Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vintage Christmas Ad (1955): Kaywoodie Pipes

One of the few ads I have that pictures a white briar (third from top). During WWII, Kaywoodie had more than enough good briar warehoused to last for a long time, and they made a big deal out of it in their ads. They also were sure to create the "IMPORTED BRIAR" stamp on their pipes, which others began imitating--and still do, although now it's pretty much irrelevant (as I mentioned previously).

White briar was supposed to have the look of meerschaum and the feel of briar. In my opinion, it really has neither. White meerschaum is a soft, creamy kind of white. The Kaywoodie white briar was just briar with a special finish applied that they invented. It was bright and glossy and entirely unlike the appearance of meerschaum. Also, the finish was only skin deep, and if the pipe accidentally got scuffed or scratched too hard, the natural color of the briar would of course show through the scuff. It doesn't have the feel of briar because of that slick glossy finish. I had one once, smoked it a little, then cleaned it up nice and sold it.

Top to bottom in this ad, we have a Chesterfield (Kaywoodie's knock-off of the Peterson System pipe) billiard, a top-o-da-line Flame Grain apple with a completely gratuitous and unnecessary meerschaum lining (another gimmick), the aforementioned white briar billiard or possibly pot--hard to tell--with a rustic finish that you would probably never see on a real meerschaum, one of those Falcon knock-offs with an aluminum stem and a threaded bowl (change bowl shapes at your whim), a nice Super Grain bulldog, a straight Dublin with its own briar pipe rest (nice), a real meerschaum, and at the bottom another top-o-da-line Flame Grain without some silly insert.

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