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.