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.