Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vintage Ad (1902): The Siphon Pipe

At a very basic level, there is a fundamental similarity between smoking pipes and musical wind instruments. Both are essentially tools whose operation lies in proper control of the human breath. As anyone who has ever played a wind instrument knows, the insides of those horns can get pretty sticky and nasty from the extremely humid air that comes out of our lungs. After using a horn, it is generally recommended to clean them out with a dry cloth. Some horns, especially brass, are even equipped with "spit valves," enabling the musician to expire excess moisture from his horn, even in the middle of a performance.

I give you the Siphon Pipe: the pipe with a spit valve.

But unlike the good clean healthy spit that might be expired from a trumpet, the concentrated punk that would come out of a pipe would be...I leave it to your imagination.

From the cutaway diagram, it is clear that tobacco juices that drain into the bottom of the bowl and the front part of the shank will eventually work their way to a place where you probably do not want to expectorate them all over your shirt. Or your shoes. Or your hand (ick!).

That's what pipe cleaners were made for folks. Sometimes it's best to stick with the proven methods, and leave your clever new ideas well enough alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment