Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vintage Ad (1923): Bakelite pipes

Another vintage ad (check the archives for another) about pipes made from Bakelite, "the material of a thousand uses."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)

"Only a mediocre writer is always at his best."

English playwright, novelist and short story author who was reputedly the highest-paid author in the world during the 1930s.

Maugham was born in Paris on the grounds of the British Embassy so that he would technically be born on British soil (his father's wish). His mother died when he was 8 years old and it so traumatized him that he kept a picture of her on his bedside table until his own death. He studied medicine in London and spent much of his time there filling notebooks with writing ideas.

By 1914, when World War I began, he was too old to enlist so he became one of the Red Cross's ambulance drivers. During the war he also worked on the continent for British intelligence.

Many of his works were adapted for film.

Further links: Wikipedia,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pipe smoker update

The post on Pinako Rockbell has been updated with information and a link about the style of pipe she uses. Thanks to commenter BrSpiritus.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vintage Ad (1896): F.W. Kaldenberg's Sons

I had some computer problems last week and had to restore some backups, so I'm trying to make sure I don't duplicate any of my old posts. I don't think I had posted this one before.

This is the second old ad from this company that I have seen (check the archives for the other one).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Movie tip: Barquero

Just wanted to mention that I saw a movie last night that you might want to see if you're a fan of westerns and pipe-smoking. Barquero, from 1970, starring Lee Van Cleef. Also starring Forrest Tucker as a jovial yet ruthless mountain man.

Van Cleef will be a featured pipe smoker here sometime in the future--I keep finding so many cool pictures of him smoking a pipe that I keep putting it off--so I'm not going to post any pictures now.

In Barquero, Van Cleef plays a hard-bitten barge operator at a remote spot on the Rio Grande who gets caught between a group of sheepish settlers, who he doesn't particularly like, and a gang of murderous outlaws, who he truly hates. Lots of great pipe-smoking action as Van Cleef puffs away on a Peterson in between shooting bad guys.

I will not describe the end lest I give away a spoiler, but the ending scene I found especially enjoyable: pipe smoking, a muzzle-loading rifle and long-distance shooting--three things I like the most!

Featured Pipe Smoker: Jacques Faizant

Jacques Faizant (1918-2006)

From Comiclopedia:
Jacques Faizant was one of France's most popular press illustrators. After studying at the hotel school in Nice, he worked in several hotels until 1938. He settled in Marseille and went to work as an illustrator. During the War, he drew for Le Dimanche Illustré and La Revue de l'Écran, while also composings songs and cooperating with Lortac on animation projects. Upon the Liberation, he headed for Paris and started out working for Carrefour and L'Ecran Français. He was eventually assigned by Jean Nohain of Bonjour Dimanche and its supplement Le Petit Canard. For this supplement, Faizant made comics like 'Le Colonel Broum et Patapoum', 'Pyk et Pato au Centre de la Terre', 'Monsieur Mite' and 'L'Invraisemblable M. Pluche'.

He also made several strips for the daily press, of which 'Adam et Eve' was the longest running (approx. 700 or 800 gags). This family comic debuted in France Dimanche in 1949, and was renamed 'Adam et Eve (et Caïn)' when the characters got their first child. In addition, Faizant made independent strips, as well as 'Le Tour en Dessins' in La Dépêche (1948), 'Les Aventures de M. Faribole' and 'Docteur Doublevé' in Le Parisien Libéré, 'Bouts (de crayons) Rimés' in Ici-Paris and 'M. Patraque' in La Vie Catholique. He also made the advertising strip 'Le Chimiste BP', that was published between 1954 and 1957 in Le Midi Libre, L'Union, La Dépêche and Le Main Libre.

From 1960, Faizant worked as a political cartoonist for Le Figaro, while also continuing to work as a humorous illustrator in Le Chasseur Français, La Vie du Rail, Détective, Rires Magazine and jardin des Modes until the 1990s.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vintage Ad (undated): Medico Filters & Pipes

Click to enlarge and you can read all the fine print. Probably from the 50s. I used to try filtered pipes when I was a pipe-n00b, and I didn't like them. I note one completely bogus claim in this ad: "Cushion Bite Nylon Bit Guaranteed Bite Proof." I've seen many, many nylon bits chewed completely to h***. The most bite-proof stem is the hard acrylic, from my experience. Using a nylon stem is like smoking a drinking straw.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: David Rose

David Rose (1910 - 1990)

David Rose was born in London but raised in Chicago. He was a songwriter, composer, arranger and pianist who wrote primarily for television, Broadway and radio shows. His most famous piece (probably) was "The Stripper." Some of the television shows he wrote music for include "Little House on the Prairie," "Highway to Heaven," "Father Murphy," "Bonanza" and "Red Skelton Hour." I have read that at one point, 22 different TV shows used theme music written by him.

He was married to Martha Raye, Judy Garland, and finally to Betty Bartholomew, with whom he had two children. He was a live steam hobbyist and had his own backyard railroad.

He appears to be smoking a pipe in the shape that is referred to as the "horn."

Friday, March 12, 2010

A pipe smoker revisited

Thanks to a new picture and some further information from a reader, I have made an update to François Gros Louis. Click to check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vintage Ad (1949): David Rose and Edgeworth

Composer David Rose advertises Edgeworth. More on David Rose for the next Featured Pipe Smoker.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker (Fictional): Pinako Rockbell

Pinako Rockbell

Pinako Rockbell is a character from the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist. The series (which also a manga) tells the story of two teenage boys (Edward and Alphonse Elric) with alchemical skills in a world where alchemy works, and is a sort of parallel to our own reality set in the early 1900s.

Pinako raised her own grand-daughter Winry after Pinako's son and daughter-in-law (both physicians) were killed in a war. Ed and Al's father abandoned them and their mother when they were children, and Pinako, who lived nearby, also served as something of a surrogate grandmother for them.

Pinako Rockbell is a no-nonsense kind of person who also has strong nurturing instincts and is wise in the ways of the world. She is also a highly skilled automail engineer. In a world that has been torn by war, there are a great many amputees. Automail is her world's version of prosthetics--prosthetics which are made of metal and which are connected to the remaining nerve endings to give the wearer almost full recovery of functional limbs. Although automail limbs are highly articulated, they still do not grant the wearer the sense of touch.

(also pictured: Winry Rockbell)

Ed Elric was severely injured during a forbidden alchemical experiment, losing an arm and a leg. Pinako and her grand-daughter Winry built new automail limbs to replace his missing arm and leg. Winry is also a very skilled automail engineer, having been taught the craft from childhood by Pinako. Whenever Ed's automail becomes damaged (which happens fairly often), he always travels back home to have Winry repair it for him rather than seek out a more conveniently located engineer in whatever area he happens to be in. Pinako's home remains a sort of second home and anchoring point for him and his brother Al. Although Pinako often offers her rough and direct, even blunt advice, it is obvious that she cares for them deeply and sees them as part of her family.

Pinako's pipe appears to have a wooden stem with a clay or metal bowl. As you can see from these pictures, she is always depicted as holding it by the stem, which is correct for that type of pipe. If she held it by the bowl, it would certainly burn her fingers.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter BrSpiritus, we have the information that Pinako's pipe is likely the Japanese style known as the Kiseru.
Kiseru is an old style Japanese smoking pipe. Kiseru have been used for smoking a very fine, shredded tobacco, as well as cannabis. It is typically made out of metal on the ends (the mouth piece and bowl), with a shaft typically made out of bamboo. Another distinct trait of a kiseru is that the bowl is much smaller than that of many western-style pipes, and if fitted with a fine-mesh metal screen, permits small servings of any sifted herb at a low burning temperature.
Click the link for more details and history.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vintage Ad (1948): Al Schacht and Edgeworth

Al Schacht, the "'Clown Prince' of Baseball," a fan of Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed.