Saturday, January 30, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961)

Carl Jung, who I don't think I can say anything about that you can't find elsewhere or don't already know.

This photo was taken of Carl Jung, with pipe and book, in his library at K├╝snacht, at the age of 85, a year before his death. Said Jung of himself: "I am satisfied with the course my life has taken...It was as it had to be."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vintage Ad (undated): Bond Street - "WHY BE THE GOAT"

click to enlarge

I snagged this one from somewhere on ye olde internets, but no date was recorded. I'd say probably 40s or early 50s maybe. Anyway, that laughing guy 0n the right must have one of the most horrifying facial expressions I've ever seen.

That photo is ripe for re-captioning.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
"I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God."
The above photo of Mr. Einstein was one of the first I acquired when I began collecting pictures of pipe smokers many years ago. He is so well-known that I can't add anything to the body of knowledge about him, except that I've read his favorite tobacco was Revelation. Below is some stuff I copied out of an encyclopedia about him for my old website, "Pictures of People with Pipes."

In 1894 Einstein's family moved to Milan and Einstein decided officially to relinquish his German citizenship in favour of Swiss. In 1895 Einstein failed an examination that would have allowed him to study for a diploma as an electrical engineer at Zurich. After attending secondary school at Aarau, Einstein returned (1896) to the Zurich Polytechnic, graduating (1900) as a secondary school teacher of mathematics and physics. He worked at the patent office in Bern from 1902 to 1909 and while there he completed an astonishing range of theoretical physics publications, written in his spare time without the benefit of close contact with scientific literature or colleagues. Einstein earned a doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1905. In 1908 he became a lecturer at the University of Bern, the following year becoming professor of physics at the University of Zurich. By 1909 Einstein was recognised as a leading scientific thinker. After holding chairs in Prague and Zurich he advanced (1914) to a prestigious post at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft in Berlin. From this time he never taught any university courses. Einstein remained on the staff at Berlin until 1933, from which time until his death he held a research position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

In the first of three papers (1905) Einstein examined the phenomenon discovered by Max Planck, according to which electromagnetic energy seemed to be emitted from radiating objects in discrete quantities. The energy of these quanta was directly proportional to the frequency of the radiation. This seemed at odds with the classical electromagnetic theory, based on Maxwell's equations and the laws of thermodynamics which assumed that electromagnetic energy consisted of waves which could contain any small amount of energy. Einstein used Planck's quantum hypothesis to describe the electromagnetic radiation of light. Einstein's second 1905 paper proposed what is today called the special theory of relativity. He based his new theory on a reinterpretation of the classical principle of relativity, namely that the laws of physics had to have the same form in any frame of reference. As a second fundamental hypothesis, Einstein assumed that the speed of light remained constant in all frames of reference, as required by Maxwell's theory. Later in 1905 Einstein showed how mass and energy were equivalent. Einstein was not the first to propose all the components of special theory of relativity. His contribution is unifying important parts of classical mechanics and Maxwell's electrodynamics. The third of Einstein's papers of 1905 concerned statistical mechanics, a field of that had been studied by Ludwig Boltzmann and Josiah Gibbs.

After 1905 Einstein continued working in the areas described above. He made important contributions to quantum theory, but he sought to extend the special theory of relativity to phenomena involving acceleration. The key appeared in 1907 with the principle of equivalence, in which gravitational acceleration was held to be indistinguishable from acceleration caused by mechanical forces. Gravitational mass was therefore identical with inertial mass. By 1911 Einstein was able to make preliminary predictions about how a ray of light from a distant star, passing near the Sun, would appear to be bent slightly, in the direction of the Sun. About 1912, Einstein began a new phase of his gravitational research, with the help of his mathematician friend Marcel Grossmann, by expressing his work in terms of the tensor calculus of Tullio Levi-Civita and Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro. Einstein called his new work the general theory of relativity. After a number of false starts he published, late in 1915, the definitive version of general theory. When British eclipse expeditions in 1919 confirmed his predictions, Einstein was idolised by the popular press. Einstein returned to Germany in 1914 but did not reapply for German citizenship. Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 but not for relativity rather for his 1905 work on the photoelectric effect.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cool search hit

I think this may be one of the best search hits I've ever had.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vintage Ad (1951): Kaywoodie - "Guard that throat!"

It's hard to read all the fine print on this one, but here's another weird Kaywoodie ad in which it is claimed that the drinkless stinger and the flat, wide bit opening means that the smoke will not irritate your throat. Not that it will reduce irritation, but actually eliminate it. Since I don't inhale, this has never been a problem for me. It just seems to me to be a rather outlandish claim to make.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pipes in Literature: Thoughtful when you are not thinking

I filled a pipe and reached for the packet of paper matches. I lit the pipe carefully. She watched that with approval. Pipe smokers were solid men. She was going to be disappointed in me.

"I tried to leave you out of it," I said. "I don't know why exactly. It's no business of mine any more anyhow. I ate my dirt last night and banged myself to sleep with a bottle and now it's a police case: I've been warned to leave it alone."

"The reason you left me out of it," she said calmly, "was that you didn't think the police would believe just mere idle curiosity took me down into that hollow last night. They would suspect some guilty reason and hammer at me until I was a wreck."

"How do you know I didn't think the same thing?"

"Cops are just people," she said irrelevantly.

"They start out that way, I've heard."

"Oh--cynical this morning." She looked around the office with an idle but raking glance. "Do you do pretty well in here? I mean financially? I mean, do you make a lot of money--with this kind of furniture?"

I grunted.

"Or should I try minding my own business and not asking impertinent questions?"

"Would it work, if you tried it?"

"Now we're both doing it. Tell me, why did you cover up for me last night? Was it on account of I have reddish hair and a beautiful figure?"

I didn't say anything.

"Let's try this one," she said cheerfully. "Would you like to know who that jade necklace belonged to?"

I could feel my face getting stiff. I thought hard but I couldn't remember for sure. And then suddenly I could. I hadn't said a word to her about a jade necklace.

I reached for the matches and relit my pipe. "Not very much," I said. "Why?"

"Because I know."


"What do you do when you get real talkative--wiggle your toes?"

"All right," I growled. "You came here to tell me. Go ahead and tell me."

Her blue eyes widened and for a moment I thought they looked a little moist. She took her lower lip between her teeth and held it that way while she stared down at the desk. Then she shrugged and let go of her lip and smiled at me candidly.

"Oh I know I'm just a damned inquisitive wench. But there's a strain of bloodhound in me. My father was a cop. His name was Cliff Riordan and he was police chief of Bay City for seven years. I suppose that's what's the matter."

"I seem to remember. What happened to him?"

"He was fired. It broke his heart. A mob of gamblers headed by a man named Laird Brunette elected themselves a mayor. So they put Dad in charge of the Bureau of Records and Identification, which in Bay City is about the size of a tea-bag. So Dad quit and pottered around for a couple of years and then died. And Mother died soon after him. So I've been alone for two years."

"I'm sorry," I said.

She ground out her cigarette. It had no lipstick on it. "The only reason I'm boring you with this is that it makes it easy for me to get along with policemen. I suppose I ought to have told you last night. So this morning I found out who had charge of the case and went to see him. He was a little sore at you at first."

"That's all right," I said. "If I had told him the truth on all points, he still wouldn't have believed me. All he will do is chew one of my ears off."

She looked hurt. I got up and opened the other window. The noise of the traffic from the boulevard came in in waves, like nausea. I felt lousy. I opened the deep drawer of the desk and got the office bottle out and poured myself a drink.

Miss Riordan watched me with disapproval. I was no longer a solid man. She didn't say anything. I drank the drink and put the bottle away again and sat down.

"You didn't offer me one," she said coolly.

"Sorry. It's only eleven o'clock or less. I didn't think you looked the type."

Her eyes crinkled at the corners. "Is that a compliment?"

"In my circle, yes."

She thought that over. It didn't mean anything to her. It didn't mean anything to me either when I thought it over. But the drink made me feel a lot better.

She leaned forward and scraped her gloves slowly across the glass of the desk. "You wouldn't want to hire an assistant, would you? Not if it only cost you a kind word now and then?"


She nodded. "I thought probably you wouldn't. I'd better just give you my information and go home."

I didn't say anything. I lit my pipe again. It makes you look thoughtful when you are not thinking.

--Raymond Chandler
(fictional narrator Philip Marlowe)
from Farewell, My Lovely

In case I haven't mentioned it before, Raymond Chandler is one of my favorite authors. I read and re-read his stories for enjoyment, inspiration and instruction. I have recently been re-reading this story and came across this pipe-related passage.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pipes only, please

Found at one of my regular reads: Friends of Irony. A commenter there says it's a photo of the Baker Street tube station.

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vintage Ad (1942): Rum & Maple tobacco

He accidentally blended it 53 times before he got it right. Amazing!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker (Fictional): Madame Torogai

Madame Torogai is a character from the anime series Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. She is a very old and petite woman who is a very wise and knowledgeable shaman and is able to communicate with spirit-beings using the medium of water. She is also a very skilled herbalist, and a walking encyclopedia of the medicinal and metaphysical uses of the plants of her world.

Although she has a very gruff exterior, she is ferociously loyal to those she has chosen to befriend and will not hesitate to put her life on the line to protect them. She is also brutally honest and doesn't keep her opinions to herself--not even being afraid to speak her mind in the presence of the royal family, who are considered as gods by the common people. She enjoys smoking her pipe during moments of relaxation, and enjoys getting rip-roaring drunk on rare occasions when her task is complete and all is set right with the world.

Torogai's pipe is made of a long, curved bamboo stem with a bowl made of some other material. Considering the Oriental background of this story, the bowl is probably made of some kind of metal, although its pale coloration argues against copper. It may be clay. In either case, her fingers must be totally heat-proof to be able to hold it the way she does.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vintage Ad (1933): Tear Gas Pipe

Okay, not a real pipe, but since it intersects with another of my interests and it looks like a pipe, I'll post it. It may be worth mentioning that in 1933, the pipe was almost ubiquitous. Many men smoked the pipe, in the same way that almost every man wore a hat. Neither are very common anymore.

via Hell in a Handbasket

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Gordon Parks

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchannan Parks (1912-2006)
"I had a mother who would not allow me to complain about not accomplishing something because I was black. Her attitude was, 'If a white boy can do it, then you can do it, too—and do it better, or don’t come home.'"
Gordon Parks was born the youngest of 15 children in the segregated town of Fort Scott, Kansas. When his mother died, he went to live with a sister but he did not get along well with his sister's husband, so he left, working odd jobs to get by--only the kinds of odd jobs that were allowed to someone of his skin color in the 1920s and '30s.

In 1938, he bought his first camera after seeing some pictures of migrant workers in a magazine. He was urged on his early path to professional photography by the film developers who developed his first roll of film, as well as by Marva Louis, the wife of boxer Joe Louis. He began a business as a portrait photographer for society's upper crust in Chicago.

A full treatment of Parks' career in freelance photography is beyond the scope of this post, but he worked for Vogue and became famous for his photo-essays in Life.

During the 1960s he began writing, turning out the autobiographical novel The Learning Tree, and several volumes of poetry and memoirs. In 1969 he became Hollywood's first major black director when he directed a movie version of his The Learning Tree.

In 1971 Parks directed Shaft, and in 1972 the sequel, Shaft's Big Score.

He directed Shaft! you say. What else can be said after that? Well, there's more.

He was a self-taught pianist. He could perform classical as well as jazz, and wrote a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and a symphony called Tree Symphony. In 1981 he published the fiction novel Shannon about Irish immigrants. He was also a visual artist who created abstract oil paintings based on his photos, and he was a co-founder of Essence magazine.

Gordon Parks himself said that freedom was the theme of all his works.