
  3. upshallfan

    I wasn’t real familiar with Blue Line pipes, thanks for sharing your experience. I love those Bakelite stems, they just look old!

    Reply
  4. Anthony

    Troy, you gave that one all the care it needed and nothing more. Kudos to you for keeping it simple and preserving this old timer. It looks brilliant!

    Reply

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