Monday, December 31, 2012

Hogarth: Time Smoking a Picture

I don't have any New Year-related pipe-smoking pictures--probably--I have an awful lot of pictures saved and I don't always remember everything I've snagged.  But anyway, here is a time-themed picture so it's in the same general theme area.  "Time Smoking a Picture" by William Hogarth, created by Hogarth in 1761 but apparently not published until 1822.  You can read about it here.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pipe Smoker: Frank Blair

Frank Blair (1916 - 1995)

Frank Blair was radio announcer who became an original member of NBC's Today Show, starting as a Washington correspondent in 1952 and then serving as the anchor from 1953 to 1975.  This photo shows him having a pipe while helping one of his sons assemble a model train set on Christmas Day, 1956.
link:  New York Times obituary
photo:  Mental Floss

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pipe Smoker (fictional): Frosty the Snowman

The legendary being known as Frosty the Snowman was created by luck, or perhaps, by magic.  It is said that he came to life only when an old silk hat that had previously belonged to a magician was placed upon his head--leading to conjecture that there must have been some amount of magic in that hat.  However, it is uncertain if any other snowman could have been animated by the hat, because Frosty had been formed from Christmas snow--snow that had fallen on Christmas Day.  Thus we may assume that it was a special combination of the hat and the snow that caused his creation.

Frosty was, or is, an anthropomorphic being created from snow who wears no clothing other than his old silk hat, and he often wields a broom for reasons unknown.  His nose is made from a button and his strangely black eyes from two lumps of coal.  He also always has a corncob pipe firmly clenched in his mouth, but it is uncertain whether he actually smokes it or not.  Although at first befriended only by children and considered something of an outlaw because of his antics, his sometimes nonsensical proclamations (shouting "happy birthday!" with little prompting), and his flagrant disregard for traffic regulations, he eventually came to be loved by all the townsfolk.

Unable to survive in temperatures above freezing, he was not able to remain a permanent resident in the town of his creation.  When springtime brought higher temperatures that were lethal to him, he left for the North Pole, promising "I'll be back again someday."

Perhaps he lives still at the North Pole.  Children around the world commemorate him in popular song and still wait for him to "be back again someday," but thus far he has not returned.  In any case, tales of Frosty are still told wherever snow falls and whenever a bit of Christmas cheer is needed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An unexpected pipe

First, I want to say that I don't have any photos to post of this pipe yet because I can take decent pipe pictures only outdoors during the daylight, and I didn't have a chance to do so today since we got home after dark.

Today we had our early Christmas as is our tradition.  Usually we have this celebration at my dad's house, but he is not up to it this time since he had some injuries to his hands (a dog attack) recently, so we went to an aunt's house instead.

A different aunt--not the one whose house we were at--gave me a gift bag with two books in it which look quite interesting and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy reading them.  I poked around in the sack to make sure there wasn't anything else, like a card or something, then set it aside to keep enjoying the festivities--there was an enormous amount of food.  So I heard this aunt tell my wife that she wanted to tell me something about my gift after I had opened it, so I said I had already opened it.  She said, "I heard you collected pipes, so I thought you might like that one.  It was Edwin's pipe."  Edwin was her husband--my uncle (my dad's brother)--who passed away last year.  "Pipe?" I said.  So I looked in the bag again and found an old Kaywoodie Signet.  Not a higher-end Kaywoodie to be sure, but still a Kaywoodie.  I knew that my uncle had enjoyed an occasional cigar, but I hadn't known that he had ever smoked a pipe.

The pipe is worn and well-used, the cloverleaf having fallen out and leaving only the clover-shaped hole in the stem.  The oddest thing about it is that although it is a bent pipe, the stem is too straight, as if it were made for a straight pipe.  So I don't know if it's the original stem or not, and I'll have to try and put a bend in it before I ever try smoking it.

So that was a very nice gift, and I'm glad to have it.  He was my favorite uncle, and I truly enjoyed his slightly twisted and self-deprecating sense of humor.  He often told me stories which ended in some dumb mistake he had made, laughing hugely at himself the whole time.

Which reminds me, a few years ago one of my Christmas gifts was an odd-looking pipe stand from my dad.  I'll have to post some photos of it, too.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another photo with no explanation

This is another photo I found with no explanation.  If anyone has information on what this vehicle is, please leave a comment.  Otherwise...well, here it is.

It looks to me like something Mr. Bean would probably run over.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pipe Smoker (legendary): Nicolas Chauvin

Did Nicolas Chauvin really exist?  Probably not, it seems.  Allegedly a French soldier during the Napoleonic era, his extreme nationalistic fervor was just cause for the creation of the word chauvinism, which in its original sense meant an extreme, possibly irrational patriotism similar to jingoism.  And which later on, in some languages (such as English), came to describe a denigrating and prejudicial attitude toward women.

In any case, someone, somewhere, created what may well be the most ridiculous-looking portrait of a pipe smoker, ever.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Santa smokes a pipe #51

From the January 1956 cover of Galaxy magazine.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vintage Ad: Edgeworth, Christmas 1942

click to enlarge

I'll be posting a few Christmas-specific vintage ads during the next few weeks.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Vintage Ad: Prince Albert (1961)

When men smoked pipes and wore hardhats.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vintage Ad: Bond Street (1944)

Another weird Bond Street ad featuring a pipe-smoking animal and a terrible pun.  The little woman appears to me be contemplating which would be worse in her home:  the smell of a pipe or any of the other possible smells that a Hereford bull can produce at whim.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pipe Smoker: Nat "King" Cole

Nathaniel Adams Coles (1919 - 1965)
"I'm not playing for other musicians. We're trying to reach the guy who works all day and wants to spend a buck at night. We'll keep him happy."
Nathaniel Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama. His family moved to Chicago when he was still young. His father was a Baptist minister and his mother was the church organist, who first began teaching him music. He grew up heavily influenced by, and participating in, both the world of gospel music and the jazz-heavy atmosphere of early-20th-century Chicago.

Although primarily remembered today as a vocalist, he also played piano and guitar. His music effortlessly spanned several genres: jazz, swing, pop and blues.

Unfortunately, Cole was also a heavy cigarette smoker.  He died of lung cancer in 1965.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Steampunk pipe smoker #2

click to enlarge

via My Ear-Trumpet

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pipe, not pipe #2

undated but probably "vintage" ad (click to enlarge)

I have seen other versions of the pipe gun in books. This was not a unique idea.  However, I would dispute that a single-shot, short-barreled, awkward to handle .25 caliber pistol could be described as "formidable."  Furthermore, having experienced shooting a .22 derringer, I would hazard a bet that if this pistol is fired as shown, recoil would make it jump right out of the shooter's hand.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tolkien lighting his pipe

I saw this documentary a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately, at that time I had no way to capture it for future reference.  I wish this clip began about a minute earlier so it would show how carefully he set himself up for the initial lighting.  He carefully places the match in his right fingers, strikes it, then tucks the matchbox in among the fingers of his left hand.  This seemed an awkward ritual to me, and I wondered:  why didn't he just put the matchbox down?

I thought about it, and I decided a plausible theory was that this was a habit he developed during World War I.  He spent time in combat in France, and there probably wasn't a good place to put a matchbox down in the trenches.  Another thing that strikes me is how me makes that first match count.  Does it look like he's going to need a second light?  I must admit that when I use matches--as I always do when I'm home--it can easily take me three matches to get the thing going.  Possibly another holdover from an earlier time when matches were a semi-precious commodity and he had to make sure every one counted.

Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact title, I think it may have been the one called A Film Portrait of J.R.R. Tolkien.  At the time, it was airing on the Ovation cable channel.  So keep an eye out for it, and if you get lucky enough to find it, you might get to see a more complete version of his pipe-lighting ritual.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pipe Smoker: Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980) 
"If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I'm still waiting, it's all been to seduce women, basically."
There is much that has been said of Sartre, so I'm not going to bother with any details here because you can easily read it elsewhere.  He was born, and spent most of his life, in Paris, France.  He was an--or perhaps, the--existentialist philosopher.  He was also a novelist and playwright.  And it's just about impossible to find a photo of him without a pipe in his mouth.  Above we see a rather worried-looking Jean-Paul (but then, he was almost always worried-looking) smoking something in the Canadian family.

And here is a somewhat more relaxed-appearing Jean-Paul with another straight pipe, apparently giving Simone de Beauvoir a...shooting lesson?  Keep your eyes open, Simone.  You're holding it by the safe end; it won't hurt you.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Let's get some pictures

Since I can't upload animated gifs to Blogger, I'll just give you the link to this animated gif from the movie Airplane! at My Ear Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning.

And as long as you're going there anyway, you might want to check out this ad for Hendrick's Gin.  (Not a pipe ad, but an ad with a pipe in it.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pipe Smoker: Percival Harrison Fawcett

Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett (1867 - 1925?)
"Civilization has a relatively precarious hold upon us and there is an undoubted attraction in a life of absolute freedom once it has been tasted. The 'call of the wild' is in the blood of many of us and find its safety valve in nature."
Percy Fawcett was born in Torquay, Devon, England.  He served in the Royal Artillery beginning in 1886 and in 1901 joined the Royal Geographic Society to study surveying and mapmaking.  In 1906, at the urging of the president of the RGS, he began exploring South America.  He found the terrain to be dangerous, the native wildlife to be dangerous, the weather to be dangerous, and the native people to be...dangerous.

In 1925 he began what would be his final expedition into the Brazilian wilderness, accompanied by his eldest son, Jack.  On May 29th of that year he sent a message back to his wife that they were about to enter unexplored territory, and that "you need have no fear of failure."  He was never heard from nor seen again.  Over the years, several expeditions were sent out to try and find him, but all failed.

As recently as 1996, another expedition was formed to try and find any clues as to what had become of him.  The expedition encountered hostile indigenous people who detained them for several days and confiscated thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Percy Fawcett's ultimate fate remains unknown to this day.

Percy Fawcett at the Virtual Exploration Society
Percy Fawcett at Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vintage Ad: Bond Street, 1941

And here have yet another entry in our creepy Bond Street guy ads.  Someone is missing, and someone is wanted.  I'm not sure who is who, but I don't trust the guy with pipe who apparently goes around whiffing wives.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lt. George Armstrong Custer and Union troops (colorized)

In 1862.

Pipe lore: shot with his own pipe

December 30 of 1913

Isaac Bishop of Eagle township in Ohio was loading his clay pipe with tobacco after a very fine meal that his wife had prepared. Now the lights were kind of dim and he was reclining in his chair and he didn't notice that not only did he load tobacco, but he also loaded a 32 caliber cartridge into his pipe. He then brought the match to the pipe and of course the bullet went off and went through his cheek. He ended up with a scar on his left cheek for the rest of his life.
That must have been a fairly capacious pipe. The .32 ACP and .32 S&W are both nearly an inch long, and the old .32 rimfire is over an inch long.  In any case, I think we can safely draw the conclusion from this that one should not store one's ammunition and pipe tobacco together.

Heard on The Useless Information Podcast.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pipe lore: "a pipe or two"

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.’

Jerome K. Jerome, from Three Men in a Boat (1889)

Guy Fawkes effigies

With pipe.  Found here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Macro shot: 1792 Flake

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pipe lore: "the chimney of perpetual hospitality"


On Sunday, the 26I of August 1621, a comedy, entitled Technogamia, or the Marriage of the Arts, written by Barton Holiday, M. A., of Christ’s Church, Oxford, was performed by students of the same college, before James I at Woodstock. As a typical specimen of the allegorical piece of the olden time, this drama is not unworthy of notice. The dramatis personæ; consist of Polites, a magistrate; Physica, and her daughter Astronomia; Ethicus, with his wife Economa; Geographicus, a traveller, with his servant Phantastes; Logicus, and his servant Phlegmaticus; Grammaticus, a schoolmaster, and his usher Choler; Poeta, and his servant Melancholia; Medicus, and his servant Sanguis; Historia; Rhetorica; Geometres; Arithmetica; Musica; Causidicus; Magus, and his wife Astrologia; Physiognomus and Cheiromantes, two cheating gipsies. All these are attired in goodly and appropriate fashion. Astronomia, for instance, wearing ‘white gloves and pumps, an azure gown, and a mantle seeded with stars; on her head a tiara, bearing on the front the seven stars, and behind stars promiscuously; on the right side, the sun; on the left, the moon.’ Astronomia is the brilliant heroine of the play--the heaven to which Geographicus aspires to travel, of which Geometres endeavours to take the measure, in which Poeta desires to repose. On the other hand, Arithmetica has a more natural passion for Geometres, and Historia anxiously wishes to be united to Poeta. Grammaticus, in an amorous mood, solicits Rhetorica, whose flowers bloom only for Logicus.

These conflicting attachments cause great confusion in the commonwealth of learning; each of the enamoured personages endeavouring to obtain the object of his or her affections. Polites assists Geographicus; Magus employs his occult art in favour of Geometres; while the Nine Muses, as in duty bound, assist Poeta. Polites can with difficulty keep the peace. The gipsies, Physiognomus and Cheiromantes, pick Poeta’s pocket, but find nothing therein but a copy of Anacreon and a manuscript translation of Horace. Physiognomus is appropriately branded on the face, that all men may know him to be a rogue; and Cheiromantes receives the same punishment on the hand; and the two, with Magus and Astrologia, who had attempted to strangle Astronomia, are justly banished the commonwealth of the Sciences. Then Geographicus, discharging his servant Phantastes, marries Astronomia; Grammaticus espouses Rhetorica; Melancholia obtains the hand of Musica, and takes Phantastes into his service; Logicus, old and heartless, being left without a mate, becomes an assistant to Polites; and thus peace and harmony is restored among the Sciences. There is considerable ingenuity displayed in the invention of this plot, the dialogue is witty, and the professors of the sciences represented are humorously satirised.

One would have supposed, that the pedantic spirit of James would have been delighted with this production, but such was not the case. Anthony h Wood tells us that the king ‘offered several times to withdraw, but being persuaded by some of those that were near him to have patience till it were ended, lest the young men should be discouraged, [he] adventured it, though much against his will.’ And the Cambridge students, pleased that the Oxford drama did not interest the king, produced the following epigram:

‘At Christ-church marriage, played before the king, Lest these learned mates should want an offering, The king, himself, did offer--What, I pray? He offered twice or thrice to go away.’

It is not difficult to perceive what it was that displeased the king. Phlegmaticus was dressed ‘in a pale russet suit, on the hack whereof was represented one filling a pipe of tobacco, his hat beset round about with tobacco-pipes, with a can of drink hanging at his girdle.’ He entered, exclaiming: ‘Fore Jove, most meteorological tobacco! Pure Indian! not a jot sophisticated; a tobacco-pipe is the chimney of perpetual hospitality. Fore Jove, most metropolitan tobacco.’ And then, rather unphlegmatically, he broke out into the following song:

Tobacco’s a Musician,
And in a pipe delighteth;
It descends in a close,
Through the organs of the nose,
With a relish that inviteth.
This makes me sing, So ho, so ho, boys,
Ho, boys, sound I loudly;
Earth ne’er did breed
Such a jovial weed,
Whereof to boast so proudly.

Tobacco is a Lawyer,
His pipes do love long cases;
When our brains it enters,
Our feet do make indentures;
While we seal with stamping paces,
This makes me sing, &c.

Tobacco’s a Physician,
Good both for sound and sickly;
‘Tis a hot perfume,
That expels cold rheum,
And makes it flow down quickly.
This makes me sing, &c.

Tobacco is a Traveller,
Come from the Indies hither;
It passed sea and land,
Ere it came to my hand,
And ‘scaped the wind and weather,
This makes me sing, &c.

Tobacco is a Critic,
That still old paper turneth,
Whose labour and care,
Is as smoke in the air,
That ascends from a rag when it burneth.
This makes me sing, &c.

Tobacco’s an Ignis-fatuus,
A fat and fiery vapour,
That leads men about,
Till the fire be out,
Consuming like a taper.
This makes me sing, &c.

Tobacco is a Whiffler,
And cries huff snuff with fury,
His pipe’s his club and link,
He’s the wiser that does drink;
Thus armed I fear not a fury.
This makes me sing, So ho, so ho, boys,
Ho, boys, sound I loudly;
Earth ne’er did breed
Such a jovial weed,
Whereof to boast so proudly.

The royal author of the Counterblast to Tobacco must have felt himself insulted by such a song. Ben Jenson was wiser, when, in his Gipsies’ Meta-morphosis, he abused ‘the devil’s own weed,’ in language totally unpresentable at the present day; and the delighted monarch ordered the filthy, slangy, low play, to be performed three several times in his kingly presence.
From Chamber's Book of Days.  Thanks to Brer via email.

House of Westminster cherrywood

For previous posts about this pipe, see here and here. I picked this up today with its new stem. As I had said before, the old stem was in very bad shape and I had never attempted to smoke it; I just cleaned it up nice and took it to the shop for a replacement stem.  So here are some photos I took of it just now.  Click on them for larger versions.

UPDATE:  While I was at the shop, I picked up a tin of 1792 Flake as well, and used it to try out the new pipe.  Very nice.  The big bulk of wood in this pipe makes it smoke quite cool, and it has a low enough center of gravity that I can still grip it in my teeth without using a hand for long enough to type effectively.  This pipe will be one of my regulars.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Date unknown, but I think it's safe to call it late 1800s.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Steampunk pipe smoker #1

By MonkeyHeartless at deviantart.  When women smoked pipes and wore goggles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Russian peasant with pipe, dated 1911

From My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning, which you should probably subscribe to, in my opinion.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Picnicing at Indooroopilly

Picnicing at Indooroopilly

via LJMcK at flickr.

I once got a search hit on this blog for the search string "when men smoked pipes and wore hats." So I'm going to create a new category for photos such as this, if I find any more in the future. Exact date unknown.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pipe quote: C.S. Lewis

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

--C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 24, 2012

Miskatonic U

I think I have already established on this blog that I am also a fan of H.P. Lovecraft.  Therefore, I thought it important to point out a new webcomic called Miskatonic U.  It is so new that you can easily catch up on the archives if you wish.

I mention this because the story's main protagonist is a new student at Miskatonic, and he has just met his belching, pipe-smoking room mate.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"The Wickedest Man in the World"

If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger has two photos of Aleister Crowley, young and old, both with pipe, at The Wickedest Man in the World.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pipe quote: William Makepeace Thackeray

“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.”

--William Makepeace Thackeray

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Lashing new ratlines in the rigging"

Lashing on new ratlines in the rigging

Lashing on new ratlines in the rigging

Aboard the Frances and Marion, a Portuguese trawler. Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1942.

Photography by John Collier Jr.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bayou Night macro shot


I haven't mentioned it on this blog yet, but I recently got a halfway-decent digital camera, so I'm not restricted to relying on lousy cell phone photos anymore.  Here's a macro shot of some Bayou Night.  I hope to post more such photos in the future.  I cropped this one just a little to keep the container out of the photo, so it isn't perfectly proportioned for a computer desktop, but it's very close.  If anyone wants to save this for personal use as their desktop wallpaper, feel free.

This is the only photo I've taken so far on the topic of pipes & tobacco, but if any readers wish to follow my flickr photostream, just click the link to go there.  My new blog that focuses solely on my attempts at photography is With Camera Eye.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Feathertop" comic

Go here to read.  What does it have to do with pipe smoking?  Read and see!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Let Me Smoke My Pipe

From Mr.B the Gentleman Rhymer.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Albert Einstein: pipe-smoking party reptile

Although I've already covered Einstein as a "featured pipe smoker," I felt compelled to add this photo, which I came across just yesterday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A smoke-filled backroom

With a couple of women corncob pipe smokers.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pictures of the Bertram

I've been wanting to take some photos of the Bertram for some time now, and I finally got around to buying a decent digital camera, so here they are. I've mentioned this pipe before, and posted some old "before & after" photos when I was refurbishing it, but I never posted any photos of it with its new stem.  You can see that I've smoked it a few times--it has some lip marks which I should clean off, I guess.

For more info about this pipe, just click on "Bertram" under the labels in the sidebar.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two kinds of truth

This quote doesn't have anything to do with pipe smoking, but it's from one of my favorite pipe-smoking authors, Raymond Chandler.
There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
--- Raymond Chandler, ”Great Thought” (19 February 1938), published in The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler (1976)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on film, 1928

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on film!  In this 10-minute filmed interview from 1928 he discusses Sherlock Holmes and spritualism.

No, no pipes in this film.  But, he was a pipe smoker, and as is my wont I occasionally post items Holmesian interest because it's my blog.

And on a personal note, oh how I would love to have such a clip of H.P. Lovecraft, just to hear what his voice sounded like.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Samuel Seymour

Here's a film clip of the old TV show "I've Got a Secret," with 96-year-old Samuel Seymour. A very interesting clip that also has a pipe connection.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Like a Sir

Found at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vintage Ad: Genuine French Briar Pipes

From an old Sears catalog, date unknown.

Via Voice of the Monkey.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pipe, not pipe #1

click to enlarge

When is a pipe not a pipe?  When it's a cigar holder.  Here we have a nattily-dressed late 19th century young man, complete with top hat, smoking his cigar in something that looks somewhat pipe-like.

Honestly, in my opinion, he doesn't pull it off.  If he was thirty years older, maybe, but as is, I can't help but think that this is the 1890s version of the modern douchebag.

From My Ear Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning via Brer.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Although I don't do much to observe this time that was arbitrarily appointed as the beginning of the year (in some cultures--personally I think the year should end/begin with the Winter Solstice), I hope the coming year brings you much pipe-smoking pleasure.

Graphic found at Laughing Squid.