Saturday, January 16, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964)

I occurred to me that I hadn't featured one of the most famous pipe smokers of all time. Wikipedia has another color photo of him posing with his trademark corncob.

He's so famous that I don't see how I could say anything about him.

I will note that he also liked cigars, and from what I have read, he probably preferred cigars to pipes. MacArthur always had a keen talent for showmanship, and I think his choice of this pipe was just another aspect of the image he tried to create. I also read that his favorite pipe tobacco was "whatever was for sale at the PX," or something like that.

That huge corncob is definitely more picturesque than a cigar, in my opinion. Such corncob pipes are still made and are called MacArthurs, after the man who made them famous.


  1. My appologies for not leaving my name, as I do not need yet another blog account (so says, Mr.Brizzi).
    Mac, was truly one of the flamboyant generals of his day. The cob he smoked, I had little success with a replica, unfortunately. Bore too narrow, pipe too heavy on my teeth. Lousy to keep lit. Mac, did smoke other pipes. In fact, most men of his time would stretch tobacco ration/use by rotating off with cigarettes, chew, cigars, snuff, and pipes. Post Exchanges in the military always had the best prices. During WW2, enough tobacco products were stockpiled that warehouses were not completely emptied until late 1948, or early 1949, and soon after in 1950, the process of purchasing and stockpiling tobacco products for our troops had resumed when the Korean War plopped itself in America's lap.
    If we were to list everyone during WW2 who smoked a pipe, entire volumes would be necessary to catalog the Who's Who. Vinegar Joe Stillwell; Curtis "Bomb 'Em" LeMay; Geo.S.Patton; Monty; untold British, Canadian, French, Russian, and all other Allied members. This is to say nothing of the Axis members who were fond of pipe smoking., has information about the ordinary soldiers of the Reich's pipes. Then you have the Navies. The Irish, Norweigan, Dutch, Belgian, so on and so forth. Men have always enjoyed pipe smoking.
    Food, was not as plentiful. Tobacco and coffee were affordable. It was regular to eat half a sandwich and have a six ounce cup of truly strong and flavorful coffee, then light up. Miss a meal for any reason, have a smoke. Steel your nerves, have a smoke.
    At times, I think Mac, smoked a pipe to show troops that he was in his own way, one of the men (troops). But he did it in a fashion in which he was accustomed to. Vinegar Joe, now there was a pipe smoker. Stillwell loved all tobacco. He demonstrated that frugality and austerity were qualities needed to get through tough times.

  2. An interesting study in the human arena. One that further unites those of the pipe smoking brotherhood.