Category Archives: Pipe and Tobacco Historical Documents

An Interesting Look Back in Time at Pipe Marketing


Blog by Steve Laug

I don’t know how he does this but Jeff comes across things in his pipe hunting, auction cruising perambulations that I never seem to see and in new or next to new condition. This time he found some old pipe labels that had not been used and were in perfect condition. I don’t know if these were printed as box labels or for display boards but they are really quite interesting. Each label has a lot “advertspeak” that I find fascinating, you know the spin that the Marketing Team puts on pipes that their companies make. Jeff sent me these photos of his find. Have a look. They give us an enjoyable look back in time at how pipes were marketed. I will describe each one for you so if you cannot read it at least you will have an idea of what it says. First here are a couple of photos of the lot.I have always enjoyed Yello-Bole pipes and have even sold a few NOS Collegiate pipes so this is an interesting piece for me. It says Yello-Bole Collegiate $4.50 and describes the pipe as coming in Small Youthful Shapes. The imported Briar Bowl is Guaranteed against burn-out for Life. What do you think – are you youthful enough for these small petite pipes? I don’t think I ever was personally.The Checker Pipe was made by Yello-Bole. Over the years I have restored several of these CHECKER pipes that have a Hand Carved Checker-Board design carved into the briar around the bowl. The ones I have worked on have had a mixture of smooth and rusticated patches on the checkerboard differentiating the red and black squares. These pipes sold for $5.50.The Airograte Pipe was also made by Yello-Bole and was their version of the Falcon pipe or the Dr. Grabow Viking. It had a metal base and shank with an interchangeable bowl. Yello-Bole made a variation to the theme by make the bowl more of a tube and inserting a metal grate between the bowl and the base for dry smoking air flow. It also had the Nylon Bit like the Grabow and the Falcon version. These pipes sold for $5.95 and you could purchase a variety of interchangeable bowls for the base.We move from Yello-Bole pipes to the Medico Pipe Company and their lines. The first label in the collection shows the Medico Tuxedo Filter Pipe. The label shows a Tuxedoed Gent with a pipe and a bow tie. These pipes are said to “give pleasure and peace of mind” for only $3.50. They were made of Imported Briar. Who would not want to spend $3.50 when Pleasure and Peace of Mind can be had for such a reasonable price? Are you in?The next one is for a Medico pipe. The label reads MEDICO Medalist Filter Pipes over Imported Briar and a whopping $4.95 to purchase one of these lovelies. I am not sure but I think this may well have been one of the first pipes I ever purchased at a local drugstore.I have worked on quite a few Medico Ventilator Pipes over the years and even converted them to be non-ventilated! This bit of marketing says – “Protect yourself – with the only pipe that must be smoked with a filter.” (So much for deciding to use or not use a filter as the Medico Marketing department decided that you need to purchase those annoying paper tubes to smoke this pipe.) After telling us to protect ourselves the label says Medico Ventilator Filter Pipe. Made of Imported Briar and sporting a Guaranteed Bite-proof Nylon Bit. The pipe sold for $4.95.These next Medicos have survived time and become collectible I hear. I have worked on all the variations in terms of playing card symbols – Diamonds, Hearts, Clubs and Spades. This fancy pipe sold for $5.95 and was labeled Medico Casino Filter Pipes. They were made out of Genuine Sandblasted Imported Briar, were embossed with playing card symbols and once more had those “amazing” Bite-proof Nylon Bits. Can’t you see yourself firing up one of these pipes with the guys at the weekly poker game? The silver coloured band adds a touch of class.The Medico Ever-Dri is yet another attempt to find the cool dry smoke and according to the Marketing Team they have found it and it only costs you $7.95. The label includes the usual Medico Ever-Dri Filter Pipe with a Guaranteed Bite-proof nylon bit. There is a diagram on the label that shows their inventive system. Their system has a Condensor shield and tube that keeps the shank dry, Throw Away Nicotine Trapped in Medico Filter, Dry Heel, Free Draft Drying Chamber and it is made of Imported Briar.The next label is for a “higher end” Medico – a Crest Filter Pipe. The label is golden and lists the price at $10.00. The Medico Crest has a Bulldog smoking a pipe logo. The label says that these Filter Pipe have a Guaranteed Bite-Proof Nylon Bit (Oh boy – I hate nylon stems as they are a bear to clean up after someone has chewed the bite-proof bit).  The pipe is made of the Choicest Imported Briar.These labels give a walk back in time to the era of the 60s. The labels came from two US pipe companies that provided their offerings to the pipe smoking public. The first was Yello-Bole and the second Medico. These pipes were standard fare of the American pipesmoker throughout most of the 20th century. They were reasonably priced and offered outstanding guarantees. They are still readily available on the estate pipe market and are an easy restore (barring the famous Bite-proof nylon stem). Hope you have enjoyed this bit of pipe history. Thanks for reading.

 

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Lane Tobacco Ltd.’s The Happy Smoker: Spring/Summer 1946


Posted by Steve Laug

This is another of the old pipe booklets that was posted on the Pipe Club of Brasil Group on Facebook. Victor C. Naddeo, the Administrator of that group and seems to post this kind of pipe memorabilia quite often. I am not sure where he finds them all but all of them have been interesting. He posted this Lane Tobacco Ltd. “The Happy Smoker” magazine a while ago. When I first started smoking a pipe I smoked a lot of Lanes 1Q and a Black & Tan that had an R# that I cannot remember. When I saw this old booklet, it brought back a lot of memories of those days. I would pick up the tobacco in San Diego or in Carlsbad when I lived there. Click on the pictures and they will enlarge. Read the pipe descriptions and prices as well as the tobacco descriptions and let them take you back in time. Thank you Victor for posting these on the Pipe Club Brasil Group. If you would like to check out the group on Facebook here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001391469961131/

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FLAME: THE STORY OF THE EVERYDAY LIGHTER


The article was produced and shared by Sharrow Mills and sent to me to see if I would be interested in posting this history of lighters on rebornpipes. We corresponded and the long and short of it is that I am posting it here now. The original blog piece can be read on the Sharrowmills site at the link below. Thanks to the folks at Sharrowmills for sharing this with us.  — Steve

https://sharrowmills.com/pages/the-story-of-the-everyday-lighter

“It’s not the order in which things are invented that makes them the most impressive, it’s the importance they have to humanity. So my number one is this: fire with a flick of the fingers.” – Stephen Fry

 Some items have been around for so long, and have become so embedded in the modern world, that it’s hard to imagine a world without them; the lighter may be one of these. Even Stephen Fry, as part of Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Gadgets documentary, named the cigarette lighter as the greatest invention in human history.

From the iconic Zippo lighter and disposable plastic varieties, to the obscure contraptions of old, the history of the lighter is a fascinating one, so we thought we’d tell you some more about it.

1823 – DÖBEREINER’S LAMP

In 1823, Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner, a German chemist and professor at the University of Jena, invented one of the earliest lighters; however, it looked nothing like a modern-day lighter.

Also known as a ‘tinderbox’ (or “Feuerzeug”), the lamp was an exceptionally popular item, reportedly selling over a million units in the 1820s.

The bizarre looking contraption worked by reacting zinc with dilute sulphuric acid in order to produce hydrogen. To use, a valve was lifted, firing the hydrogen towards a porous form of platinum known as ‘platinum sponge’. This then reacted with the atmospheric oxygen, heating the platinum and igniting the hydrogen – the result was a steady flame.

1903 – THE ADVENT OF FERROCERIUM

Ferrocerium is a synthetic alloy that produces very hot and bright sparks when struck. Often incorrectly referred to as ‘flint’, ferrocerium is a different substance completely; the naming similarity stems from flint’s previous usage as a producer of sparks.

Invented in 1903 by Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach, ferrocerium revolutionised the lighter, as it made creating necessary sparks for ignition easy, and was also a relatively affordable material.

1910-12 – THE RONSON PIST-O-LITER AND WONDERLITE

One of the most well-known classic lighter designs was the Pist-O-Liter, manufactured by Ronson in 1910.

Designed to closely resemble a long-barreled pistol, the trigger released a file-like component which rubbed against a flint-like surface contained in the barrel. This produced sufficient sparks to ignite flammable substances. The long barrel made the Pist-O-Liter a practical choice for applying sparks to harder-to-reach places, such as motor vehicle engines.

Shortly after this in 1912, Ronson developed the Wonderlite, a metal cased lighter more closely resembling modern    varieties, known as a ‘permanent match’ style of lighter.

1914-18 – WORLD WAR I: IMPROVISED LIGHTERS

Life in the trenches during the First World War was notably difficult, particularly on the front lines, where resources, tools and general supplies were extremely limited.

Soldiers therefore started to improvise and created everyday tools by hand using whatever discarded items they could find. One of these was a handmade lighter fashioned from an empty bullet cartridge; it even included a holed chimney cap to better protect the flame from wind.

 

1926 – RONSON BANJO

Image Source: http://ronsonlighters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/rarevintage- unique-ronson-lighters.html

Ronson went on to refine their design with the Banjo lighter in 1926. Developed in New Jersey, USA, the Ronson Banjo was a huge success thanks to its simple usability and attractive design.

The world’s first automatic pocket lighter, the Ronson Banjo required only the press of a button to generate the flame.

It cost $5.00 at the time, but mint condition versions are worth many hundreds today as collectables.

 

 

1933 – THE FIRST ZIPPO LIGHTER

Inventor George G. Blaisdell introduced what would become the world’s most famous lighter in 1933. The design of the original Zippo proved so popular that it is still popular today, with only small changes.

Early Zippos were made of brass; however, during the Second World War they were manufactured from black crackle steel due to metal shortages. Zippos during wartime were commonly emblazoned with unit crests and other military symbols, a trend which is still popular today.

1945-55 – POST-WAR ZIPPOS BECOME AN ART-FORM

The inner mechanisms of Zippo lighters have barely changed since their introduction; however, following the Second World War, they developed into a popular fashion accessory with a huge variety of artistic designs and metals used.

The Zippo quickly became a cultural icon and was widely used in movies, television and advertising. Even today, vintage designs (such as the Venetian brass model pictured) are hugely popular with collectors.

 

1955-75 – ZIPPO & THE VIETNAM WAR

The Zippo lighter developed into a symbol of the American armed forces during the twenty years of the Vietnam War.

American soldiers fighting in Vietnam would often have their Zippo lighters engraved with a variety of personal mottos, slogans, icons and individual designs, commonly reflecting the emotions, beliefs and values of the soldiers themselves during the now infamous conflict.

Vietnam war lighters are now valuable collectors’ items, some fetching huge amounts in auctions.

1962 – PIEZOELECTRIC LIGHTER

The piezoelectric lighter was introduced in the 1960s and was developed as an alternative to fuel burning lighters. Instead of a naked flame, the mechanism here used a small, springloaded hammer to hit a quartz crystal. This created voltage when deformed, resulting in an electrical discharge, which served as the ignition.

While still in use today, the piezoelectric lighter’s popularity was relatively short lived, fading out of mainstream use during the 1970s. While not used by smokers, variants of this technology remain in use for more practical purposes such as barbecue lighting.

1973 – THE BIC DISPOSABLE LIGHTER

Bic introduced a new disposable variety of lighter in 1973 with the intention of rivaling the popular but relatively expensive metal cased Zippos at the time. Typically, the cheapest lighter on the market, the Bic disposable lighter was extremely popular and remains widely used to this day.

While lacking the artistic or fashion appeal of the Zippo, disposable lighters were perfect for a fast-moving, money conscious society, as they did not require refills and could be easily discarded.

SO, WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE LIGHTER?

Despite the recent decrease in the number of smokers in both the UK and the USA, traditional lighters have managed to maintain popularity.

This is thanks in part to their status as a fashion accessory alongside its practical uses. To capitalise on this, Zippo’s brand has expanded in recent years to include a whole range of apparel, accessories and other gadgets. This is not dissimilar to the expansion made by Harley Davidson Motorcycles, who to this day are a significant fashion brand, as well as motorcycle manufacturer.

It’s unsurprising, then, that Harley Davidson and Zippo have collaborated to produce some of the most iconic and popular examples in the Zippo range.

We believe classic metal lighters have a brighter future than disposable varieties due to their long lifespan, individuality and vintage appeal. Of course, only time will tell…

 

A Pair of Manhattan Pipe Advertisements


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have collected Manhattan Pipes. I think I have 4-5 of them in my collection. They are well made and have a lot of charm to them. The shaping and finishing is almost European in its craftsmanship. Some of the pipes have Bakelite stems and some have vulcanite but all are good smoking pipes. When these leaflets were posted on the Pipe Club of Brasil Facebook Group by Victor C. Naddeo who is the Administrator of that group I snagged a copy of them. They provide some of the background history that is hard to find on these pipes so I wanted to preserve it on rebornpipes. The advertisement and the shape chart are great additions to my historical documents section on the blog. I enjoy reading the descriptions that are used in these old pipe advertisement pieces. The descriptions and prices take me back in time and give me a surge of nostalgia. Thank you Victor for posting this and the other booklets that you have been sharing. I am really enjoying the current batch of posts that you are putting on the Pipe Club Brasil Group. I invite others to check out the group on Facebook. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001391469961131/

KB&B Kaufmann Bros. & Bondy Inc. – The Truth About Briar Pipes Booklet


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another booklet that was posted on the Pipe Club of Brasil Facebook Group by Victor C. Naddeo who is the Administrator of that group. Over the past month he has posted some interesting pieces of pipe memorabilia. He posted this KB&B Truth About Briar Pipes booklet yesterday and I had to share with you all and preserve it on rebornpipes. In this case not only do I like old documents but I also really like old KB&B pipes and have quite a number in my own collection. I enjoy reading the descriptions that are used in these old pipe advertisement pieces. The descriptions and prices take me back in time and give me a surge of nostalgia. Thank you Victor for posting this and the other booklets that you have been sharing. I am really enjoying the current batch of posts that you are putting on the Pipe Club Brasil Group. I invite others to check out the group on Facebook. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001391469961131/

A Charatan Pipe Booklet


Blog by Steve Laug

This booklet was also posted on the Pipe Club of Brasil Facebook Group by Victor C. Naddeo who is the Administrator of that group. Over the past month he has posted some interesting pieces of pipe memorabilia. He posted this older Charatan booklet yesterday and I had to share with you all and preserve it on rebornpipes. As I have said repeatedly, I enjoy reading the descriptions that are used in these old pipe advertisement pieces. The descriptions and prices take me back in time and give me a surge of nostalgia. Thank you Victor for sending me these photos. I am really enjoying the current batch of posts that you are putting on the Pipe Club Brasil Group. I invite others to check out the group on Facebook. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001391469961131/

The BBB English Pipe Book


Blog by Steve Laug

I have followed several of the pipe groups on Facebook for some time now. One of the groups I follow is the Pipe Club of Brasil. Victor C. Naddeo is the Administrator of that group and often posts some interesting pieces of pipe memorabilia. Over the past several days he has been posting some older pipe brochures and catalogues pages that he has found. Last evening we were chatting on Messenger and found that we share a common love for BBB pipes and pipe restoration as well. He sent me some photos of another BBB brochure and I had to share with you all and preserve it on rebornpipes. Once again, I enjoy reading the descriptions that are used in these old pipe advertisement pieces. The descriptions and prices take me back in time and give me a surge of nostalgia. Thank you Victor for sending me these photos. I am really enjoying the current batch of posts that you are putting on the Pipe Club Brasil Group. I invite others to check out the group on Facebook. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001391469961131/