Closing the Gap: The Mythos of Peterson’s Space-Fitting System Stem

peterson pipe notes

Closing the GapI received a Peterson Centenary 4s (my beloved 309 Dutch Billiard shape) from Mike Glukler of Briar Blues this week. I’d thought about the pipe for a long time, even had it on hold for several months without buying it. But its 0/11 place in the Centenary 4s lineup spoke to me, as did its lovely stain. I already knew it was an “A” bowl from our research on the 1875-1975 Centenary pipes for the book, so I knew there’d be no pits or fills. Some of the Centenary pipes number up into the eighties, so the relative rarity of this one made it even more attractive.

It had a few issues: no paperwork, no box, no sock, loose stem. For the price, I could live without the first three, but that mention of a loose stem puzzled me. The size appeared right in Mike’s photos, so how could an…

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