12 March 2015

Happy 150th Anniversary Peterson Pipes!


As many of you know, I smoke pipes. Not all the time, mind you; just occasionally. And when I say “occasionally,” I mean I think I smoked less than a dozen times all of last year. I started several years ago when a friend of mine threw away a pipe bag. He had left the sliding window of his truck open during a rain shower. The rain had soaked the interior of his truck and saturated his pipe bag. I dug through the bag and found a Dr. Grabow that wasn’t too badly damaged. In fact, it was virtually dry. I cleaned it up and went down to a local tobacconist.

“So,” I asked, “how do you smoke one of these things?” The guy behind the counter went to the back and returned with a few sheets of paper.

“Here,” he said, “read this. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.”

So, I bought some of their best selling tobacco, matches, and pipe cleaners then set off to learn how to smoke this strange instrument.

After a couple of years, and a couple of “cheap” pipes (the ones that range below $50 in a box or bin), I did some research on the “best” pipes within my budget. My search led me to Peterson of Dublin, manufacturers of smoking pipes since 1865.

Charles Peterson was hired by Fredrick Kapp in the Dublin shop around 1876. Fredrick died, however, in 1881, followed by his wife a year later. Charles Peterson managed the business and was the master craftsman of the pipes. When the Kapp’s children, Alfred and Christian, became old enough, Charles and Alfred bought out Christian’s share of the shop. The name was then changed to Kapp & Peterson.

In 1891, Charles patented his “system pipe.” An additional chamber was drilled in the shank to collect the moisture one generates while smoking. This enables the smoker to enjoy a cool, dry smoke. In 1898, he patented the “P-Lip” stem (regular pipe stems are sometimes called “fishtail” stems). The P-Lip stem has a hole out the top of the end. This allows the smoke to ascend to the roof of the mouth and prevents it from touching the tongue, thus eliminating “tongue bite”.

My first Peterson pipe was a System pipe — Rustic Standard 314. Since that time, I’ve purchased several Peterson pipes. My most prized Peterson pipe is a Mark Twain pipe I picked up at an antique store. This pipe was based a Peterson pipe that Twain owned.

If you’ve ever considered smoking a pipe, I don’t think you could ever go wrong with a Peterson’s. As the saying goes, “The thinking person smokes a Peterson.”

Check out the anniversary video below!




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In the Love of the Three in One,

Br. Jack+, LC

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