Tag Archives: Pipe oddities

Now I’ve Seen Everything

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors

“What will they think of next?”
― From “What Will They Think of Next?” Canadian science TV series (1976-1979), with Joseph Campanella and guest hosts

On tonight’s episode, we’ll look at some of the most unusual smoking pipes ever conceived by innovative inventors whose lives have been committed to making the world the place we now know it to be! First from Langley, Virginia in the United States, a pipe that was, for many years during the Cold War, classified “Top Secret” by the intelligence community there; then to the United Kingdom for a glance at a pipe even children can enjoy, however illicitly; next to another U.K. company, originally headquartered in the U.S., known best for its metal pipes that have sold 44,000,000 and counting, but which also holds the distinction of having introduced this “unbreakable” pipe; back to the U.S., in San Marcos, Texas, for a pipe you can literally stick almost anywhere you find yourself…and more!



For those James Bond fans who think his gadgets are cool enough to die for, created by the ingenious Q in his ever-clever if not always quite perfected lab full of spy toys for Her Majesty’s secret agents with a 00-series license to kill clearance, we offer this glimpse of real-life tradecraft brought to you by the brilliant though perhaps somewhat sociopathic inventors at the Central Intelligence Agency: the meerschaum small billiard pipe, c. 1950s, complete with a screw-in tenon that can be removed for the open shank to act as a gun barrel. Capable of firing a single .22-caliber bullet by simply pressing the tiny ventilation-like system “trigger” on the underside of the shank, this is one tobacco pipe that would indeed be deadly to use.Rob1 Although this petite, gorgeous beauty of a meerschaum, very similar to the women in Bond thrillers, was capable of being enjoyed in the usual sense of the term (with a nice bowl of tobacco), in this case the word smoked takes on a more sinister meaning. Note the somewhat creepy, lightly used condition of the bit just below the lip, indicating the pipe’s actual use at least once by an actual non-official cover (NOC), or deep-cover and fully-deniable, CIA agent.

Now, onto our next amazing variation from the norm in the world of tobacco pipes: the Puff Pop Lollipop Pipe! That’s right – Lollipop Pipe! Distributed by everyonedoesit.com, these unique candy pipes are fashioned with clear, hollow, plastic combination shanks/bits leading into the same old lollipops enjoyed by generations of children – except that one side of the round ball of candy is hollowed out to add real pipe tobacco, and the other is flat.Rob2 Although there is a clear drawback here – the pipe shapes are limited to the one shown above – they are designed as sitters. The Puff Pop Pipes, cutting-edge versions of the old-fashioned candy on a stick, create an “original, cool, easily usable, tasty smoking accessory.” And that leaves out the obvious, disposable. Conceived by the “think tank that is Pitara, who are all about dual purpose,” they are available to order only online at a site that requires anyone who wishes to enter to certify he is 18 or older. That certainly ensures that potential underage smokers will be weeded out. The real draw of this great new pipe variety is that the tobacco taste and aroma are sweetened and flavored and “come in a number of different mind crackling flavors and colors, for all to enjoy.” Now, there’s a great idea!

Now onto a pipe – “The Pipe” – invented by Super Temp in 1963 with sales beginning in 1965, during the height of the Hippie movement, by Tar Gard. Not until 1971 did The Pipe become part of Falcon family, the renowned inventor of the metal pipe. Constructed of virtually unbreakable materials that led Falcon to drop this line quietly in 1972, due to the very nature of The Pipe’s unconventional construction, their manufacture passed to yet another pipe interest. Responsibility for making The Pipe moved for the last time to RJ Reynolds in 1973, the final year of its short period of manufacture but seemingly permanent existence. They remain available to collectors to this day, perhaps due to their all but indestructible nature.Rob3 At last we come to the last but not least of this evening’s scientific wonders: Grabber Pipes! Available in two great traditional shapes and made of the usual briar, with one major difference, these pipes are modernized with the insertion of magnets to allow pipe enjoyers on-the go, or those who don’t have a pipe rack, to set the finished Grabber on almost anything metallic!Rob4

Rob5 And that concludes tonight’s episode. Thank you for joining us, and look forward to the next account of scientific breakthroughs.

What can I add other than…now I’ve seen everything! Anyone with an account of any tobacco pipe odder than these, please, do tell.

For those of you who are interested, here are the websites to visit for more information.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/movies/g985/23-most-memorable-james-bond-gadgets/?slide=1 23 Most Memorable Bond Gadgets – Popular Mechanics
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/81348090/ CIA pipe-gun
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2007-featured-story-archive/cia-museum.html CIA Museum
http://www.everyonedoesit.com/online_headshop/puff-pops-lollipop-pipes.cfm# Puff Pop – Lollipop Pipes
http://www.pipetobacco.com/grabber.html Magnet pipes
http://www.thepipe.info/info/anatomy.html Anatomy of The Pipe
http://www.thepipe.info/history/index.html#Timeline The Pipe Timeline