Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog tip: The Tobacco Pipe Artistory

My friend Brer from PowerOfBabel recently sent me a couple of pipe pix by email.  This is one of them.  I looked it up to see if I could find where he had found it, and came across an excellent pipe blog.

The world of antique pipes is a fascinating place full of surprising materials, shapes, styles, sizes and configurations and, depending on where the pipes were produced, can be encountered in a broad range of embellishments and accents in precious and semi-precious stones, silver and gold filigree, amber, ivory, horn, bone, and tortoiseshell.
Pipe Artistory covers a wide range of pipe & tobacco lore from history, with lots and lots of pictures. I recommend it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Macro shot: Don't Tread On Me (hybrid blend)

This is a blend that I have C&D mix up for me occasionally.  It uses their house blend Gray Ghost, which is a mixture of maduro and Virginia.  I have had it mixed at different ratios, but my preferred blend is 5/8 Gray Ghost to 3/8 Perique.  I call it Don't Tread On Me.  Here's a faux tin label that I made up for it once (the Blogonomicon is one of my other blogs).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New tobacco order has arrived

The last time I ordered tobacco from Cornell & Diehl, I got a pound of Mountain Camp.  This was one of my favorites back in the olden days, and is a cousin of my absolute favorite Bayou Night, because it contains all the same varieties but with the ratios of Latakia and Perique reversed.

I have been smoking the Mountain Camp almost exclusively lately in order to use it up, and have finally come to the end of it.  I don't think I'll order it again.  It seems I have just lost my liking for strong Latakia blends.

A couple of days ago I received a new order which I will detail in a future post soon, but for now I will just say that I am thoroughly enjoying a custom blend that I had C&D whip up for me which is heavy on the Perique.  I'll be posting a couple of macro shots of the fresh leaves that have just arrived soon and detailing once again the custom blend that I'm enjoying tonight.

I also have to look forward to some thorough reaming and cleaning to get the Latakia out of several pipes.  I don't hate it or anything like that, I just prefer it now in smaller ratios so that it doesn't dominate.  Happy puffing!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boating, with pipe

A father and sons out boating on the lake at the German resort of Wannsee near Berlin, 1925.  Via Mental Floss.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quite possibly the birth of a meme

The "ridiculously photogenic sea captain" from Tastefully Offensive.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pipe Smoker (fictional): Professor Richard Impossible

Richard Impossible is a super-scientist and inventive genius; and a fictional character from the animated series The Venture Brothers (on Cartoon Network).  For those who don't watch this show, I think a little explanation may be in order.  The main protagonists are the characters Doctor Thaddeus Venture, his sons Hank and Dean, and their bodyguard Brock Sampson.  They are based on and to some extent are parodies of the Quest family from the old animated series Jonny Quest.  Various other animated characters appear in either parodized or "actual" form now and then.  For example, the whole Quest family:  Jonny, Hadji, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon have all appeared at one time or another, as did their arch-nemesis Dr. Zin.

So...back to Professor Impossible.  In addition to his qualities already mentioned, at one time there was a freak accident in his laboratory which gave him the super-power of super-stretchiness.  Unfortunately, it also afflicted his wife Sally with invisible skin--but only her skin--which she can't always control; Sally's mentally handicapped cousin Ned with 3-inch thick skin, making him look like a living callous; and her brother Cody with the horrific malady of bursting into flame whenever he is exposed to the atmosphere, which renders him unable to do anything but scream and convulse in pain.  Professor Impossible built a special capsule which Cody can lie in that prevents him from burning; however he is condemned to live in this capsule for his entire life.

So you should see by now that Professor Impossible and his family are parodies of the Fantastic Four.  Impossible himself is extremely dominating and controlling; he doesn't even want Sally to leave her room when the Ventures came to visit him.  Above is a photo of him in his special "super-hero" costume.  He is almost always seen either holding or actually smoking a pipe.  In his early days, he appeared to prefer something similar to a bent billiard.

Eventually Sally grew tired of always being controlled by him, and realizing that she would always come in second to scientific research, she left him.  The breakup of his marriage sent him into a spiral of depression and excessive drinking.  He attempted suicide twice, but was comically prevented from killing himself by his own super-stretchy abilities.

One more bit of expository explanation.  In the Venture world, there is an organization called The Guild of Calamitous Intent.  It is an organization of villains who are bound by very strict rules of behavior in how they deal with their arch-enemies.  One particular arch-villain, another super-scientist called The Phantom Limb (a freak accident gave him invisible limbs with which he is also able to deliver electric shocks by touch) broke the rules and was thrown into a Guild prison.  He escaped, and began forming his own group which he called The Revenge Society, and which would not be constricted by any polite rules of engagement.  He contacted Professor Impossible and convinced him to join the Society to get revenge on those who had wronged him (namely, Dr. Venture, who he blamed for his failed marriage).

At this point, he changed his name to Professor Incorrigible and became a super-scientist arch-villain.

Although he is still a pipe smoker, he now prefers a pipe made of something other than briar, perhaps meerschaum or--who knows, maybe bone?--shaped like a skull.

The Venture Brothers is still an ongoing story, so we have yet to see what will become of Professor Incorrigible.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vintage Ad: Tuxedo pipe tobacco (1924)

Click for a larger version.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Vintage Ad: Prince Albert (1949)

"The national joy smoke."  Huh.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tinder Box brochure, early 1990s

Here are scans of a Tinder Box brochure from the early 90s.  At that time, there was one store at a mall in my area.  Neither the store nor the mall are there anymore.  I don't know if they still have the same brochure these days, but I thought it might be of interest.  Click on the pictures for larger versions.

Pipe Smoker: D. H. Snyder

Dudley Hiram Snyder (1833 - 1921)

Although not famous enough to warrant a Wikipedia page, D.H. Snyder was fairly well-known in his time.  Born in Mississippi, he eventually made his way to central Texas where he engaged in various activities to make a living, starting out by hauling cedar logs (cedar is still widely used for fence posts because of their natural bug- and rot-resisting qualities).  Taking his profits to Missouri, he bought wagons and hauled apples and other such items back to Texas to sell.  He invested his earnings from this into a herd of Spanish ponies which he drove to Missouri and traded for draft horses.  (The "Spanish ponies," or wild mustangs that had been broken for riding, were very popular for use in cattle driving).

He earned a reputation as a "safe man," or someone who could be relied upon, and this got him a job driving cattle to supply Confederate troops with beef during the Civil War.

Snyder eventually became a very wealthy cattle rancher.  His place in Texas history is honored by the above portrait, which hangs on a wall of the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas among numerous other prominent cattle ranchers of the 1800s and early 1900s.  He passed away in Georgetown, Texas in 1921.

Link: (where you can see a stately photo of an elderly D.H. Snyder without a pipe)

Friday, June 7, 2013

When men smoked pipes and wore hats: Unidentified pipe smoker

A home-made pipe?  Maybe.  It looks pretty rough.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pipe smoker quick fix: Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Another photo of Clemens with pipe that I just found in my collection. Must have missed it before.

Vintage Ad: The Champ Hat (1945)

Ad from 1945 for the "Champ" hat.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pipe smoker quick fix: Albert Einstein

A couple more pix of Einstein with pipe to add to the others I've already posted.

More on Albert Einstein:

I have the same problem with my socks
Albert Einstein:  pipe-smoking party reptile
Pipe Smoker:  Albert Einstein

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Some museum pipes

Today my family and I visited the Witte Museum in San Antonio, and on our tour through the section on Texas history, I made sure to keep an eye out for pipes.

Click all pictures for larger versions.  I was only using my phone camera, so the details aren't sharp, but here is an example of a Native American pipe and if you enlarge it you can read the texts at the upper left.  Not clear in the picture here, but above the pipe are examples of "cane cigarettes," or let's say "cigarette-shaped" sections of cane which were used for smoking, sort of like a straight pipe with no bowl.  One of them was found still packed with juniper leaves, which were apparently used for smoking.  At the lower right is a "tobacco" pouch, the pouch made from prickly pear pads and still holding a large quantity of juniper.

There was also a section on German settlers in early Texas, which is of particular interest to me because those are the people I came from.  Here is a Tyrolean-style pipe brought to Texas by an unidentified German emigrant around 1850.

And another German pipe, this one belonging to Heinrich Steves, who came to Texas with his family in 1849.

Pipe Smoker (fictional): George Jetson

Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!

George Jetson is a fictional character from the animated series The Jetsons, pictured here (left to right) with his daughter Judy, his wife Jane, his son Elroy, and his dog Astro.  As you can see, Astro is somewhat anthropomorphic and is even able to speak in a sort of heavily dog-accented English, which leads me to believe that Astro must be a distant descendent of Scooby Doo.  Not pictured is their robotic housekeeper, Rosie.  But back to George.

George and his family live on an indeterminately future Earth, in a towering space needle type of house.  The ground below is almost never seen, and all humans who live in George's time live in such high towers so they can escape the lower altitude smog, and use various sorts of flying vehicles to travel between buildings.  [One theory is that the Flintstones and the Jetsons actually live in the same time--the Flintstones and their ilk being much more primitive "ground dwellers" while the Jetsons and their kind are more socially upward humans who, in a manner of speaking, left them behind.]

George Jetson works as a digital index operator for a company called Spacely's Space Sprockets, the "sprocket" being some form of undetermined futuristic technology that allows humans of George's world to live as they do.  George's job is extremely stressful--at one point he complained of having to work for one hour, two days a week.  His job consists almost entirely of repeatedly pushing a button on his work computer, called RUDI (for Referential Universal Digital Indexer).  He is frequently fired and then re-hired by his tyrannical boss, Cosmo Spacely.

But George is a good-hearted soul who loves his family and is loyal to his employer, and on rare occasions, he is able to relax and enjoy the company of his family and his dog, and even smoke a pipe.

George Jetson Wikipedia
The Jetsons Wikipedia
The Jetsons