Category Archives: Pipe Related Essays

Short and not so short essays on pipes and tobacciana

An Old Sealed Package of Eight Brothers Long Cut Tobacco


Blog Steve Laug

I was visiting my brother in Idaho and we went pipe hunting to see what we could find in the various antique shops and malls near by his home. One of the places we went was closing and they had some junk pipes for sale, a boxed set of bowls for a Koolsmoke metal pipe and a few tobacco tins that they were trying to sell out before the shop closed forever. Everything was 50% off so I was hooked to do a bit of looking at things I don’t normally buy. I picked up the Koolsmoke pipe bowls, an old tobacco tin the read Allen & Ginter’s Genuine Louisiana Perique, Made in Richmond, Virginia on the top and sides and a cellophane sealed pouch of Eight Brothers Long Cut Tobacco. I have seen the brand advertised before and I have seen it sold back in my early years or so I thought! I have no idea what it is or what tobacco is in the pouch. I don’t know if it was a Virginia, Burley or even a Latakia. I can’t seem to find any information on the contents of the tobacco. I decided to do a bit of research and see what I could find out about the brand.

I started my search on Google with the name “Eight Brothers Long Cut Tobacco”. I found lots of empty tins for sale and thought that was a dead end. But it was not! I started to notice that the tins had different company names printed on them. Some were marked Swisher International Inc., others were marked Schmitt Brothers Tobacco Works, Penn Tobacco Company, Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company, Helme Tobacco Company, General Cigar & Tobacco Company and also Culbro Co. I had no idea of the historical line of the brand and where it started. I did not know which company came first and which came next, etc. I just new that the package I found read General Cigar & Tobacco Co. a Division of Culbro Corporation. So my work was cut out for me.

Here is what I found. (Throughout this blog I will use pictures I found on the web for this tobacco. The tins show the various iterations of the tobacco through various manufacturers.)

On the US Trademark website (http://www.trademarkia.com/eight-brothers-71539750.html) I found out that the brand was first owned by Swisher International, Inc. (Helme Tobacco Company). Here is what I read on the site: On Friday, October 31, 1947, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for EIGHT BROTHERS by Swisher International, Inc., JACKSONVILLE 32206. The USPTO has given the EIGHT BROTHERS trademark serial number of 71539750. The current federal status of this trademark filing is EXPIRED. The correspondent listed for EIGHT BROTHERS is JUDITH D. COHEN of KANE, DALSIMER, SULLIVAN, KURUCZ, LEVY,, EISELE AND RICHARD, 711 THIRD AVENUE, 20TH FLOOR NEW YORK, N. Y. 10017 . The EIGHT BROTHERS trademark is filed in the category of Rubber Products . The description provided to the USPTO for EIGHT BROTHERS is SMOKING AND CHEWING TOBACCO.

It seems that the blend was sold to Schmitt Brothers Tobacco Works. This was an independent tobacco manufacturer, which was later bought by the Penn Tobacco Company of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Tins were printed Penn Tobacco Company during that time frame. In the photo below it reads Penn Tobacco Company and underneath it reads Successors to Schmitt Brothers Tobacco Works.I also found one that was printed Bloch Brothers Tobacco. From what I could find out on the web Bloch Brothers purchased the brand from Penn Tobacco Company and moved it to Wheeling, West Virginia. The tin below bears the name of Bloch Brothers and underneath reads Successors to Penn Tobacco Co.In 1969 Bloch Brothers/Penn Tobacco Co was sold to the General Cigar and Tobacco Company, which became a division of Culbro in 1978. The tin below is printed with the name General Cigar & Tobacco Co. I did some reading on the Culbro Company. Here is a link to the their website and specifically to the section on their history. http://www.culbro.com/about-us/our-history.html

Quoting from their site:

The Cullman family has a long history in all parts of the cigar industry. In 1961, Edgar Cullman, Sr., son of a tobacco grower and grandson of a tobacco merchant, entered the business of cigar manufacturing with the purchase of General Cigar, then a large maker of mass market cigars in the US. Under Edgar’s leadership, General Cigar entered the premium cigar industry and over time became the largest manufacturer and marketer of premium cigars in the US. Its leading brands include Macanudo, Partagas, Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey.

The cigar business was the core of General Cigar, but in the 1970s and 1980s, as cigars were experiencing declining consumption, the company diversified its holdings and changed its name to Culbro Corporation. During those years, it acquired, managed and sold a large number of businesses including Ex-Lax, a laxative maker, Bachman Foods, a snack food company, The Eli Witt Company, a wholesale distributor, Centaur Communications, a publishing company, CMS Gilbreth Packaging Systems, a manufacturer of packaging and labeling systems, and Bermas Plastics, a plastic cigar tip manufacturer. Culbro Corporation also formed a real estate development corporation which, when combined with Imperial Nurseries, ultimately became Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc. and invested in HF, which subsequently became Doral Financial Corporation. Both of these companies were public spin-offs.

In 1997, when interest in cigars had resumed, Culbro once again took General Cigar public and split off the other businesses. A few years later, public markets lost interest in cigars, and General Cigar went private with the assistance of Swedish Match, a multiline tobacco business. Five years later Swedish Match acquired the whole business.

Culbro, LLC was formed in 2005 to bring the financial and operating experience of acquiring and managing businesses to bear in the private equity industry.

The label on my package is printed with the General Cigar & Tobacco Co. of Wheeling, West Virgina label. I know then that tobacco was manufactured between the dates noted above 1961-1969. 1969 was the date when Bloch Brothers Tobacco Co./Penn Tobacco Co. sold the brand to General Cigar & Tobacco. The other article note is that in 1961 Edgar Cullman, Sr. of Culbro Co. purchased General Cigar and tobacco. I believe that the package I have was made sometime during the 1960s (1961-1969).

A cellophane sealed Yellow Eight Brothers Tobacco package. Black print reads “Eight/Brothers/Mild Smoke/8 Brothers” over a circle that reads “ Mild Smoke on the top of the circle and “Pleasant Chew” on the underside. I the centre is an 8 over the word BROTHERS. Underneath the circle it reads “Long Cut Tobacco”. Both front and back are the same. On one side it reads “General Cigar & Tobacco Co.” with the following address: Wheeling, West Virginia. Underneath it has a CULBRO logo and reads “A Division of Culbro Corporation. On the other side it reads  “Union Made” and has a bar code.Now I have a decision in front of me – do I open the pouch and fire up a bowl or do I leave it as a historical pouch from 50+ years ago. What do you think?

A friend on the Gentlemen’s Pipe Smoking Group on FaceBook posted the following link for more information. https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/549 What follows is an interesting addition to the above information.

“Jesse Bloch was president of the company from 1937 to 1947. During his tenure, the company expanded by acquiring the Pollack Crown stogie and the Penn Tobacco Company. Jesse’s son, Thomas, continued as head of the company, adding the firm of Christian Peper Tobacco Company and its line of pipe tobacco products to the mixtures being made in Wheeling. Bloch Brothers was sold in 1969 to the General Cigar and Tobacco Company, which became a division of Culbro in 1978. The company was acquired by the Helme Tobacco Company in 1983 and now uses the name Swisher International. Mail Pouch, described by tobacco chewers as drier and not as sweet as some other chewing tobaccos, remains a popular product.”

 

 

 Coming home to an amazing surprise


Blog by Steve Laug

I was in India and Nepal for work through most of the month of January returning to Canada on the first of February. While I was traveling, I got an email from a woman in Ontario, Canada saying that she was the daughter of a fellow pipe smoker and an Anglican minister that I had talked to over the years. I knew him as Fr. Dave (his online name). Her father and I had many conversations over the years about our common work and love of pipes. We emailed, chatted on the forums and shared phone conversations. I had repaired, refurbished and sold quite a few of his pipes over the years for the benefit of an online forum that we both frequented and where we had met. I have several pipes in my collection that were gifts from David and whenever I smoke them, I think of him and our conversation.

I knew that he had struggled for a long time with a degenerative spinal disease and other health issues. I had not talked to him for some time. The last time we spoke, he let me know that he was coming near the end of his life. We had enjoyed a good conversation, laughed and reflected on the brevity of our lives together. We said good-bye but I had no idea that it would be the last of our conversations. The email from his daughter informed me that she was cleaning up his estate and that he had specified that the last box of his pipes should go to me because I would do what was necessary for them to be usable. She wanted to know if I wanted them. She was uncertain as to what they were in terms of brand other than they were probably his personal smokers. She did not know if they were worth anything or if I would even want them.

When I received his daughter’s email, it saddened me that David was gone. I knew that his struggle had been long and painful and now that it was over. I was glad for him regarding that and because of our common hope, I looked forward to the day that we would connect once again. I wrote back to her from Kathmandu, Nepal and thanked her for her email. I passed on my condolences regarding her dad and sent my regards to her mom. I let her know that it was an honor to have the opportunity take her father’s pipes. I would gladly do whatever it took to make sure that they would continue to be used by pipe smokers.

I received another email from her while I was in Hong Kong waiting for a connector flight back to Vancouver that the package had been shipped. She said that surprisingly the box had over 60 pipes in it. From my calculations, I figured that the package and I would arrive in Vancouver at roughly the same time. She asked that I let her know once it arrived and what I thought about the contents. Now my curiosity was peeked. I could not wait until I got home. I had to wait 11 hours for the connecting flight in Hong Kong and then another 11+ hour flight to Vancouver before I would see the box. I was excited to see what she had sent me.

I am sure I am probably strange, but during that time I mulled over what I thought might be in the box she sent. I had worked on enough of David’s pipes over the years that I had some ideas. I knew that in the later years he has smoked small pipes that were lightweight and easy to clench or hold. I knew that these would probably be small. I had no idea with regard to brand or shapes might be in the assortment she had sent. I knew that whatever was there I was in for a treat when I unpacked it and reflected on David and our talks. It made my wait and the trip go by much quicker.

I took a cab from the airport home and my daughter met me at the door. The rest of the family was at work for a few more hours. The first thing she said after our greetings was that I had a package on the dining room table. I put my bags aside and went to look at the box. It was from David’s daughter. It was far bigger than I expected from our emails. It was a computer paper box about 10×12 inches wide and long and 12 inches tall. I carried it into the living room and opened it with a knife. When I took the lid off the box I was really surprised. She had packed the box full with pipes. Each pipe was individually wrapped with paper towels so I had no idea what was hidden inside them. There were also two books and a plastic box in the top of the package. I took these out first. They are shown in the photo below.remembranceThe books were the Perfect Smoke by Fred Hanna and Pimo’s Guide to Pipe Crafting at home. There were three pipe rests – two made of pieces of leather and one a wrapped iron contraption. I opened the plastic box and inside were a few surprises. There were pipe stems and parts for a Lepeltier ceramic pipe. There were envelopes of powdered alcohol based stains. There were two pipe reamers – a Castleford and a Senior Reamer. There was a needle file and a dowel with sandpaper. The last item was a tube of pipe stem polish from Savinelli. There were also four pipe bowls and some stems. They were apart so I had no idea if they went together. I sorted through the stems and found that all had stems. This must have been David’s workbox because all of them had been reamed and cleaned. All of them were small Peterson’s pipes.

Now I was curious as to what the rest of the box held. I carefully unwrapped each paper towel covered package and made a pile of the pipes. I counted the pipes as I unwrapped them and put them in the pile. I was like a kid opening his Christmas presents. Each new package revealed another beauty and my daughter laughed as she heard my ooohs and ahhhs. The pipes were all quite diminutive. Many were brands I had heard of but even among those were lines I had not heard of and shapes that I had not seen before. Some brands were new to me while others I had heard of but had not seen before. The pile of paper towels and the pile of pipe both grew as I unwrapped each pipe. When I was finished, there were seventy-three pipes in the pile.

I sorted the pipes into piles for each of the brands that were present. The first pile included forty-three Peterson’s pipes and pipe socks. The photo below shows the assortment of shapes – princes, billiards, apples, pots, bulldogs, Canadians, Lovats, Zulus and system pipes. There was a Pete Meerschaum, a barrel and a tankard. All were in decent shape and would be easy cleanups. I was surprised at this lot.

Here is a cursory list of the stampings: Shamrock, Kapruf, Aran, Kilarney, Sterling Silver, Kapet, Kildare, Wicklow, Flame Grain, Galway, System, Donegal Rocky, Emerald, Barrel, Premier, Tankard, Special, Sports, Dublin 2, Dublin 3 and Meerschaum.remembrance1There were five Brigham pipes of different shapes and bearing different numbers of dots. There was a 2 Dot Lovat, a 1 Dot Prince, a ¼ bent 1 Dot Dublin, a straight 2 Dot Bulldog and a Sportsman 5 Dot bent Dublin. I have worked on a lot of Brigham pipes over the years but I do not know enough about them to be able to identify the era of the pipes but Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes is my go to guy for that kind of information. I will be contacting him with the stamping on each one and try to gather more information on them.remembrance2There was a Trypis semi rusticated bent billiard with original box and pamphlet. That would be a fun historical piece to clean up and restore.remembrance3There was an old clay pipe that was darkened and worn looking. I can see markings on the shank and the bowl that were cast into the clay. The pipe should clean up nicely and give me a chance to play around with a method of cleaning old clays that I have read about and wanted to try out.remembrance5The next photo shows the remainder of the pipes. They were a mix of brands and shape – from basket pipes to English Made to hand made Danish. Before I list them for you see how many you can identify from the photo. There are some nice old pipes in the lot that should clean up nicely.remembrance4How did you do in your identification? I will give you the brand names in no particular order and see if you can match them to the photo and also see how you did.  Here is the list: Missouri Meerchaum Spool, London Made Lovat, Royal Prince British Made Billiard, Chateau Bruyere Sandblast Prince, Radiator Apple, Royal Captain Apple, Corvette Bent Dublin, Goldstar Holiday Rustic, Kiko Pigskin Safari 343, Irish Second Bent Dublin, SC Special 18 Filter Billiard, WO Larsen Handmade Super Tan 65 Brandy, Mackenzie LeBaron Bent Dublin, Bent Billiard no name Meerschaum, Premier Deluxe Bent Billiard, Dr. Grabow Omega, Kiko Meerschaum Prince, Elsinor ¼ bent Dublin, No name Sandblast Volcano sitter, Coronation Meerschaum lined Bulldog, Croydon Bent Billiard, Ropp Supreme Cherrywood, Ross Arundel England 37 Lovat.

This is one of those occasions where I was able to remember a lot of my conversations and correspondence with David. It brought a mixture of gratitude for his kindness in thinking of me with these pipes and of sadness that our conversations would be no more. In the months ahead as I clean up the pipes and post them on the blog I will try to include some of those memories in the write ups.

Rest in Peace David, I suppose I can say that I will see you one day in the not too distant future as the years roll by for me. I lift a bowl of nice Virginia tobacco in your memory in a pipe you gave me and pause to think of you and give thanks. Thank you also to your daughter for following up on your wishes.

When he opened the Sterling Hall Hand Made Pipe box I did not see what I expected


Blog by Steve Laug

Sometimes you are hunting for pipes in antique shops, antique malls or even thrift shops when you come on a box like the one below. I don’t know about you but my first reaction when I see a box like this one is to walk away. I have found that they are often empty or at best holding worn out pipe that is cracked, chewed or both and certainly one I don’t want. Well I have tried to instill that habit in my brother but he is a better hunter than me! He opens the boxes to see what is in them. Now, understand, I used to do that but I have gotten jaded over the years of finding next to nothing or worse in these old pipe boxes. He opened this one and found something he was not expecting. When he showed me the box on Facetime I fully expected it to be useless even though he assured me I would be surprised.sh1He opened the box and showed me what was inside – well it was not a Sterling Hall Hand Made nor was it a useless worn out pipe. Instead it was a WDC Wellington that through the camera looked remarkably good. The finish looked good, the stem looked good, the nickel ferrule looked good. I was hooked. Okay so it is a Wellington I said – we have cleaned up quite a few of these system style pipes so I was still not that impressed. It so far appeared to be a nice looking old pipe in the wrong box. Heck, there was even a Sterling Hall pipe sock in the box along with the pamphlet included with every Sterling Hall pipe.sh2 sh3 sh4He just laughed and held the pipe up to the camera and rotated it from side to side so I could see the grain and the stem. It looked really good. The grain on both sides was nice and from the front and the back it also looked good. The stem was shiny black and bore the WDC in a triangle under the Wellington logo on the topside. In fact it appeared to be almost flawless but I still felt that there was something that he was not telling me. What was it with this Wellington pipe he had found in the Sterling Hall box?sh5Finally he turned the pipe bowl toward me. The bowl was unsmoked! It was unsmoked and clean! It was not worn or damaged or…. You know that feeling when you are looking at a New Old Stock (NOS) pipe? Yes he had found a new unsmoked old stock WDC Wellington in flawless condition. The fact that it had been kept in the wrong box had probably preserved it. There was no oxidation on the stem and it was like the day it had left the WDC factory.sh6I honestly could not believe my eyes. I don’t think I have ever seen a unsmoked new Wellington in my life. It was a first for me and I have to guess that it will probably be the only one that I ever see. He shipped it to me in the last shipment of pipes and I took the pictures above to let you see what I saw when it arrived. I have also included photos of the brochure that was in the Sterling Hall box for your reading enjoyment. Look at the prices of the pipes and quaint descriptions of how to break in and care for a pipe. Look also at the variety of shapes that were available in the Sterling Hall line. These pipes were made by Briarcraft in New York and were one of their higher grade lines. Enjoy the read and thanks for walking with me in the unveiling of this pipe hunt find!sh7 sh8 sh9 sh10

I was gifted an ugly pipe by a good friend.


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have been the recipient of quite a few gift pipes. Some of them have been pipes that I had previously given away and that came home to me like one I had given to Mike Leverette many years ago. Others were gifts from friends who saw a pipe that they thought I would like and picked it up for me. Those pipes were just right and always came with a ready story attached. Besides pipes like those mentioned above I have also received pipes from my daughters as presents over the years. Those come with a special kind of love attached that exceeds the value of the pipe. Those too have been just right. These kinds of gifts are ones that speak their story to me every time I pick them up for a bowl. Each one reminds me of the giver and the circumstances of the gift.

Yesterday all of that gift goodness radically changed for me. There is no doubt that this gift will also always have a story attached but it will always be one that causes me to laugh when I pick it up. Ahhh, I am getting ahead of myself with my story. Let’s begin at the beginning as my daughters used to say when I read them stories as little ones. This story begins with a friend, Dallas coming by my office so that we go to lunch. We try to get together and have lunch and often share a bowl together at least monthly when I am in the town.  We always have a great time and some great conversation.

Off and on he has brought pipes for me to repair or I have brought pipes I thought he might be interested in that I have repaired. Well, yesterday he out did me. He came to my office and said he had a gift for me if I wanted it. The “if I wanted it” should have been a clue. He reached into the pocket of his coat and took out his offering. He handed me a Glad Sandwich Bag. He opened the bag and took a pipe and lighter combination out and handed it to me. The pipe and lighter we covered with a patterned paper or vinyl that was downright ugly. He laughed and said that someone had gifted him with it and he was passing it on to me. We had a good laugh as I took it from him and turned it over in my hands. It was something that only he could have gotten away with without so much as a smirk or a laugh as he came through the door. It is certainly a gift that I won’t forget and it will have that story attached to it.

We went and enjoyed a great lunch and conversation and I took the pipe home from the office with me that evening. My daughters cracked up laughing when they saw it and one of them even said they kind of liked it. I took some photos to share with all of you. I don’t think that this is a pipe that I will ever smoke but it is certainly unique.bling1 bling2The pipe is made wood and appears to be pear wood or some other hardwood. It is very light weight and is light coloured. The bowl has a metal insert in it that has five holes in the bottom of the bowl. It extends probably half way down the inside of the wood pipe. It is the kind of bowl I have seen in cheaper Chinese knockoff pipes. I am pretty certain it was crafted for smoking something other than tobacco.bling3The photos show that the pipe is covered with what looks like wallpaper or even gift wrap. It is even uglier in person than it is in the photos. The paper covers the bowl leaving a small ring of wood around the end of the shank. It is also wrapped around the stem leaving the end of the stem uncovered. The wallpaper/gift wrap comes up to what would have normally been a button on the stem. The entire surface of the pipe is covered with a heavy coat of urethane or some kind of shiny plastic coat. The end of the stem was painted with black shiny paint and a coat of urethane to protect it. The lighter sports a matching covering and is just as shiny. It is a cheap plastic butane lighter. I would be afraid to fill it and strike it for fear of it melting in my hand.bling4I decided to explore the pipe a bit so I took the stem off to have a look. There was a metal stinger apparatus/filter tenon inserted in the stem. The whole apparatus functioned as the tenon. Inside the shank the mortise was polished. The fit of the stem to the shank was off slightly because of the paint and urethane that covered the shank and stem end.bling5Over all it is one weird-looking pipe. Thanks Dallas for this one. It has changed the way I look at gift pipes. I am already thinking about who I will pass it on to. Maybe it will be a gag gift one day. I can say this with some certainty it is a pipe that is destined to be passed on again.

A Great Day Pipe Hunting in Southern Alberta


Blog by Steve Laug

Whenever I am traveling I try to fit in some time, no matter how short to do a bit of hunting for pipes and pipe accessories. My last trip to Alberta earlier this week was no exception. My friend John and I went on the prowl on Monday to see what we could find. In the past I have had good hunting in Nanton and in Airdrie, Alberta. So we planned our hunt for those two cities. The photo below shows the success of the haul. In the paragraphs that follow I will talk about each pipe that I found.huntWe headed to Nanton first, a small Southern Alberta town south of Calgary. The community has developed into a place known for antiques with quite a few antique shops along its two main streets. We parked the car and began the hunt. I always get a bit of an adrenaline rush when I am looking for pipes. There is always that niggling sense that I may find something really amazing that will top the scores I have found over the years – an older Dunhill or Sasieni pipe or the like. So I am gnawing at the bit to see what I can find. I tend to move quickly through a shop looking at the various displays or I ask the shop keep if there are any pipes in the store… kind of depends on my mood as you will see in the descriptions of our hunt.

We went into the first shop, a combination Ice Cream, Candy Shop and Antique store. It always has a lot of tobacco tins and pipe racks that are worth a look. John found a nice two pipe rack for his garage smoking area. It was in great shape and since all the antiques in the store were being sold at half of the price tag the little rack cost him only $5 and change. You can see that it was an easy decision to make to buy it. He settled up and took his pipe rack with him.

We walked down the street and crossed to the other side where the second shop was located. In the past I have picked up some nice pipes from that shop. This time was going to be the same. I found the bent pipe in the case shown in the photo above. It is stamped Celtic over Made in France on the left side of the shank. On the right it is stamped 268 which I am pretty sure is a Comoy’s shape number. It is a well made pipe with a sterling silver band. The tag on it read $35 but since the case did not really match the pipe I made the shop keeper an offer – the pipe, case and the random stem that was on the shelf for the $35 original price he had on just pipe and case. He nodded his approval and after a few shared stories we left his shop. Now both of us had our first finds of the day.

We moved down the street a few doors and opened the door to the crowded third shop. We made our way to the counter to see what kind of pipes might dwell in the midst of the all the collectibles that filled the narrow aisles of the small shop. I asked the clerk at the checkout counter, who ended up being the owner, if she had any pipes. She handed me a mug with some pipes in it. I laid it on the counter and had a look – there was a Grabow pipe that was in rough shape, a Missouri Meerschaum Cob and a worn Falcon that were all overpriced. I mentioned that to her but she was not interested as they were on consignment. I handed the mug back to her and was getting ready to leave when she reached to the side of the counter and lifted a cased pipe from a shelf. It was in a nice black leather case with a dark blue lining. On the inside of the case top there was a GBD in an oval logo over Speciale in stamped in gold. The bowl in the case also bore the same stamping. It sported an oxidized silver band. The stem was missing and the clerk told us the sad story of how someone had stolen the amber stem and left the pipe behind. It was marked at $35 but since the stem was missing I asked her what her best price was for the pipe. She let it go for $25 and said to have fun fitting a new stem on the bowl. I added my second pipe to my hunt kit.

We walked to the corner of the main street and turned left. On the left side of the street was the fourth antique shop. We opened the door and went inside. Immediately inside the door on our right was a display case that held quite a few pipes. There were clay pipes, corncobs, Falcons and Dr. Grabows. In the midst of them were the two that I chose from the lot to add to the hunting kit. The first is shown in the first column of the photo above. It is the second pipe on the left side. It was a Kirsten K pipe. It was in decent shape though the end cap on the barrel is stuck in place. The stem has a gasket/O-ring so it is a newer one. The second one is the amber stemmed bulldog with the over clocked stem. It too has a silver band that is stamped with hallmarks and AF in a lozenge. On the left side of the shank it is stamped with the letters CNO stacked together so that the C encircles the other letters. Above that it is stamped with a crown. She let the two pipes go for $50. I added these two finds to my hunt kit. Nanton was turning out to be a great place for finding pipes this trip. I had added four pipes to my lot for an average of $25 a pipe and had a random stem and two pipe cases. Not bad for a morning’s hunting.

We left Nanton after visiting one other shop along the street with no additional purchases. We drove north toward Airdrie, Alberta and a large antique mall on the west side of the highway north of Calgary. When we got there we parked and pushed the door open to enter a typical antique mall with lots of stalls, sellers and locked cabinets. This was the type of place that really required almost two walk throughs – the first to scope out the place for pipes and the second with the clerk and his keys to have a look at the pipes that we had scoped out.

The last time I was there I had picked up some nice Peterson pipes and GBDs. So John and I went to the first cabinet where I had previously found the Petes and found an assortment of pipes. The only one that caught my eye was the first one in the right hand column of the photo above. It is stamped with the words Twin Bore over Bite Proof on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the typical Comoy’s COM stamp – Made in England in a circle with the “in” central. The stem is a twin bore. I am pretty sure that it is a Comoy’s Made pipe. It was priced at $20.

We wandered through the aisles of the shop and looked at some nice pipes that were seriously overpriced and left no margin for reselling them after they were refurbished. So I left them behind. One of the cases had a nice older 3 dot Canadian Brigham that was marked Display not for Sale. It would have been a nice addition but the seller of that booth was out of the country. Wandering through the rest of the mall we saw a lot of standard antique mall pipes – Dr. Grabows, Tourist pipes, corncob and Chinese made pipes with metal bowls masquerading as old pipes. I had almost given up and called it a day. I began to make my way to the counter to pay for the Twin Bore when in the last case we looked at before the counter I found a nice little Wally Frank Lovat. It is the last pipe on the right hand column in the above photo. It has an interesting combination finish of rustication and smooth areas around the circumference of the bowl. It was marked at $12 so it was a deal. I left the shop with two more pipes at a cost of $32.

With the new additions to the hunt kit I had found six pipes for a price of $137 or $23 per pipe. Not too bad a haul or price for the finds of the day. It was a great day with John. We headed back to Calgary and his home. We relaxed over a great meal of chicken fajitas with guacamole, cheese, salsa, peppers and sour cream on flour tortillas. This was a perfect end to a great day hunting.

A Good Day Hunting Orchestrated Between British Columbia and Idaho


Blog by Steve Laug

About a week ago I received a call from Gene, a gentleman that my brother Jeff and I visited when I was down in Idaho. We had purchased a large lot of pipes from him that I have begun to clean up and restore. He had purchased a batch of 37 pipes as an estate from an old customer of his when he had his Pipe and Tobacco Shop. He was trying to get a hold of my brother to arrange a time when they could meet and Jeff could look over the pipes. I asked him to send me a picture of the pipes he was talking about. He said that he wanted to pick through them himself so not all of them would be for sale. The photo below shows the 37 pipes that he had purchased. I sent the photo and the fellow’s contact information to my brother. They arranged to meet to go through the pipes the next Friday.pipehunt1My brother drove to his home and spent a couple of hours with him over a cup of coffee talking pipes. He had a great time with Gene and ended up buying 16 pipes that day. On his way home he also stopped by an antique shop and picked up four more pipes they are shown from various angles in the photos below. He also picked up an interesting older porcelain tobacco jar at one of the antique shops on his journey. The jar is visible in the photos below.

The pipes he found are shown in the photos below. In the first column on the left are three pipes: the top one is a Charatan’s Make Canadian Sandblast 0121, the second is a four dot Sasieni Pembroke with a patent number, Pat.No. 150221/20, the third at the bottom with the rusticated bent bowl and the Lucite shank extension is an Estella by Savinelli that is stamped Nonpareil 9606. The second column from the left contains: first a Savinelli Dry System 2101 military bit billiard, second a GBD Midnight 788, and a Stanwell Antique Bulldog 156 with the wrong stem. The third column from the left has another Savinelli Dry System bent billiard 26, followed by a GBD New Standard 9438 Rhodesian, followed by an old CPF Best Make Bulldog with an amber stem. The fourth column has just two pipes a bent Gefapip Giant bent billiard 2SM and a Winslow Viking with the wrong stem. The fifth column shows a stemless Rungsted Mariner bowl made by Preben Holm, a Savinelli Roma 111KS and a Stanwell made Danish Star 64. pipehunt2In the next photo the last two columns toward the right are shown. From the top of the colulmn next to the Rungsted Mariner there is a Savinelli Punto Oro Mr. G.606KS, Comoys MG 184, a Stanwell Antique 56 Canadian and a GBD Prodigee Hand Hewn bent billiard 1526. The last column includes a Dunhill Bruyere Canadian EC 4R and a Jost’s Supreme Diamond Shank bent billiard.pipehunt3pipehunt4The four pipes that came from the antique shops were by far the most prestigious of the finds. These included the Charatan’s Make Canadian Sandblast 0121, the four dot Sasieni Pembroke with a patent number, Pat.No. 150221/20, the Dunhill Bruyere Canadian EC 4R and a Jost’s Supreme Diamond Shank bent billiard. The rest of the pipes are also nice additions that came from the meeting with Gene. I had to laugh last evening when I talked with him; he was just talking about hoping that he would one day find a Dunhill. Now, when he was cleaning up the pipes he found he was looking at the stamping and about fell over – the elusive Dunhill was in his hands and he had paid only $8 for it. This is the kind of find that pipe hunters live for! pipehunt5I can only say that my brother had an amazing day pipe hunting. The only thing that would have made the day better would have been to be able to accompany him on the hunt. The caliber of the pipes he found is excellent. The ones he walked away from included more standard finds – Grabows and Medicos and pipes with cracked bowls. And to cap the day he had found three stellar collectibles – a Charatan’s Make sandblast Canadian, a Sasieni Four Dot Pembroke and a Dunhill Bruyere EC Canadian. Not bad finds for a day of pipe hunting!

A Great Night with the Saints & Sinners Pipe and Cigar Club in Calgary, Alberta


Blog by Steve Laug

I just returned from a trip to Calgary, Alberta to visit my friend John. I stayed with him and his family for the weekend. On Sunday evening, October 1 I was invited by him to be a part of the pipe club that he started in the city. It rotates through the houses/garages/patios (you get the drift of how this mobile pipe club works). They meet on the first Sunday night of each month and this month’s meeting was at John’s house. He has a great garage with a patio heater that keeps the cold at bay. We sat around a stack of tires with a plywood top that served as a table. Several of us brought tobacco along to share with the club and those were on the table along with the ashtray and a can for collecting the used matches. John and the gents use wooden matches by and large to light their pipes and cigars. Once the can is full the idea is to light it and have a bit of a “camp fire”.

The group is made up of a great bunch of guys from a variety of age groups. The youngest is 19 and the oldest that evening was me at 61. The rest fall across the spectrum of ages. The group is a motley assortment of realtors, engineers, college students, truck drivers, oil crane operators and ministers make for some delightful conversations. The majority of them all attend a church in Calgary called New City Church but there are others from communities around Calgary who share the love of the pipe and the cigar.

The night I visited the conversations around the circle ranged from politics to history, from pipes and tobaccos to cigars, from refurbishing to purchasing new pipes and where to order tobaccos and pipes online. The pipes sported by the members included Petersons, a churchwarden, Kaywoodies, Aldo Velanis, Gasparinis, Meerschaums, Todd Bannard BST pipes, and a Morta that I brought along. The meeting started at a little before 7pm and we shut down at 11pm. It was a quick four hours of great pipe fellowship and camaraderie.

Each member brss1ought along their pipe and tobaccos or some cigars for the evening. I brought along a bag of McClellands 5100 Virginia and a bag of Laudisi Back Down South, a broken Virginia flake, for them to sample and others shared tins of different tobaccos that they had brought. I was able to try Frog Morton in the Cellar for the first time and it was great. It is described on the tin as a mellow, fragrant Latakia blend aged with stave cubes cut from barrels used to mature and flavor Frog Morton’s own special whiskeys.

The room note in the garage was great and the air was blue with smoke. The air circulated out the garage door that was raised and lowered throughout the evening. Each of fellows who came brought along chips, cookies, pop and beverages of choice to share with the group. You will notice from the photo that we were dressed for the chill as fall had definitely come to Calgary. John stepped back and took this photo to show the group and neglected to get a shot of himself in the group. Members brought along pipes to show off and also pipes that they wanted to have repaired. Geoff Carmel is a member of the club and he is a great repair guy who does some amazing restorations that he shows on the Facebook Group – The Gentlemen’s Pipe Smoking Society.ss2Quite a few of the guys follow rebornpipes and had asked John to see if I would bring along an assortment of pipes for them to see and also purchase if they chose. John messaged me to bring along an assortment of pipes and to make sure that I included a churchwarden in the mix as one of them specifically asked for one. So I put together a group of pipes of different shapes, styles, finishes, brands and prices for them to see. Almost all of the club members are new pipe smokers so the eye candy that I brought along proved interesting to them. Over the course of the evening they browsed through the pipes, checking them out. The engineer in the midst removed the stems and checked the drilling and airflow. Others just looked over the finished and the feel of the pipe in the hand. I think every pipe was picked up several times over the evening. Finally they picked out their purchases, paid and loaded them with some of the tobacco samples on the table.ss3At the end of the evening we bid each other farewell with promises of keeping in touch. Several of the guys want to pick up a pipe next time I am in Calgary so it looks like I will be bringing pipes with me each visit that I can make it. I had a great evening with the club and enjoyed the flow of conversation and camaraderie that was a natural part of things. I can only say that if you are ever in Calgary, Alberta on the first Sunday evening of the month you would have a great time spending the evening with these guys. They are a welcoming bunch with big hearts and great conversation. Drop me an email if you are interested and I will connect you with them.