Blog by Steve Laug
This P. Jackson Canadian is the second pipe that my friend in Calgary messaged me about when he found a pair of pipes at a little flea market in Winfield, B.C. The first one was a Peterson’s Lovat that I wrote about in a previous blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/09/01/cleaning-a-winfield-b-c-find-a-republic-era-petersons-kapruf-lovat-75/). He sent me the photo below showing both of the pipes. He asked if would be willing to refurbish them for him. I wrote back and told that both were nice pipes and I would be happy to work on them for him. He laughed and said they were on their way to Vancouver. The pipes arrived early this week and I unpacked them both. The second pipe above was a virgin finish Canadian. The stamping is centered on the topside of the shank with the script name P. Jackson Co. and underneath that it reads Singapore. The brand was one that I was unfamiliar with and I could not find information on in my usual sources. The pipe looked very English to me – there was something about it that looked like a Comoy’s Canadian but I could find nothing to prove or disprove that assumption. The finish on the pipe was not as worn or dirty as the little Peterson’s Lovat. The finish was dull and dry looking. The rim top was dirty but and had a lava overflow on the backside of the rim top. There was a thick cake in the bowl that was crumbling and soft – exactly like the other pipe. The stem was oxidized and dirty. The stem had the same tooth marks as the other pipe – a line across middle of the stem on both sides. The cake in the bowl, the tooth marks all told me that the pipe came from the same pipe man. This was another a good find. I took the following photos of the pipe before I started the cleanup work. I took a photo of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up. The inner and outer edge of the bowl looked undamaged but I would know more once I cleaned up the bowl and rim.The next photo shows the faint stamping on the shank. You can see what the stamping reads under the light of the flash. The script P. Jackson Co over the block print SINGAPORE is clear.The stem had the same marks and gummy substance as the previous Peterson’s Lovat – sticky from a price label. There was a lot of tooth chatter and the tooth marks mid stem that I mentioned above. The underside of the shank was stamped FRANCE – visible in the second photo below.I decided to look at things a little differently and researched the P. Jackson Singapore connection. I could not find anything on the P. Jackson Co. listed as a company or tobacconist in Singapore so that was a dead-end. I will continue to look for that Company through a variety of documents. I did find several other people on the forums had also found this particular brand of pipe but no one had a clue as to who made it. So I went a little further in my search. I entered P. Jackson Singapore to see if I could come up with leads. I was surprised when it returned a search category for P (Philip) Jackson who was a cartographer in Singapore. I followed those links and this is what I found.
Lieutenant Philip Jackson (b.24 September 1802, Durham, England–d.1879) was an officer in the Bengal Regiment Artillery, and served as Assistant Engineer, Executive Officer and Surveyor of Public Lands in colonial Singapore. An accomplished surveyor and draughtsman, Jackson produced a number of important maps, including one of the earliest maps of the town of Singapore and the earliest known drawing of Singapore – “Plan of the Town of Singapore”. He was also the first architect of the Singapore Institution (the precursor of Raffles Institution) building. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_140_2005-01-20.html
I followed references in that link and found that Jackson had designed the plan of the Town of Singapore. Here is what I found on that link.
The Jackson Plan or Raffles Town Plan,, an urban plan of 1822 titled “Plan of the Town of Singapore”, is a proposed scheme for Singapore drawn up to maintain some order in the urban development of the fledgling but thriving colony founded just three years earlier. It was named after Lieutenant Philip Jackson, the colony’s engineer and land surveyor tasked to oversee its physical development in accordance with the vision of Stamford Raffles for Singapore, hence it is also commonly called Raffles Town Plan. The plan was formulated in late 1822 and published in 1828. It is the earliest extant plan for the town of Singapore, but not an actual street map of Singapore as it existed in 1822 or 1828 since the plan is an idealised scheme of how Singapore may be organized that was not fully realised. Nevertheless it served as a guide for the development of Singapore in its early days, and the effect of the general layout of the plan is still observable to this day.(ED. The endnotes are included underneath the map. I found that the map was interesting in itself so I included that as well.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Plan
 H. F. Pearson (July 1969). “Lt. Jackson’s Plan of Singapore”. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 42 (1 (215) Singapore 150th Anniversary Commemorative Issue): 161–165.
From this information I surmised that the pipe may have been issued as some kind of Commemorative Pipe to recognize the contribution of Jackson to the city of Singapore. I know I can’t prove that, but it is an interesting possibility. If any of you have information on the brand and could shed light on the origins of this pipe let us all know. Thanks ahead of time.
I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to remove the thick cake. I started with the smallest cutting head and worked my way up to the second cutting head to remove the cake and leave the inside of the bowl bare. I wanted to be able to check the inside walls to see if there was any heat damage (once again I was glad to see that there was no damage).I removed the stem from the shank – it was a dirty mortise so the fit on the shank was very tight. I worked it carefully so as not to break or damage the tenon or the shank. I lightly wiped off the debris from the stem, wiped it down lightly with alcohol to remove the gummy substance and put it in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak overnight along with the Peterson’s Kapruf stem.While the stem soaked, I worked on the stummel. I scrubbed it down with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. I scrubbed hard to remove the lava from the rim top. There was a lot of dirt and grime on the virgin finish and the scrubbing removed that. I rinsed the bowl down with running water to wash off the soap and the grime. I scrubbed it under the running water with the tooth brush and when it was finished, dried it off with a towel. The pipe was looking pretty good at this point in the process. I scrubbed the internals of the pipe with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to clean out the tars and oils that had collected there. It took a lot of scrubbing before the cleaners and cotton swabs came out clean.After I rinsed the bowl and rim I could see the two areas on the right top of the bowl that were sandpits. One of them had a large crumbling fill that went across the rim top (not quite as far as the inside edge of the bowl) and then curved down the side toward the back of the bowl. I cleaned the fill with a dental pick to clean up the putty. I repaired the fill with clear super glue and a little bit of briar dust. The photos below show the repaired areas. When the repair had cured I sanded the repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished them with micromesh sanding pads to blend them in with the top of the rim and the back of the bowl. The photos below show the repairs after the sanding and polishing.I set the bowl aside for a short time and turned my attention to the stem. I removed it from the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and dried it off. There was still some stubborn oxidation in the vulcanite. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped down the stem after each pad with Obsidian Oil. After the final pad I gave the stem a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I wiped the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil to give life to the briar. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish out the scratches. I gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. The stamping is still very readable. It is a good looking pipe and the P. Jackson Co. Singapore label is still an ongoing mystery.I put the stem back on the pipe and buffed it lightly with the Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I buffed the stem harder than the stummel to polish the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem more coats of carnauba wax and buffed them with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a nice long shank Canadian with beautiful grain and a natural finish. I think my friend in Calgary is going to enjoy this second pipe as much as the Peterson’s Lovat. Thanks for following along the restoration path on this one with me.