Tag Archives: Pipe and Tobacco historical documents

A Book Review – Pipes & Tobacco. A Bright and Interesting Discourse on Smokers by J. W. Cundall

Pipes and Tobacco CoverWhat attracted me to this book when I saw it on Briar Books Press was the press release that Gary Schrier posted on his website. It is a rather long opening to this review but I find that it is a great piece of writing and a simple summary of the book itself. There he wrote the following:

“What they were saying in 1901 about “Pipes and Tobacco. A Bright and Interesting Discourse on Smokers” by J. W. Cundall.Long 8vo. Cloth, 6d.”

“To-day. – Mr. J. W. Cundall has written a little volume which all lovers of the fragrant weed will read with interest and amusement. In addition to an account of the history of tobacco, and the science of it growing and blending, many entertaining anecdotes are related of famous smokers, and a large amount of odd information of use to smokers imparted. For a modest outlay of sixpence, at which price it is published, no devotee of ‘My Lady Nicotine’ need lack this latest appreciation of his goddess.”

“My how times have changed! That’s inflation for you. No longer sixpence, but then who other than Briar Books Press discovers such unusual, worthwhile, and most importantly, such entertaining literature for the pipe-smoking man. Hidden for over a century, this delightful gem is a look into our collective past for all the reasons smoking is such good medicine for the soul. Historical yet in many ways contemporary, Pipes and Tobacco is the smoking man’s guide to everything which is important to him. Author Cundall spins an entertaining read for the Englishman on so many of the topics of interest to him at the turn of the last century. From tobacco as a luxury and aid to meditation, to social smoking and as a medicinal aid, to soldiers and smoking, to poetry, to juvenile and royal smokers and smoking in parliament, to Smokiana and the Brotherhood of Smokedom, Cundall covers the subject concisely yet comprehensively. Peppered with quaint tobacco and briar-pipe advertisements, Pipes and Tobacco includes a never-before-divulged statement attesting to the origin of J. M. Barrie’s secret Arcadia mixture as written in his 1890’s novel My Lady Nicotine. A delightful and informative read that will leave you wanting for more.”

Who could resist that press bite and all for only $20USD. I ordered my copy and when it arrived sat down and read the short 103 pages with great interest.
As I often do with these reproductions of older books I turned through the pages to enjoy the layout and design before giving it a read. In this case the book is filled with lots of period advertisements for books and all assortments of items from that time. It also has great illustrations that are well worth the price of purchase in my mind. I am including a copy of the Table of Contents as I also read through that before proceeding with a general read of the book. I have grouped the topics of the chapters into related sections even though the author did not. Even before reading through a book in total I try to organize the flow of the book with a quick scan of the chapters. I look for the logic of the book and then section of the book to get an idea of the author’s direction and intent for his book. Below is a chart showing my grouping of chapters.Chapters The style of this book is very readable and timeless. Cundall’s use of language is clean and forthright and simple to read. It has some of the marks of its age such as punctuation and long sentences but the content flows very well. The design as a pocket-book full of advertisements from the time it was written give it a flavour of nostalgia that for me is refreshing and speaks to a time when things moved more slowly. I can easily see this book carried in a pipeman’s pocket and read on the train or in the evening over a pipe and drink in front of the fire. Schrier has done a great job in reprinting this old classic of pipedom.

I thought it would be helpful to a potential reader to give a quick summary of the sections that I noted above. I don’t do this to spoil the read as much as to give an idea of what you can look forward to when you pick up the book and read it for yourself.

FIRST SECTION (noted in red in the chart)

The author starts as many pipe books before and after him have started. He gives a quick overview of the history, cultivation and how the harvested tobacco is processed and delivered to smokers for use. There is nothing truly new or unique to this section but the style of writing makes it a quick overview or refresher for those who want to jog their memories of the early years and development of tobacco.

SECTION TWO (noted in green in the chart)

Cundall takes a slightly different tack than other writers on the subject have done. He acknowledges that tobacco is a luxury but one that is well worth spending your hard-earned money to procure. It provides enjoyment and community in a way that is out of proportion to its expense. To load a bowl of tobacco and enjoy a smoke enables one to be meditative and contemplative on the one hand but also invites the smoker into a society of smokers that is convivial and erudite. I include two quotes below that give an idea of his style of writing.

“All tobacco is good, only be careful to have only the best.” Page 44

“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher and shuts up the mouth of the foolish. It generates a style of conversation – contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent and unaffected.” Page 53

SECTION THREE (noted in black in the chart)

Cundall begins with the fact that there will always be opponents to pipes and tobacco. While it is vocal and comes from a broad spectrum of society it is contrary to the facts. While abuse and overuse of tobacco can cause physical ailments the facts are there that moderate tobacco use is beneficial. I find that this chapter sets the stage for the further sections of his book. It provides the justification of the remaining sections where he explores the use of tobacco within many settings by many different kinds of people. The quotes from medical and scientific authorities provides the rational base for his advocacy of moderate enjoyment of the pipe.

SECTION FOUR (noted in blue in the chart)

This section explores the spectrum of pipe smoking in the world of Cundall’s day. It could easily be developed by someone to include the use of the pipe in the world of our day. It covers the use of tobacco among the military, authors and poets, the politicians and royalty of his day. One of the charming features is his inclusion of a description of the Smoking Room in the House of Commons in Britain. He includes a chapter which advocates for withholding tobacco from youth until they come of age (when that is does not appear clear to me). However, it is an interesting read nonetheless. The section closes with a collection of quote regarding smoking from clergy, academics, doctors, scientists, politicians and writers that is intriguing. Each quote is singularly worth reading and reflecting on. He entitles it Smokiana – a phrase that he seems to have coined for his use.

CONCLUSION (noted in brown in the chart)

The chapter is entitled “The Brotherhood of Smokedom” and to me serves as the conclusion of the entire book. It is a concise statement of the pipe as an equalizer. Regardless of status or strata of society the pipe takes the smoker to the same place of enjoyment and satisfaction. It provides uncensored enjoyment to all who lift the bowl and sip the smoke. The quote below captures the focus of the chapter.

“When contented are not all men equal, and who can be other than contented with his pipe between his teeth and the tobacco glowing redly in the, whither it be Bird’s-eye or Returns, Shag of the mixture of Arcady.” Page 97

If you enjoy reading about your pipe and tobacco and the relaxation and pleasure that it gives then this is a book you should purchase. It is not a long book but it is one that can be best savoured with a pipe in hand, a favourite drink at your side. Sip the pipe and drink and savour the well written prose of this little book in the quiet of the zone that the pipe opens to you. I recommend that you contact Briar Books Press and order a copy for your own reading as soon as you are able. Who knows when it will once again be out of print.

A Collection of Brigham Documents

Blog by Bill Tonge & Steve Laug

Bill Tonge, who has written several blogs for rebornpipes has become a big collector and fan of Brigham pipes. He refurbishes them and enjoys their workmanship. Several months ago he talked with Brian Levine, the US Brigham representative and received these brochures and sales flyers for Brigham pipes. When he told me about the collection I asked him to photograph them for me so that I could post them on the blog. What follows is that collection. The text is hard to read in some of the brochures but the photos of the shapes and designs are amazing. There are shapes in there that I have never seen and I have had a lot of Brigham pipes over the years. Enjoy the photos. Thanks Bill for photographing these for us to read. Much appreciated.Brigham 1

Brigham 3

Brigham 2

Brigham 5

Brigham 4

Brigham 6

Brigham 7

Brigham 9

Brigham 8

Brigham 10

Brigham 12

Brigham 13

Brigham 14

Brigham 19

Brigham 15

Brigham 16

Brigham 17

Brigham 18

Brigham 21

Brigham 20

Brochure: Your Guide to Proper Pipe Care

I was clearing out a desk drawer this evening and came across this old pipe care brochure. It is entitled “Your Guide to Proper Pipe Care” and was given out by Smokers’ Haven, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. I do not know the age of the piece but it was fun to read it again. In fact I am not sure where I picked it up as I have never been to Smokers’ Haven nor have I have been to Columbus. I thought that some of you might be interested in reading it.

Pipe 1

Pipe 2

Pipe 3

Pipe 4

Dating Loewes by Periods – Martin Farrent

Blog by Martin Farrent

I read this awhile back on the web and wrote Martin for permission to post it on the blog. I find his work helpful in dating Loewe pipes and a pleasure to read. I received his permission last evening so here is his article.

Loewe is one of the haunting old names of British pipe-making, characteristic of an almost vanished upper middle class” of the trade, which also incorporated makes such as BBB, Orlik, Comoy’s and GBD. Along with these brands, Loewe has long dwindled into pseudo-existence, becoming little more than a logo occasionally used by the Cadogan factory in Southend-on-Sea. But owners of older Loewes treasure them as superb, featherweight smokers, excellently crafted and with grain characteristics superior to those of many contemporary Dunhills.

The Frenchman Emil Loewe founded the company, both shop and workshop, in 1856 at the Haymarket 62, London. He is said to have been the first to make briar pipes in England. Richard Hacker maintains that theatre people from the West End were among the shop’s heyday aficionados. Loewe’s spigots are especially well regarded by lovers of elegance today – they were originally introduced for practical reasons, to facilitate the production of replacement stems for customers abroad.

Loewe pipes

The firm and its facilities were later taken over by Civic, well before becoming a fully integrated part of the Cadogan group sometime in the final quarter of the twentieth century. As with other brands belonging to this group, it is not easy to pinpoint a date marking the end of Loewe’s independence and singularity. This is partly due to Cadogan’s own development from a cooperative to a monolithic entity.

In 1979, a German paperback said that the Loewe brand had been discontinued two years previously, but that the pipes themselves were due to reappear as high-end GBDs. Interestingly, the year of publication coincided with the year in which the Loewe trademark became Cadogan’s, who by this time already owned GBD. From today’s point of view, the author appears to have been working on confused, but partly true information. If there were ever really plans to fully amalgamate the two lines, they were dropped. Also, a two-year break at this time seems impossible, since we have hallmark evidence of Loewes made in 1978 and 1979. However, there are firm indications that Loewe shapes were later marketed as Comoy’s (another Cadogan brand). There may also have been a phase of dissolution regarding location. The reported appearance of French Loewes in the early 1980s is a sign that Loewes were being produced in more than one place at some stage before the Cadogan-era proper.

From what I can gather, Cardogan’s various brands continued to be made in separate facilities throughout the1970s. It was the purchase of Orlik in 1980 that enabled the Cadogan group to consolidate all manufacturing in that company’s new factory in Southend-on-Sea. Whether or not this transferal was a gradual process and when it affected Loewe is unclear. We hear that, as a company, Loewe was not formally wound up by Cadogan (the successor to Civic) until the late 1980s. Of course, today’s ‘Loewes’ are definitely made in Southend – though, according to Cardogan, the trademark is no longer used very much.


As with most brands now owned by Cadogan, the collector’s emphasis is on finding pieces made before the consolidation of the group’s production in the Southend factory. It is generally agreed, for example, that the loss of a separate identity spelled the end of GBD’s excellence. Likewise, the once celebrated name Orlik means little to the buyer of new pipes today. But finding an ‘original’ on the estate market often involves blind trust in a vendor’s word — or in one’s own ability to assess a pipe’s quality from a couple of photos on Ebay.

Mounted Loewes are thus the most valued, since the hallmarks on their silver bands offer an indication of age. Other pipes bearing the ‘L&Co’ logo are impossible to date as exactly as older Dunhills or even Charatans, where frequent changes to stamping patterns have been well documented. By contrast, the various owners of the Loewe trademark appear to have adhered to the original patterns rather consistently.

With help from members of the pipe-smokers’ newsgroups ASP and DAFT (Germany), I have looked into ways of rectifying this situation. We have come a little closer to dating Loewe pipes — or at least assigning them to a period, but there are gaps. One method is to correlate stamps with the hallmark information on pipes with bands, giving an idea of the exact stamp used in a given period. However, for a complete dating guide we would need to have examples from years clearly marking the beginning or end of a certain stamping policy — and also more insights into ownership and location issues.

To an extent, Cadogan have been helpful with information, but they have not answered historical questions. Also, their stamping philosophy really adds to the confusion. For example, they still use a London stamp, though production has been on the Essex coast for well over a decade, possibly two. The results of our collected research are still not comprehensive and the hope remains that someone will provide the information necessary to fill in the blanks.

Aspects of Dating

The period of transitions — and therefore of interest, here — begins some time after 1960. Around that year, the pipes were still being made in the Haymarket building, though – of course – no longer by the late Emil himself. Civic was running the business, apparently having taken over from the founder or his successors under a mutual agreement many years previously. There is no indication that the pipes made under Civic ownership at this time were any less highly regarded than earlier Loewes.

Based on information rendered by owners of hallmarked Loewe pipes, the stamping from 1920
(or earlier) to 1967 (or slightly earlier) appears as follows:


* The first series names to be used appear to be ‘CENTURION’ and ‘ORIGINAL’ and ‘OLD ENGLISH’. According to catalogues, they denote grades. Centurions were allegedly made of wood over 100 years old. Grading was not introduced until some time between 1956 and 1964, as one Danish owner of Loewe catalogues reports. Additional, probably later, grade stamps include ‘MOUNTED’, ‘SPIGOT’, ‘STANDARD’ and ‘STRAIGHT GRAIN’. There are certainly no grade stamps on pipes made up to 1920. There were also none on the sandblast pipes advertised as Ripple Grains in 1950. That year’s catalogue also lists a pipe called the “Process”, with a natural finish and a processed bowl requiring no breaking- in. Both the Process and the blasts were missing in 1956.

During the 1960s, still under the Civic regime, the original premises were lost to development schemes, and Loewe pipes were made in various, (possibly successive) locations all over London (Hammersmith appearing to be one of them).

Also, at some stage before 1968, shape names were replaced by shape numbers, apparently all incorporating three digits and beginning with a 9. For example, a 910 was a billiard. We know that these numbers, stamped on the right side of the shank (under ‘LONDON W.’), were still used in 1983, though there is some confusion about this. We do not know exactly when the switch from names to numbers took place. It could have been as late as 1967, but may have occurred a few (not many) years earlier. A shape name appeared on a new pipe bought in the USA in 1967, yet a pipe bearing that year’s hallmark on its band already displays a number, rather than a name. It’s also worth noting the recollections of one Danish smoker, who remembers that W.O. Larsen only imported Loewes to Denmark until 1968.

Manfred W. Resag has a page on 9xx numbered pipes, with photos of pieces made from 1978 to 1982 (with one possible exception — an unbanded and therefore undateable pipe):

By studying the website of one UK dealer I was able to deduce that the present shape numbers (early 2003) mostly (probably all) differ from those used from 1967. For example, a Billiard is now a 28, a Lovat an 834, a Canadian a 296. Some shape numbers now have 4 digits. But even today, Cadogan will occasionally still stamp a pipe with a shape name instead of a number, though only on request.

It would appear that both older pipes with shape names and pipes using the 9xx numbers were made in London, before the move to Southend. My guess is that only the pipes made prior to the introduction of numbers were carved on the original Haymarket premises, with the graded shanks (series names) probably indicating pieces carved after 1956.

Murky issues

To go some way towards verifying this theory, we would need to know the exact year of the move from the Haymarket, but also more about the stamps on pipes made between 1960 and 1966/67. All those smokers who followed a call for information in ASP and DAFT and reported dateable (hallmarked) pipes owned pieces made before or after these years, which almost certainly encompassed the loss of the Haymarket workshop.

Cadogan has not answered questions concerning this or the later move to Southend. However, from the evidence contributed by readers of the first version of this article, I would say that the second event occurred by or in 1982, the year in which a Danish collector has reported buying a Canadian with the new 296 shape number.

This is notwithstanding the fact that several people own Loewes with the 9xx stamps — pipes I would attribute to the late London days — yet with hallmarks from 1982 or even 1983. There are several conceivable explanations for this. The most obvious is that there may have been a few months of overlapping production in two or more locations. One could even raise the question of whether the later London years saw any consolidated product ion at all — or whether some (or all) Loewes were being made to order by other firms. The Danish collector mentioned above has records of being offered both London-made and (cheaper) French Loewes in 1982.

Moreover, it is also reasonable to assume that some pipes began life in London and were stamped there, but only completed in Southend. In a few cases, it even seems clear that the lapse between conception and completion was several years. For instance, one German smoker owns a 908 with a 1983 hallmark. It was from a strange batch of spigots offered by a German dealer in the late 1990s, with shank bands hallmarked in the early 1980s and stems made a dozen or so years later. The dealer remembers that they were the last Loewes ever offered to him. Curiously, some of the Loewe shapes from the 1970s and early 1980s apparently reappeared as Comoys (now also made by Cadogan), later on. Indeed, Comoy spigots were among the new series introduced after Comoy’s full integration into Cadogan. This was in line with Cadogan’s branding hierarchy, which put Comoy’s at the top of the pyramid at some expense to the prestige of the other names. So an educated guess says that the bowls of the strange Loewes in question
were made in London, were among the inventory moved to Southend and fitted with stems years later, when someone remembered or discovered them. The stems were available, because they were still being produced for the new Comoy pipes.

One final note on the transition period regards the desirability of Loewes made between the Haymarket days and the move to Southend. I have yet to hear a complaint from an owner of one of these pipes. I have a fine mounted Rhodesian myself with excellent, almost straight grain. It is a superlative smoker.


In 1926, the wholesale price for an unmounted Loewe was 11 shillings and three pence. 24 years later, it had doubled and such a pipe retailed for 50 shillings. At this time (1950) an ounce of pipe tobacco or a 4lb loaf of bread cost an average of a shilling in London. In 1982, one dealer was offering Loewes (London) for 19.50 pounds. A batch of 9xx Loewe spigots made in the early 1980s and sold towards the end of the century cost around 200 Euros each in Germany. In early 2003, one British website advertised Loewe-Kaywoodies for 18.50 to 65.00 pounds sterling (about 27 to 95 Euro/$). These were Cadogan pipes, of course. At the same time, some ‘antique’ pieces were fetching up to 175 Euro or US $.

Early Loewes were available with a variety of options, such as amber stems and solid silver or gold mounts at a surcharge. Interestingly, the 1926 catalogue prizes the pipes’ “natural finish”, but adds that an attractive dark tan was available at no extra charge (!).

Acknowledgements and note

This article grew in the making, following requests for information on Usenet and the publication of a first version, which almost immediately hastened new input from readers. My thanks to Asp’ers Kevyn Winkless, Stephen Bozle. Greg Pease, Chris Keene, Manfred Resag, Sonam Dasara, Jorgen Jensen and Jesper of Danpipes for contributing information and ideas to this article. Valuable details were also reported by DAFT (German newsgroup) members such as Klaus J. Pfeifer, Manfred Arenz, HaJo Oestermann, Jörg Eichelberger, Rainer Duesmann, Joachim Acker and Michael Karrengarn.

Finally, though I include my e-mail address here, it is not really intended for queries, since I lack the knowledge to answer them. I am simply an admirer, but no expert on Loewe pipes and have included every last scrap of evidence I have accumulated in this article. So ideally, the address is for those able to contribute additional information in order to make this text more satisfactory, some day.

Martin Farrent March 2003

A Peterson Dating Guide; a Rule of Thumb – Mike Leverette

Blog by Mike Leverette

Many years ago now, Mike Leverette sent me a copy of this document. I have had it on the hard drive since sometime late in 2006. I am sure there are newer iterations of the material but I have found this little piece very helpful. I am looking forward with expectation to the book that is being worked on now by Mark Irwin and others. It will certainly be a definitive work on Peterson Pipes. Until then I use the Peterson forum and refer to this article by Mike.

A Peterson Dating Guide; a Rule of Thumb

This guide first appeared in pipelore.net on August 26, 2006 by: Mike Leverette


The history of Ireland is an old and honorable one; steeped in warfare, family, racial and religious traditions. No other country can compete in comparison. However, the first couple of millennia of Irish history have no relevance to this dating guide. Should you wish to read more on the history of the Irish, I recommend “The Story of the Irish Race” by Seumas MacManus who gives a very vivid, and near as we can tell an accurate portrayal of their history.

History pertinent to our purposes began in the year 1865; the year Charles Peterson opened a small tobacco shop in Dublin. Later in 1875, Charles Peterson approached the Kapp brothers, Fredrich and Heinrich, with a new pipe design and with this, a very long-lived partnership was formed, Kapp & Peterson. This new pipe design is the now famous Peterson Patented System Smoking Pipe. By 1890, Kapp & Peterson was the most respected pipe and tobacco manufacturer in Ireland and rapidly gaining followers in England and America. In 1898 another of Peterson’s remarkable inventions became available, the Peterson-Lip (P-Lip) mouthpiece, also known as the Steck mouthpiece. So for the purpose of this dating guide, we will study Irish history, relevant to our pipe dating needs, from 1870s until now.
Before we start with this Peterson dating guide, an observation; the Kapp Brothers were making pipes as early as the 1850s and in many of the shapes we now associate with Peterson since the Kapp Brothers simply took their existing shapes and incorporated Charles Peterson’ s patented design into them. From their inception, Kapp & Peterson’s goal was to make a good smoking pipe that the ordinary, common working man could afford and we believe they have, very admirably, lived up to this.

Explanation of Title

The vagaries of Peterson’s processes do not allow for an accurate dating guide so this guide is a ‘rule-of-thumb’ guide only. For example; Peterson did not take up the old Country of Manufacture stamps as new ones were issued so depending on which one the various workers happen to pick up, the stamps can and do cross over the boundaries of the various Eras. Some of the pipes of the Sherlock Holmes Series of the 1980s have pre-Republic stamps, as well as other pipes produced in 2000. However, there will not be too many of these missed stamped pipes. For silver anomalies, see the section on silver marks.

Stamping of Bowls

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”
• The Patent Era was between the years of K&P’s formation until the expiration of the patent; 1875 through approximately 1910. Though for our purposes we will list this era as 1875 through 1922. Peterson pipes made during the majority of this period had no “Country of Manufacture” (COM) stamped on them. However, later in this period, say around 1915/16, Peterson began stamping their pipes “Made in Ireland” in a block format.
• The Irish Free State was formed on 15 January 1922. So the Free State Era will be from 1922 through 1937. Peterson followed with a COM stamp of “Irish Free State” in either one or two lines, either parallel or perpendicular to the shanks axis and extremely close to the stem.
• Eire was formed on 29 December 1937. The Made in Eire Era will be from 1938 through roughly 1940? or 1941?. For dates with ?’s, see below. Peterson now stamped their pipes with “Made in Eire” in a circle format with “Made” and “Eire” in a circle with the “in” located in the center of the circle. This COM was used during the years of 1938 – 1940?/41?. Later they stamped their pipes with “Made in Ireland” in a circle format (1945?-1947?) and still later with “Made in Ireland” in a block format (1947?-1949). The “Made in Ireland” block format came in either one line or two lines.
• The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.
•English made Peterson pipes actually spans between the pre-Republic and Republic eras. In 1895, Peterson opened a shop in London England that lasted until the late 1950s or early 1960s. So the English Era, for a simplified date, will be from 1895 through 1959. The stamps Peterson used in London and that we have seen are:
Made in England – block format
Made in England – circle format
Made in London
Made in London England
Simply, London England
Great Britain

Though there are a couple of more, the above will give one the general idea. We believe the earliest stamp of this era was the “Made in England” in a block format since Peterson was using the “Made in Ireland” block format at about the same time on their Irish production pipes. The “Made in England” circle format was used during the same time frame as the “Made in Eire” and “Made in Ireland” circle formats.

As one can see this is pretty straightforward but there have been inconsistencies within this method of stamping. Peterson was never very energetic in removing their old stamps from the work stations so the older stamps can and did cross-over into the newer Era’s.

The explanation for the question marks in the 1940’s dates is, during the Second World War briar was hard to come by for obvious reasons, so no one can say for sure what years Peterson produced briar pipes and how many briar pipes were produced in those years. Why the switch from “Made in Eire” to “Made in Ireland” is anyone’s guess since the country was still technically Eire until 1949. As a point of interest and due to the shortage of briar, Peterson did make clay and Bog Oak pipes during the war years though they had ceased clay pipe production in the Patent Era and Bog Oak production back in the early 1930s.

P1 The “Made in Ireland” block format (above) can be another headache in dating Peterson pipes since this stamp was used in the late Patent Era as well as the late 1940s. So for a guide we must take into consideration the style of lettering Peterson used on their pipes. From the start of the Patent Era until somewhere in the early 1930s, Peterson used the “Old Style” lettering that used a forked tail “P” in Peterson.

P2From then until now, Peterson used the more familiar script “P” (above) intermixed with a plain block letter “P.” Later in the 1970s, Peterson began production of “commemorative” pipes, often referred to as “replica” or “retro” pipes and these will also have the old style lettering but according to the pipes that we own and have seen, most of these will have a small difference in the original forked tail “P”. Again, there appears to be a cross-over with the old style forked tail and the later forked tail P’s(below). However, these commemorative pipes generally have a silver band with hallmarks so one can date these pipes by the hallmark.

P3Also, we must address the stamp “A Peterson Product.” During the last few years of the Pre-Republic era and throughout the Republic era, Peterson began stamping their other lines, such as Shamrocks and Killarneys, with “A Peterson Product” over the COM stamp. So a pipe stamped thusly will have been made say from 1948 to the present with the COM stamp identifying it as a pre-Republic or a Republic pipe.

Silver Band Dating

Silver hallmarks are placed on the silver after an assay office, in Peterson’s case, the Dublin Assay Office, has verified that the silver content is indeed sterling, in other words 925 parts of silver per 1000 parts of the metal. The silver hallmarks on Peterson pipes are a group of three marks, each in an escutcheon; the first is a seated Hibernia denoting Dublin Ireland, the second is a harp denoting the silver fineness, and the third is a letter denoting the year. The style of letter and the shape of the escutcheon the letter is in, will determine the year in which the assay office stamped the metal band and not necessarily the year the pipe was made. Peterson orders these bands by the thousands and sends them to the assay office for hallmarking. The assay office will stamp the date of the year in which they received the bands and it may be a year or two or three before Peterson’s employees happen to place one of these bands on a pipe though generally the bands are placed on a pipe in the year they were stamped. The Dublin hallmarks can be found in any book on silver markings or on one of several websites.

For the one year, 1987, the Dublin Assay Office added a fourth mark to commemorate the City of Dublin’s founding in 988. However, the Peterson pipes we have and have seen with silver dates of 1987 and 1988 generally do not have this fourth mark.

Here again, we must add a “maybe” to the above hallmarks. On 1 June 1976, certain countries attended an international conference on silver markings and decided to adopt an entirely different mark for sterling silver. This mark is an Arabian numeral, 925, located between the scales of a balance beam and in Peterson’s case may or may not have the Hibernia and Harp marks to either side. These particular pipes can only be said to date between 1976 and the present, and were stamped as such for shipment to the different countries involved in the conference. For pipes shipped to all other countries, Peterson still uses the old style hallmarks. Peterson pipes with a sterling silver band that does not have hallmarks could have been made for the United States market since the United States only requires sterling silver to be stamped “sterling silver” or “sterling.”

Before we close this section on silver hallmarks, we must address the marks that many people refer to as hallmarks. Peterson uses three marks on some of their pipes that are not silver hallmarks but are rather another Peterson logo (below). These marks are:
• A Shamrock for the many shamrocks found in Ireland
• A Prone Fox representing the famous fox hunts in Ireland’s history, and
• A Stone Tower for the many hundreds of stone towers spotted throughout Ireland
P4 Again these are not genuine silver hallmarks: Also many of the newer pipe smokers think that Kapp & Peterson’s official logo of “K&P,” each in a shield shaped escutcheon, are hallmarks but, of course, they are not. They are simply Kapp & Peterson’s initials.

Dating by Series

Dating by series or numbers is an area in which we are having a difficult time of establishing. For instance, the 300 series are all shapes used during the Patent Era and we believe Peterson started using this number system when the original patent expired. In the case of the 300 series and without looking at the COM stamp or silver hallmark, one can only say that they were made between 1910 and today. The 300 series was not in Peterson’s 1905 catalogue.

Though we are still trying to find the start dates of many series, here are some that we are pretty positive about:
• Centennial Edition – 1975 (for K&P’s Centennial)
• Great Explorers Series – 2002
• Harp Series – 2002
• Mark Twain Numbered Edition – 1979 (numbered 1 through 400)
• Mark Twain 2nd Numbered Edition – 1981 (numbered 1 through 1000) Mark Twain Un-numbered Edition – 1983 to c1989 (There must be a fourth production of Mark Twain pipes for there a couple of men who own Mark Twain pipes with a silver date of 1998; we are still trying to pin down the dates of this fourth production.)
• Emerald – c1985 to 2003
• Millennium Edition – 1988 (for the City of Dublin’s founding)
• Sherlock Holmes Series – 1987 to c1989
• Return of Sherlock Holmes Series – c1991
• Sherlock Holmes Meerschaums – 2006

Peterson Clay, Bog Oak and Cherry Wood Pipes
Peterson Clay, Bog Oak and Cherry Wood pipes were offered in the Patent Era with or without a formed case, as also offered with their briar and meerschaum pipes.

Peterson made clay pipes during the Patent Era with only two shapes being offered and depicted in their 1905 catalogue. During this period their clay pipes were stamped/molded “Peterson Patent” and could be purchased with either a silver or nickel band. How long and in what years Peterson made these clays is not known but as stated above two shapes were offered in their 1905 catalogue. Then during World War II, Peterson again made clay pipes due to the understandable shortage of briar. The clays of this period are stamped “Peterson System” and were only offered with nickel bands. This later production of clay pipes ended with the closing of Peterson’s London Shop in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Also during World War II, Peterson again made bog oak pipes and again, this was due to the shortage of briar. They had previously ceased production of bog oak pipes in the 1930s during the Irish Free State Era. On the subject of bog oak pipes, Peterson’s bog oaks will always have a metal band with either amber (early production only) or vulcanite stems and will have the appropriate COM stamp. As with their clay pipes, Peterson offered a silver or nickel band on their early bog oak pipes of the Patent Era and just a nickel band on their WWII bog oak pipes.

Peterson made pipes of cherry wood during their Patent Era in both the smooth finish and the bark-left-on finish; and as with their clay pipes, Peterson used both amber and vulcanite stems and choice of silver or nickel bands. And like their clay pipes of the Patent Era, the introduction and termination dates are not known. Peterson Cherry Wood pipes were offered with or without a meerschaum lining.

Metal Ferrules of Military Mounted Pipes

As pipes get older, wear will, with all the handling, cleaning and polishing, take its toll on the nomenclature which will eventually disappear, thus, making it harder to determine the age of your Peterson. A good thorough cleaning of old hand oils, dirt and ash will sometimes bring out a faint outline of the nomenclature but sometimes the nomenclature has completely worn away and even this cleaning will not bring it back. So where do we go from here to determine the pipe’s age? The shape of the metal ferrule on Peterson pipes with the military mount will give you some hint though not a precise date.

During the Patent Era, the metal ferrules of Peterson military mounts will have a more ‘acorn-ish’ shape, that is, the bend will have a larger radius as it turns down to meet the stem. This larger radius gradually(?) changes to a smaller radius, more abrupt bend, during the Irish Free State Era and even more abruptly after World War Two when the bend takes on the modern day shape.

The metal ferrules on Peterson clay pipes during the Patent Era are angular while their clay pipes of World War Two will have the bend shape as do most of the Peterson pipes from then until now.

As with everything pertaining to the dating of Peterson pipes, this method can only give us a hint to the age of the pipe but it is better than nothing at all. The years of these changes in the metal ferrule shape are, we are sure, lost to the ages. However, someone with a larger number of Peterson pipes than we may be able to check the silver dates for more precise age boundaries. Well, this is a very short dating guide and we hope that you will be able to date more accurately your favorite Peterson with this information.

When Mike sent this to me it had the following addition at the bottom of the page:
This guide was first posted in Pipe Lore on August 26, 2006 by Mike Leverette. Should you have a correction or addition to any of the above, please do comment.

Reflections on the Historical Background on CPF Pipes

Blog by Steve Laug

One of the secondary hobbies to pipe refurbishing that I enjoy doing is to research the history of a particular brand or make. In a recent EBay lot I bought there were 3 pipes that were stamped with the CPF logo – CPF in an oval with the word FRENCH stamped in an arch above the oval and the word BRIAR stamped in an arch below the oval. I had heard that the CPF stood for a variety of names from Consolidated Pipe Factory to Colossal Pipe Factory and even Chesterfield Pipe Company. There was a wide range of conflicting information available on the websites and forums that I looked read while looking into the brand. One evening while I was talking with Chuck Richards about the lot (I know that over the years he has seen quite a few old CPF brand pipes) he suggested that I ask Robert Boughton about it. Chuck said that Robert had done some work on the brand when he was given an old Meerschaum to refurbish. I contacted Robert and he sent me a variety of links that he had found. He had looked into the history and background of the CPF brand stamp. He wrote that he had found in his research that “…CPF definitely stands for Colossus Pipe Factory, a late 19th and early 20th century American venture that in its short, happy life created some of the most beautiful briar and Meerschaum pipes ever made”. He sent me a link to the stampings and logos site (1) http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c1.htmlbelowwhere he had found photos that showed the curved circular printing of French Briar around the CPF oval as well as some with a space between where the customary CPF mark was stamped within an oval enclosure. He had also looked into a variety of EBay offerings of CPF pipes and also on Worthpoint.com. He found some amazingly beautiful pipes for sale.

Throughout this article I have inserted photos of some of the CPF pipes that I have refurbished as examples. All of them showed the marks of having originally had rim caps and shank caps. Some of the older ones that I have seen have had beautiful filigree decorations in these areas.

Figure 1 CPF Bulldog - restored by Steve Laug

Figure 1 CPF Bulldog – restored by Steve Laug

Armed with the information that Robert sent I decided to do some more digging into the brand. I found information on the CPF brand that verified his findings on the meaning of initials. CPF stands for Colossus Pipe Factory. There is not much known about the Colossus Pipe Factory. I learned that by the mid 1890’s CPF was owned by Kaufman Brothers & Bondy (KB&B). They operated the factory at 129 Grand Street, in New York City, New York. I had a faint memory of some connection between CPF and Kaufmann Brothers & Bondy. But was unsure where I had heard or read that. In the process of reading information I came across this post by Bill Feuerbach on the Kaywoodie Forum: “About 10 years ago I picked up two original invoices from KB&B. One is dated February 5, 1884 and the other December 9, 1898. Both have the address as 129-131 Grand Street, which is in Soho, adjacent to the Bowery in New York City. The 1898 invoice has in the upper left hand corner the initials CPF and Trademark. So by 1898 KB&B was making it known to the trade that they owned the CPF trademark. The 1884 invoice does not have CPF on it. Therefore I think we can assume KB&B acquired or started the CPF line sometime between 1884 and 1898.” (2)
Figure 2 CPF Bent Billiard - restored by Steve Laug

Figure 2 CPF Bent Billiard – restored by Steve Laug

Robert Boughton also provided a link to a scan of a page from a trade magazine called “The Jeweler’s Circular”, dated August 23, 1899.(3) http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=C…s_Pipe_Factory In scanning through it I found that at the bottom of the center row of the clip a question sent in by a reader as follows, “Please inform as who manufactures briar pipes with the trademark, CPF?” The answer that was given in the article was, “These letters stand for Colossus Pipe Factory, the business being conducted by Kaufmann Bros. & Bondy, 129 Grand Street, New York.” I did a bit more digging as I wanted to find out the source of the Pipedia clipping. I found that the original source of this information was also Bill Feuerbach. He wrote the following on the Kaywoodie Free forum, “Now as for what CPF means. About 5 or 6 years ago Gary Schrier, pipe book author/publisher and pipe collector from Seattle sent me a copy of page 30 from the Jewelers’ Circular dated August 23, 1899. I assume this was a publication for the jewelry trade. On this particular page they have questions for the editor. One question is “Editor of the Jewelers’ Circular: Please inform us who manufactures briar pipes with the trade-mark rude cut: C.P.F. Thank you in advance for your trouble and kindness”. The answer was “Those letters stand for Colossus Pipe Factory, the business being conducted by Kaufmann Bros. & Bondy, 129 Grand St., New York.”

The address in the scanned document referred to above is the same address as the one on the invoices that Bill referred to in the quoted post in the previous paragraph. This industry/trade magazine, published at the time the CPF brand was being made, reports that the C in the CPF brand means Colossus rather than Consolidated or Chesterfield. To me that answers the question quite definitively.(4)

Figure 3 CPF Billiard - restored by Steve Laug

Figure 3 CPF Billiard – restored by Steve Laug

Even with that clear information from Bill, in both the invoices and the article in the trade jounal there still is some disagreement among pipemen as to the meaning of the letters in the brand. In my research I came across a few divergent opinions on the brand and I thought it important to cite them. The following information comes from Samuel Goldberger of Finepipes Estate pipe website as referenced below. On the page on his site dedicated to CPF pipes Sam wrote, “I have not found any clear history of CPF, but I have developed some ideas about them, based upon my study of early American made pipes. By the turn of the last century, a number of small pipe making factories had collected in and around New York City, including the William Demuth Company (WDC) and Kaufman Brothers and Bondi (KB&B), later to become Kaywoodie. From the design and quality of execution of these pipes, I believe the factories must have been staffed by European immigrants, probably Jewish, who had been trained in the older traditions of pipe making in France, Germany and Austria. The pipes they produced were in a similar style. They were expertly cut from very old, air-cured Algerian briar in classical shapes or from the finest grade of Turkish meerschaum; they sometimes rather small; they often had amber or Bakelite mouthpieces, gold or silver fittings. It’s my suspicion that pipes from these small makers were at one time sold or marketed under the name “Consolidated Pipe Factory.” Alternatively, CPF may have been the name of the distributor.” (5) Personally, not to disparage Sam’s ideas, I find the information provided by Bill Feuerbach in the paragraphs above to be conclusive that CPF stands for the Colossus Pipe Factory.

Further, in my research I found that others commented on the fact that they had seen pipes with both the CPF logo and KB&B logo on them that date to pre-1900. I too have seen, refurbished and sold some that bore both stampings/logos. This has led me to wonder if the dual stamping may have been a way to let pipe smokers of the time know that the companies were affiliated. From my reading and research it seems to me that CPF brand was discontinued sometime in the 1910-1920 range. Again, turning to Bill Feuerbach I found that he notes the following, which pins down the time frame of the discontinuation of the brand more specifically, “I have a CPF Chesterfield in our office display that has a nametag from way before my time that says 1900 CPF Chesterfield. It looks like most other Chesterfields you’ve seen, including the military type push stem, except this stem is horn and not vulcanite. As far as I have gathered the CPF brand was phased out sometime around 1915.” (6) Interestingly, he noted that the Chesterfield name and style was later introduced in the KB&B, Kaywoodie and Yello-Bole lines. He says that the 1924 KB&B catalog shows KB&B Chesterfields.

I also came across the following photo that comes from Bill Feuerbach which shows the dual stamping of the logo on this display placard for CPF pipes. Note the familiar KB&B logo and cloverleaf at the bottom of the placard. (7)

Figure 4 From the collection of Bill Feuerbach

Figure 4 From the collection of Bill Feuerbach

From my research I believe that we can definitively assert that the CPF logo stands for Colossus Pipe Factory. The brand was purchased by KB & B sometime between 1884 and 1898 and that it continued until 1915. That time frame gives help in dating some of the older CPF pipes you or I might find. It can be said that prior to the dual stamping it is fairly certain that the pipe is pre-1884 to 1898. After the dual stamping it can be placed post 1898 until the closure of the brand line in 1915. CPF made beautiful pipes. I believe Sam Goldberger was correct in his assertion of the potential carvers that made the pipes being of European training and the classic shapes and well aged briar. That coincides with all the CPF pipes that I have come across.
End notes
(1) http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c1.htmlbelow
(2) http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/archive/cpf__o_t__t_161.html
(3) http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=C…s_Pipe_Factory
(4) http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/archive/cpf__o_t__t_161.html
(5) http://www.finepipes.com/pipes/american/consolidated-pipe-factory-cpf
(6) http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/archive/cpf__o_t__t_161.html
(7) http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=161&start=0

Another Instruction Manual for Kleen Reem Pipe Reamers

As I was going through some of my collection of pamphlets and brochures in a drawer this afternoon I came across this Instruction Manual for Kleen Reem Pipe Reamers. It is the second one that I have. Both are very different in design and layout and seem to be from a different era. I enjoy looking at this kind of tobacciana so I thought I would pass it on to others who might also be interested in such things.






Charles Rattrays of Perth Catalogue

Blog by Steve Laug

I came across this catalogue from Rattrays of Scotland some time ago. I thought I would post it here so that you can share in the history of the great tobacco blends that came out of Scotland.


Demuth’s of Lancaster, PA History

This is another older pipe booklet that I have a copy of here. I wanted to post it as well to give more data and pipe history to those of us who enjoy reading that kind of thing. Demuth’s must have been an amazing store in its day! Anybody know if it is still with us?


Astley’s Pipe Catalogue

Blog by Steve Laug

This is an older Astleys of Jermyn St. London pipe catalogue that I had around. I thought I would post it here so you all could enjoy a bit of the history of our hobby. Note the many shapes and shape names that are in the catalogue.