Tobacco pipe

A tobacco pipe, often called simply a pipe, is a device specifically made to smoke tobacco. It comprises a chamber (the bowl) for the tobacco from which a thin hollow stem (shank) emerges, ending in a mouthpiece (the bit). Pipes can range from very simple machine-made briar models to highly prized hand-made artisanal implements made by renowned pipemakers, which are often very expensive collector's items. Pipe smoking is the oldest known traditional form of tobacco smoking.

Smoking pipe rack
A selection of various pipes on a circular pipe rack
Adventures with Sherlock Holmes TD Gallery Jan 5-Mar 10, 2012
Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe. This color painting by Sidney Paget first appeared in the September, 1914 number of Strand Magazine to illustrate the first installment of "The Valley of Fear".


Inlayed Pipe Bowl with Two Faces, early 19th century,50.67.104
Inlayed Pipe Bowl with Two Faces, early 19th century, Brooklyn Museum

Some Native American cultures smoke tobacco in ceremonial pipes, and have done so since long before the arrival of Europeans. For instance the Lakota people use a ceremonial pipe called čhaŋnúŋpa. Other American Indian cultures smoke tobacco socially.[1] The tobacco plant is native to South America but spread into North America long before Europeans arrived. Tobacco was introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century and spread around the world rapidly.

As tobacco was not introduced to the Old World until the 16th century,[2] the older pipes outside of the Americas were usually used to smoke various other substances, including hashish, a rare and expensive substance outside areas of the Middle East, Central Asia and India, where it was then produced.

Workings of a tobacco pipe


A pipe's fundamental function is to provide a relatively safe, manipulable volume in which to incompletely combust a smokable substance. Typically this is accomplished by connecting a refractory 'bowl' to some sort of 'stem' which extends and may also cool the smoke mixture drawn through the combusting organic mass (see below).


Tobacco pipe parts
Parts of a pipe include the (1) bowl, (2) chamber, (3) draught hole, (4) shank, (5) mortise, (6) tenon, (7) stem, (8) bit (or mouthpiece), (9) lip, and (10) bore.

The broad anatomy of a pipe typically comprises mainly the bowl and the stem. The bowl (1) which is the cup-like outer shell, the part hand-held while packing, holding and smoking a pipe, is also the part "knocked" top-down to loosen and release impacted spent tobacco. On being sucked, the general stem delivers the smoke from the bowl to the user's mouth.

Inside the bowl is an inner chamber (2) space holding tobacco pressed into it. This draught hole (3), is for air flow where air has travelled through the tobacco in the chamber, taking the smoke with it, up the shank (4). At the end of the shank, the pipe's mortise (5) and tenon (6) join is an air-tight, simple connection of two detachable parts where the mortise is a hole met by the tenon, a tight-fitting "tongue" at the start of the stem (7). Known as the bore (10), the inner shaft of this second section stays uniform throughout while the outer stem tapers down to the mouthpiece or bit (8) held in the smoker's teeth, and finally ends in the "lip" (9), attenuated for comfort.


The bowls of tobacco pipes are commonly made of briar wood, meerschaum, corncob, pear-wood, rose-wood or clay. Less common are other dense-grained woods such as cherry, olive, maple, mesquite, oak, and bog-wood. Minerals such as catlinite and soapstone have also been used. Pipe bowls are sometimes decorated by carving, and moulded clay pipes often had simple decoration in the mould.

Unusual, but still noteworthy pipe materials include gourds, as in the famous calabash pipe, and pyrolytic graphite. Metal and glass are uncommon materials for tobacco pipes, but are common for pipes intended for other substances, such as cannabis.

The stem needs a long channel of constant position and diameter running through it for a proper draw, although filter pipes have varying diameters and can be successfully smoked even without filters or adapters. Because it is molded rather than carved, clay may make up the entire pipe or just the bowl, but most other materials have stems made separately and detachable. Stems and bits of tobacco pipes are usually made of moldable materials like Ebonite, Lucite, Bakelite, and soft plastic. Less common are stems made of reeds, bamboo, or hollowed out pieces of wood. Expensive pipes once had stems made of amber, though this is rare now.


Pipe shapes

  • Apple. Subtypes: Apple, Author, Diplomat, Egg, Hawkbill, Prince, Tomatoe (Ball).
  • Billiard. Subtypes: Billiard, Brandy, Chimney, Panel, Oom Paul, Pot, Nose Warmer.
  • Bulldog. Subtypes: Bulldog, Bull Moose, Bullcap, Czech Bulldog, Rhodesian, Ukulele.
  • Calabash. Subtypes: Calabash, Reverse Calabash.
  • Canadian. Subtypes: Canadian, Liverpool, Lovat, Lumberman.
  • Cavalier. Subtypes: Cavalier, Pseudo-cavalier.
  • Churchwarden (Reading pipe). – Pipe with a long stem.
  • Dublin. Subtypes: Dublin, Acorn (Pear), Cutty, Devil Anse, Zulu.
  • Freehand. Subtypes: Freehand, Blowfish, Horn, Nautilus, Tomahawk, Volcano.
  • Sitter. Subtypes: Sitter, Cherrywood, Duke (Don), (Stand Up) Poker, Tankard.
  • Tyrolean pipe.
  • Vest Pocket.
Pipe Boule


Egg pipe


Smoking pipe prince


Smoking pipe billard


Billard spigot


Smoking pipe bent

Bent (Billiard).

Smoking pipe pot


Pipe Pot




Smoking pipe czech bulldog

Czech Bulldog.

Pipe Bulldog

Bulldog or Haïti.

Pipe Rodhesian




Smoking pipe cavalier


Pipe Cavalier


Smoking pipe churchwarden


Pipe Dublin


Cutty ebo


Pipe Zulu


Pipe Fleur


Pipe Horn



Elephant's Foot.

Smoking pipe sitter


Pipe Poker


Smoking pipe tyrolean


Smoking pipe vest pocket

Vest Pocket.

Smoking pipe macarthur




Pipe Neogene



Calabash pipe with meerschaum bowl. This particular example was made in the US by the Pioneer pipe company. First appearing in the late 1960s, these were sold as a cheaper alternative to European-made calabashes. The Vulcanite joiner and fussy bit are distinctive signs of the company's manufacture.

Calabash gourds (usually with meerschaum or porcelain bowls set inside them) have long made prized pipes, but they are labour-intensive and, today, quite expensive. Because of this expense, pipes with bodies made of wood (usually mahogany) instead of gourd, but with the same classic shape, are sold as calabashes. Both wood and gourd pipes are functionally the same (with the important exception that the dried gourd, usually being noticeably lighter, sits more comfortably in the mouth). They consist of a downward curve that ends with an upcurve where the bowl sits. Beneath the bowl is an air chamber which serves to cool, dry, and mellow the smoke. There are also briar pipes being sold as calabashes. These typically do not have an air chamber and are so named only because of their external shape.

A calabash pipe is rather large and easy to recognize as a pipe when used on a stage in dramatic productions. Although a British newspaper cartoon of the early 1900s depicts the British actor H. A. Saintsbury as the Great Detective smoking what may be a calabash pipe, its now-stereotypical identification with Sherlock Holmes remains a mystery.

Some commentators have erroneously associated the calabash with William Gillette, the first actor to become universally recognized as the embodiment of the detective. Gillette actually introduced the curving or bent pipe for use by Holmes, but his pipe was an ornate briar. Gillette chose a bent pipe, more easily clenched in the teeth when delivering lines.

While there are promotional stills of Basil Rathbone smoking calabash pipes as Holmes for other projects, most notably his radio show, in his first two outings as Holmes produced by 20th Century-Fox as taking place in the Victorian era, Rathbone smoked an apple-bowled, black briar with a half bend, made by Dunhill, the company known for making the best pipes at that time. In the next dozen films, the series produced by Universal Studios, with Holmes and Watson updated to the 1940s, Rathbone smokes a much less expensive Peterson half bend with a billiard-shaped bowl. A calabash is introduced in The Spider Woman but Holmes does not smoke it.

In the original chronicles, such as "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", Sherlock Holmes is described as smoking a long-stemmed cherrywood (but not a churchwarden pipe) which he favored "when in a disputatious, rather than a meditative mood." Holmes smokes an old briar-root pipe on occasion, The Sign of the Four for one, and an "unsavory" and "disreputable" black and oily clay pipe in several stories, notably in "The Red-Headed League". Dr Watson declares it to be the detective's preferred pipe: “It was to him as a counsellor” ("A Case of Identity"); the “companion of his deepest meditations" (The Valley of Fear)..

Pipes with removable bowl

Smoking pipe falcon 1

Falcon pipe.

Smoking pipe falcon 2

Falcon pipe with removed bowl.


Falcon pipe.

Bowls are made of varying shapes and materials to allow the smoker to try different characteristics or to dedicate particular bowls for particular tobaccos. Bowls are not interchangeable between manufacturers.


Hookah 2
An Egyptian hookah (shisha)

A hookah, ghelyan, or narghile, is a Middle Eastern water pipe that cools the smoke by filtering it through a water chamber. Often ice, cough-drops, milk, or fruit juice is added to the water. Traditionally, the tobacco is mixed with a sweetener, such as honey or molasses. Fruit flavors have also become popular. Modern hookah smokers, especially in the US, smoke "me'assel", "moassel", "molasses" or "shisha", all names for the same wet mixture of tobacco, molasses/honey, glycerine, and often, flavoring. This style of tobacco is smoked in a bowl with foil or a screen (metal or glass) on top of the bowl. More traditional tobaccos are "tombiek" (a dry unflavored tobacco, which the user moistens in water, squeezes out the extra liquid, and places coals directly on top) or "jarak" (more of a paste of tobacco with fruit to flavor the smoke).

Bowl materials

  • Briar – root of Erica arborea, prevalent material.
  • Meerchaum – mineral sepiolite called "sea foam".
  • Clay
  • Gourd
  • Porcelain
  • Synthetics
  • Ebony ("Zappi")
  • Cherry Wood
  • Beechwood
  • Corn Cob
  • Metal – used by Japanese kiseru and Arabian midwakh.
Smoking pipe billard 2


Smoking pipe beechwood


Smoking pipe corn cobl

Corn Cob.

Smoking pipe tyrolean 2



The majority of pipes sold today, whether handmade or machine-made, are fashioned from briar (French: bruyère). Briar is a particularly well suited wood for pipe making for a number of reasons. The first and most important characteristic is its natural resistance to fire. The second is its inherent ability to absorb moisture. The burl absorbs water in nature to supply the tree in the dry times and likewise will absorb the moisture that is a byproduct of combustion. Briar is cut from the root burl of the tree heath (Erica arborea), which is native to the rocky and sandy soils of the Mediterranean region. Briar burls are cut into two types of blocks; ebauchon and plateaux. Ebauchon is taken from the heart of the burl while plateaux is taken from the outer part of the burl. While both types of blocks can produce pipes of the highest quality, most artisan pipemakers prefer to use plateaux because of its superior graining.


A group of English clay pipes, from the early 17th to late 19th century, none complete, Bedford Museum, 2010

Ceramic pipes, made of moulded and then fired clay, were used almost universally by Europeans between the introduction of tobacco in the 16th century, and the introduction of cheap cigarettes at the end of the nineteenth.[3]

The material is not very strong and the early varieties had long thin stems, so they frequently broke, but were cheap to replace. It has been claimed that this fragility was somewhat intentional as it was utilized by Colonial American tavern keepers, for example, in renting the clay pipes to patrons. When the patron was done smoking the pipe and returned it to the keeper, the end of the stem was simply broken off so as to be ready for the next patron. However, there is no documentary evidence for this practice; it is known that communal pipes used in taverns were cleansed by being heated in an oven on special iron racks.[4]

Forming the pipe involved making them in moulds with the bore created by pushing an oiled wire inside the stem. The preferred material was pipeclay or "tobacco pipe clay", which fires to a white colour and is found in only certain locations. In North America, many clay pipes were historically made from more typical terracotta-coloured clays. According to one British writer in 1869, the French preferred old pipes and the English new, the middle class preferred long stems and the working class preferred short.[5] Short stemmed pipes, sometimes called cuttys or nose warmers in England, were preferred by those doing manual work as they could be gripped between the teeth, leaving both of the smoker's hands free.[3]

Later low-quality clay pipes were made by slip casting in a mould. Higher quality pipes are made in a labour-intensive hand shaping process.[6] Traditionally, clay pipes are un-glazed. Clays burn "hot" in comparison to other types of pipes, so they are often difficult for most pipe-smokers to use. Their proponents claim that, unlike other materials, a well-made clay pipe gives a "pure" smoke with no flavour addition from the pipe bowl. In addition to aficionados, reproductions of historical clay styles are used by some historical re-enactors. Clay pipes were once very popular in Ireland, where they were called dúidíns.

Broken fragments of clay pipe can be useful as dating evidence for archaeologists. In the 1950s, the American archaeologist J. C. Harrington noted that the bore of pipe stems decreased over time, so a late sixteenth or early seventeenth centuries pipe would have a stem bore diameter of around 964 inch (3.6 mm), but a late eighteenth century pipe would have a bore diameter of around 464 inch (1.6 mm). The size of bowls also increased over time as tobacco became a cheaper commodity, and later pipes tend to be more decorated.[3][7]


Corncob pipe

The specifically American style of pipes made from corncobs are cheap and effective, even if some regard them as inelegant. The cobs are first dried for two years. Then they are hollowed out to make a bowl shape. The bowls are dipped in a plaster-based mixture and varnished or lacquered on the outside. Shanks made from birch wood are then inserted into the bowls. The first and largest manufacturer of corncob pipes is Missouri Meerschaum, located in Washington, Missouri, in the United States.[8] Missouri Meerschaum has produced the pipes since 1869.[8] General Douglas MacArthur and Mark Twain were perhaps the most famous smokers of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon characters Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.

Corncob pipes remain popular today because they are inexpensive and require no "break-in" period like briar pipes.[9][10] For these two reasons, corncob pipes are often recommended as a "beginner's pipe."[11] However, corncob pipes are equally valued by both learners and experienced smokers who simply desire a cool, clean smoke. Pipesmokers who wish to sample a wide variety of different tobaccos and blends also might keep a stock of corncobs on hand to permit them to try new flavors without "carryover" from an already-used pipe, or to keep a potentially bad-tasting tobacco from adding its flavor to a more expensive or favored pipe.[12]


Meerschaum (hydrated magnesium silicate), a mineral found in small shallow deposits mainly around the city of Eskişehir in central Turkey, is prized for the properties which allow it to be carved into finely detailed decorative and figural shapes. It has been used since the 17th century and, with clay pipes, represented the most common medium for pipes before the introduction of briar as the material of choice in the 19th century. The word "meerschaum" means "sea foam" in German, alluding to its natural white color and its surprisingly low weight. Meerschaum is a very porous mineral that absorbs elements of the tobacco during the smoking process, and gradually changes color to a golden brown. Old, well-smoked meerschaum pipes are valued by collectors for their distinctive coloring.

Meerschaum pipes can either be carved from a block of meerschaum, or made from meerschaum dust collected after carving and mixed with a binder then pressed into a pipe shape. The latter are far less absorbent, color in blotches, and lack the smoking quality of the block carved pipe.


Venturi pipe of synthetic materials

A variety of other materials may also be used for pipes. The Redmanol corporation manufactured pipes with translucent stems in the 1920s and a series of pipes were manufactured and distributed by the Tar Gard (later Venturi) Corporation of San Francisco from 1965-1975. Marketed under names such as "the pipe," "THE SMOKE" and "Venturi," they used materials such as pyrolytic graphite, phenolic resin, nylon, Bakelite and other synthetics, allowing for higher temperatures in the bowl, reduced tar, and aesthetic variations of color and style.[13] After Venturi stopped making pipes, several companies continue to make pipes from Brylon, a composite of nylon and wood flour, as a cheaper substitute for briar.

Briar bowl finish types

  • Brushed
  • Carved
  • Rustic
  • Sandblast
  • Smooth
Smoking pipe briar bowl smooth

Smooth finish.

Smoking pipe briar bowl brushed

Brushed finish.

Smoking pipe briar bowl sandblast

Sandblast finish.

Smoking pipe briar bowl rustic

Rustic finish.

Corn cob bowl finish types

  • Natural
  • Stained
  • Varnished (Polished)
Smoking pipe corn cob bowl natural

Natural finish.

Smoking pipe corn cob bowl polished

Polished finish.

Chamber types

  • Important is size – diameter and depth.
  • Chamber can be lined with other material, usually Meerchaum or metal.

Tenon shapes

  • Army
  • Standard
Smoking pipe tenon shapes

Standard (up) and Army tenon shape.

Filter types

  • None
  • Cooler
  • 6 mm
  • 9 mm
  • Other, e.g. Falcon dry ring.
Smoking pipe filter types

None (left), cooler, 6 mm, 9 mm, Falcon dry ring.

Smoking pipe filter types 2

None (left), cooler, 6 mm inserted, 9 mm inserted, Falcon dry ring inserted.

Stem materials

  • Acrylic
  • Amber
  • Bakelite
  • Cumberland (Brindle)
  • Ebonite
  • Horn (Keratin)
  • Plastic
  • Metal, e.g. Aluminium. Metal stem serves as a heat sink.
Smoking pipe stem materials

Anodized aluminium with white plastic bit (up), amber plastic, ebonite and acrylic stems.

Stem shapes

  • Combination
  • Saddle
  • Tapered
Smoking pipe stem shapes

Tapered (up) and saddle stem.

Stem curvatures

  • Straight
  • Slightly bent (semi-straight, half bent)
  • Bent
Smoking pipe stem curvatures

Straight (up), slightly bent and bent stem.

Bit shapes

  • Denture
  • Fishtail
  • P-Lip
  • Standard
Smoking pipe bit standard

Standard bit.

Smoking pipe bit fishtail

Fishtail bit.

Bit sizes

  • Regular (Single Bore)
  • Double Bore
  • Wide Comfort
  • Double Comfort


Smoking a pipe requires more apparatus and technique than cigarette or even cigar smoking. In addition to the pipe itself and matches or a pipe lighter, smokers usually require a pipe tool for packing, adjusting, and emptying the tobacco in the bowl, and a regular supply of pipe cleaners.


A typical ready-rubbed pipe tobacco, sold in a tin

Tobaccos for smoking in pipes are often carefully treated and blended to achieve flavour nuances not available in other tobacco products. Many of these are blends using staple ingredients of variously cured Burley and Virginia tobaccos which are enhanced by spice tobaccos, among them many Oriental or Balkan varietals, Latakia (a fire-cured spice tobacco of Syrian origin), Perique (uniquely grown in St. James Parish, Louisiana) which is also an old method of fermentation, or blends of Virginia and Burley tobaccos of African, Indian, or South American origins. Traditionally, many U.S. blends are made of American Burley with sweeteners and flavorings added to create an "aromatic" flavor, whereas "English" blends are based on natural Virginia tobaccos enhanced with Oriental and other natural tobaccos. There is a growing tendency towards "natural" tobaccos which derive their aromas from artful blending with selected spice tobaccos only and careful, often historically-based, curing processes.

Pipe tobacco can be purchased in several forms, which vary both in flavour (leading to many blends and opportunities for smokers to blend their own tobaccos) and in the physical shape and size to which the tobacco has been reduced. Most pipe tobaccos are less mild than cigarette tobacco, substantially more moist and cut much more coarsely. Too finely cut tobacco does not allow enough air to flow through the pipe, and overly dry tobacco burns too quickly with little flavour. Pipe tobacco must be kept in an airtight container, such as a canning jar or sealed tin, to keep from drying out.

Some pipe tobaccos are cut into long narrow ribbons. Some are pressed into flat plugs which are sliced into flakes. Others are tightly wound into long ropes, then sliced into discs. Plug tobacco is maintained in its pressed block form and sold in small blocks. The plug will be sliced into thin flakes by the smoker and then prepared in a similar fashion to flake tobacco. It is considered that plug tobacco holds its flavor better than rubbed or flake tobacco. Flake tobacco (sliced cakes or ropes) may be prepared in several ways. Generally it is rubbed out with the fingers and palms until it is loose enough to pack. It can also be crumbled or simply folded and stuffed into a pipe. Some people also prefer to dice up very coarse tobaccos before using them, making them easier to pack.


In the most common method of packing, tobacco is added to the bowl of the pipe in several batches, each one pressed down until the mixture has a uniform density that optimizes airflow (something that it is difficult to gauge without practice). This can be done with a finger or thumb, but if the tobacco needs to be repacked later, while it is burning, the tamper on a pipe tool is sometimes used. If it needs to be loosened, the reamer, or any similar long pin can be used. A traditional way of packing the pipe is to fill the bowl and then pack gently to about ​13 full, fill again and pack slightly more firmly to about ​23 full, and then pack more firmly still to the top.

An alternative packing technique called the Frank method involves lightly dropping tobacco in the pipe, after which a large plug is gingerly pushed into the bowl all at once.


Jianshui - old city - P1370481
Traditional smoking pipes for sale in Lin'an, Jianshui County, China, 2016

Matches, or separately lit slivers of wood are often considered preferable to lighters because of lower burning temperature. Butane lighters made specifically for pipes emit flame sideways or at an angle to make it easier to direct flame into the bowl. Torch-style lighters should never be used to light a pipe because their flames are too hot and can char the rim of the pipe bowl. Matches should be allowed to burn for several seconds to allow the sulfur from the tip to burn away and the match to produce a full flame. A naphtha fueled lighter should also be allowed to burn a few seconds to get rid of stray naphtha vapors that could give a foul taste to the smoke. When a flame has been produced, it is then moved in circles above the rim of the bowl while the smoker puffs to draw the flame down and light the tobacco. Packing method and humidity can affect how often a pipe must be relit.

Burning prevention

With care, a briar pipe can last a very long time without burning out. However, due to aggressive (hot) smoking, imperfections in the wood, a hole can be burned in the tobacco chamber of the pipe. There are several methods used to help prevent a wood pipe from burning out. These generally involve coating the chamber with any of a variety of substances, or by gently smoking a new pipe to build up a cake (a mixture of ash, unburned tobacco, oils, sugars, and other residue) on the walls.

These coatings may include honey and water; powdered sugar and water; cigar ash and water; and sour cream, buttermilk, and activated charcoal among many others.

Many modern briar pipes are pre-treated by the manufacturer to resist burning. If smoked correctly, the cake will build up properly on its own. Another technique is to alternate a half-bowl and a full-bowl the first several times the pipe is used to build an even cake. Burley is often recommended to help a new pipe build cake.

The effectiveness of these methods is by no means universally agreed upon.

The caked layer that helps prevent burning through the bottom or sides of a briar wood pipe may damage other pipes, such as meerschaum or clay. As the cake layer heats up, it expands and may cause cracks or breaks in non-briar pipes.


Pipe smoke, like cigar smoke, is usually not inhaled. It is merely brought into the mouth, pumped around oral and nasal cavities to permit absorption of nicotine toward the brain through the mucous membranes, and released. It is normal to have to relight a pipe periodically. If it is smoked too slowly, this will happen more often. If it is smoked too quickly, it can produce excess moisture causing a gurgling sound in the pipe and an uncomfortable sensation on the tongue (referred to as "pipe tongue", or more commonly, "tongue bite").

A pipe cleaner can be used to dry out the bowl and, wetted with alcohol, the inner channel. The bowl of the pipe can also become uncomfortably hot, depending on the material and the rate of smoking. For this reason, clay pipes in particular are often held by the stem. Meerschaum pipes are held in a square of chamois leather, with gloves, or else by the stem in order to prevent uneven coloring of the material.

Fritz Wagner Landsknecht beim Rauchen

Man smoking by Fritz Wagner


A pipe-smoking woman with cigarette plow


Hút thuốc lào, bát điếu
Waterpipe smoking in Vietnam

The ash and the last bits of unburned tobacco, known as dottle, should be cleaned out with a suitable pipe tool. A soft or bristle pipe cleaner, which may be moistened with strong spirits is then run through the airways of the stem and shank to remove any moisture, ash, and other residue before the pipe is allowed to dry. A pipe should be allowed to cool before removing the stem to avoid the possibility of warping it.

A cake of ash eventually develops inside the bowl. This is generally considered desirable for controlling overall heat. However, if it becomes too thick, it may expand faster than the bowl of the pipe itself when heated, cracking the bowl. Before reaching this point, it needs to be scraped down with a reamer. It is generally recommended to keep the cake at approximately the thickness of a U.S. dime (about 1/20th of an inch or 1.5 mm), though sometimes the cake is removed entirely as part of efforts to eliminate flavors or aromas.

Cake is considered undesirable in meerschaum pipes because it can easily crack the bowl and/or interfere with the mineral's natural porosity. Meerschaum also softens when heated so it is recommended to allow meerschaum pipes to cool before cleaning as people have been known to push pipe cleaners through the walls of heated pipes.

Regardless if a pipe is cleaned after every smoke, over time there is a buildup of cake in the bowl and tars in the internals of a smoking pipe. The cake can be controlled by gentle reaming, but a buildup of tars in the shank and airway of a pipe is more difficult to deal with. This may require the services of a professional pipe restorer to properly clean and sanitize the pipe.[14]


When tobacco is burned, oils from adjoining not yet ignited particles vaporize and condense into the existing cake on the walls of the bowl and shank. Over time, these oils can oxidize and turn rancid, causing the pipe to give a sour or bitter smoke. A purported countermeasure involves filling the bowl with kosher salt and carefully wetting it with strong spirits. It is important to not use iodized salt, as the iodine and other additives may impart an unpleasant flavor. Regularly wiping out the bowl with spirits such as vodka or rum is helpful in preventing souring. Commercial pipe-sweetening products are also available.

See also


  1. ^ ""Episode 11 Tobacco Pipes" by Robert Cassanello". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  2. ^ Davey, Mike. "The European Tobacco Trade From the 15th to the 17th Centuries". University of Minnesota. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Evolution of clay tobacco pipes in England" (PDF). Cambridge Archaeology Field Group. November 2012. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  4. ^ Hume, Ivor Noël. "Hunting for a Little Ladle". The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  5. ^ "The Bane without its Antidote", The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle for 1869, reprint Cambridge University Press, 2013, ISBN 1108054870, 9781108054874, google books
  6. ^ Newns, Sarah (2017). "The Clay Tobacco Pipes". Internet Archaeology (45). doi:10.11141/ia.45.3.4.
  7. ^ McMillan, Lauren (July 2010). Put This in your Pipe and Smoke it: An Evaluation of Tobacco Pipe Stem Dating Methods (PDF) (Master of Arts thesis). East Carolina University.
  8. ^ a b "History of Missouri Meerschaum Company - The world's oldest and largest manufacturer of corn cob pipes. - Washington, MO". Archived from the original on 2001-05-09.
  9. ^ "Some Brief Questions About Corn Cob Pipes :: General Pipe Smoking Discussion :: Pipe Smokers Forums". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  10. ^ "How to break in a corn cob pipe". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  11. ^ "Pipes for Beginners - Cigars International - Cigar 101". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  12. ^ "Corn Cob Pipes: 7 Reasons to try one". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  13. ^ Taylor II, Ph.D., Billie W. "A History of the pipe: Manufacturing and Marketing Pyrolytic Graphite Pipes from Development to Demise". Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  14. ^ "It's All About The Aesthetics ....... Isn't It?". Archived from the original on 2014-11-11. Retrieved 10 November 2014.

Further reading

  • Bayne-Jones, Stanhope, Burdette, Walter J., Cochran, William G., Farber, Emmanuel, Fieser, Louis F., Furth, Jacob, Hickam, John B., LeMaistre, Charles, Schuman, Leonard M., and Seevers, Maurice H. (January 11, 1964). "Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Office". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 96 (11): 853–61. CiteSeerX doi:10.1093/jnci/djh144. PMID 15173269.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Alfie and His Secret Friend

Alfie and His Secret Friend (Swedish: Alfons och hemlige Mållgan) is a 1976 children's book by Gunilla Bergström. Translated by Robert Swindells, it was published in English in 1979. As an episode of the animated television series it originally aired over SVT on 1 January 1980.

Bel-Air Village

Bel-Air refers to both a private subdivision and gated community, and a barangay in Makati City, Philippines. To the north, the village itself is bound by Neptune-Anza-Orion-Mercedes-Amapola Streets, Estrella Street on the northeast, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue on the southeast, Jupiter Street on the southwest, and Nicanor Garcia Street (formerly Reposo) on the northwest. It encompasses a total land area of 787,234 square meters and is roughly shaped like a tobacco pipe. Bel-Air Village was developed in four phases, and consists of 950 lots, thirty-two streets and two well-developed parks in Phases II and III, each with covered badminton/basketball courts. Makati Avenue separates Phase II from the rest of the subdivision. The village is managed by the Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA), and comprises only a portion of Barangay Bel-Air, which now includes Ayala North, Gil Puyat Avenue Extension, the Ayala Triangle, and the entire Salcedo Village. The current Barangay Captain is Mrs. Constancia Lichauco.

Bowl (smoking)

A bowl, when referred to in pipe smoking, is the part of a smoking pipe or bong that is used to hold tobacco, cannabis, or other substances.

The exterior surface of the bowl of some pipes may be fashioned with some kind of design. The character Henry Flower, in James Joyce's Ulysses carries a tobacco pipe with the bowl carved into a head: "He carries a silverstringed inlaid dulcimer and a longstemmed bamboo Jacob’s pipe, its clay bowl fashioned as a female head."Thomas Curtis' London Encyclopaedia of 1839 describes a "fumigator", an instrument found in a doctor's surgery "for injecting tobacco smoke into the anus of drowned persons, with a view to excite the irritability of the muscles". Curtis describes the best as being made by a W. Willurgby "the bowl of which is of cast brass and is large enough to contain about an ounce and a half of tobacco".Scholarly interest in the history of the evolution of the bowl of the clay tobacco pipe, extends as far back as 1863. In the 1860s antiquaries attempted to date clay pipe bowls by their evolving shapes and sizes.The bowls of ceremonial pipes used by some indigenous American nations are often carved from red pipestone or catlinite, a fine-grained easily worked stone of a rich red color of the Coteau des Prairies, west of the Big Stone Lake in South Dakota. The pipestone quarries have traditionally been neutral ground among warring tribes, as people from multiple nations journeyed to the quarry to obtain the sacred pipestone. Sacred ceremonial pipes are not used for smoking intoxicants, but rather to offer prayers in a spiritual or religious ceremony.

Broseley Pipeworks

The Broseley Pipeworks is one of ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums administered by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. The museum is based in the small town of Broseley in the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire, England within a World Heritage Site, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Once the site of the most prolific clay tobacco pipe makers in Britain, exporting worldwide, the works were abandoned in the 1950s.

The museum preserves the details of the industry of clay tobacco pipe making and has a display of clay tobacco pipes including the Churchwarden and Dutch Long Straw pipes.The pipeworks are Grade II listed.

Bubble pipe

A bubble pipe is a toy shaped like a tobacco pipe, intended to be used for blowing soap bubbles.


A chibouk (French: chibouque; from the Turkish: çıbık, çubuk (English: "stick") (Bosnian: "Čibuk"); also romanized čopoq, ciunoux or tchibouque) is a very long-stemmed Turkish tobacco pipe, often featuring a clay bowl ornamented with precious stones. The stem of the chibouk generally ranges between 4 and 5 ft. (1.2 and 1.5 m), much longer than even Western churchwarden pipes. While primarily known as a Turkish pipe, the chibouk was once popular in Iran, as well.

Like Chinese opium pipes, chibouk are antiquated smoking devices, and are rarely, if at all produced in modern times. Their use in Turkey and the Middle East may have died out with the growing popularity of the hookah and cigarettes. Old chibouk and chibouk bowls can still be purchased as antiques.

Similar pipes were once used in North Africa to smoke hashish. Some specialized chibouk were produced to act as long, cigarette-holding pipes. Some had detachable mouthpieces.

Enver Pasha was known to have smoked chibouk, as was Jirjis al-Jawhari (Moallem Guerguis Koft), a Coptic Egyptian leader appointed the General Steward of all Egypt by Napoleon in 1798.

The Chibouk Smoker by Théobald Chartran, Turc Au Chibouk by James Lewis Caw, Interieur d'un café Turc by Chevalier Auguste de Henikstein, and Guerrier fumant le Chibouk by Johann Hermann are examples of chibouk featured in art and illustration.

Churchwarden pipe

A churchwarden pipe is a tobacco pipe with a long stem. The history of the pipe style is traced to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. Some churchwarden pipes can be as long as 16 inches (40 cm). In German the style is referred to as "Lesepfeife" or "reading pipe," presumably because the longer stem allowed an unimpeded view of one's book, and smoke does not form near the reader's eyes, allowing one to look down.Such pipes were very popular as an Oriental influence from the seventeenth century onwards in Europe. They remained most popular in Eastern Europe, as an emblem of the Hussars, cavalry troops with roots in Hungary and Poland, whose employment and influence spread from Russia to France and England during the Napoleonic Wars and brought the pipes with them as part of their characteristic dress. It was even known as the "Hussar pipe" at the time. Engraved portraits exist of men smoking such an instrument. This long stem pipe type has its origins in the Ottoman Empire, geographically and historically.Churchwarden pipes generally produce a cooler smoke due to the distance smoke must travel from the bowl to the mouthpiece. They have the added benefit of keeping the user's face further away from the heat and smoke produced by combustion in the bowl. They are also more prone to breakage since more pressure is placed on the tenon when the pipe is supported around the mouthpiece. Long ago, churchwarden pipes were made of clay and were common in taverns, and sometimes a set of pipes would have been owned by the establishment and used by different clients like other service items (plates, tankards, etc.).Clay churchwarden pipes were also used during the pioneer era in North America. Many clay pieces of these pipes have been found by archaeologists, giving rise to the myth that the long stems of the clay churchwarden pipes would, for sanitation purposes, be broken off by the next client of the tavern or saloon who wished to smoke. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, pipes were cleaned by being placed in iron cradles and baked in ovens. Examples of such clay pipes can be seen at the historic Fort Osage museum in Fort Osage, Missouri.

Churchwarden pipes were reputedly named after churchwardens, or night watchmen of churches in the time that churches never locked their doors. These "churchwardens" could not be expected to go all night without a smoke, so they had pipes that were made with exceptionally long stems so the smoke and the pipe wouldn't be in their line of sight as they kept watch. Churchwardens experienced a surge in popularity after the release of Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 2001, since many of the characters smoke churchwardens.


Dottle is the remaining plug of unburnt tobacco and ashes left in the bottom of a tobacco pipe when it has been smoked.

Ichabuckler Creek

Ichabuckler Creek is a stream in the U.S. state of Georgia.Ichabuckler is a name derived from the Muskogean lanuage meaning "Tobacco Pipe Creek".

John Inderwick

John Inderwick was a tobacco pipe maker and property developer.

He founded a tobacconist shop in Wardour Street in 1797. This continued as Inderwick & Co for many years, being located at number 45 in Carnaby Street when that street became fashionable in the Swinging Sixties. He introduced the Meerschaum pipe to London and bought a mine in Crimea to supply sepiolite for these.Having become prosperous, he invested in property development in Kensington which was built up during the 18th century. He developed a substantial estate of six and half acres which became known as Kensington New Town and then followed this with a similar scheme at Kensington Gate. At the time of his death in 1867, he also owned properties in Haverstock Hill, Camden Town, Woolwich and the West End of London.


A Klabautermann is a water kobold that assists sailors and fishermen on the Baltic and North Sea in their duties. It is a merry and diligent creature, with an expert understanding of most watercraft, and an irrepressible musical talent. It is believed to rescue sailors washed overboard. The name comes from the Low German verb klabastern meaning "rumble" or "make a noise". An etymology deriving the name from the verb kalfatern ("to caulk") has also been suggested.His image is of a small sailor in yellow with a tobacco pipe and woolen sailor's cap, often wearing a caulking hammer. This likeness is carved and attached to the mast as a symbol of good luck.

Despite the positive attributes, there is one omen associated with his presence: no member of a ship blessed by his presence shall ever set eyes on him. He only ever becomes visible to the crew of a doomed ship.

More recently, the Klabautermann is sometimes described as having more sinister attributes, and blamed for things that go wrong on the ship. This incarnation of the Klabautermann is more demon- or goblin-like, prone to play pranks and, eventually, doom the ship and her crew. This deterioration of image probably stems from sailors, upon returning home, telling stories of their adventures at sea. Since life at sea can be rather dull, all creatures - real, mythical, and in between - eventually became the centre of rather ghastly stories.


A midwakh, also spelled medwakh, is a small smoking pipe of Arabian origin, in which dokha, a sifted Iranian tobacco product mixed with aromatic leaf and bark herbs, is smoked. The bowl of a midwakh pipe is typically smaller than that of a traditional western tobacco pipe. It is usually loaded by dipping the bowl into a container of dokha flakes.

Midwakh are primarily produced in the United Arab Emirates, and are especially popular in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Pipe Creek (Texas)

Pipe Creek is a stream in Bandera County, Texas, in the United States.Pipe Creek was so named in 1852 when a pioneer settler lost his tobacco pipe there.

Pipe smoking

Pipe smoking is the practice of tasting (or, less commonly, inhaling) the smoke produced by burning a substance, most commonly tobacco, in a pipe. It is the oldest traditional form of smoking. Although it has declined somewhat in popularity it is still widely practiced and is very common in some parts of Scandinavia.

Regular pipe smoking is known to carry serious health risks including increased risk of various forms of cancer as well as pulmonary and cardiovascular illnesses.

Smoking pipe

A smoking pipe is a device made to allow the user to inhale or taste smoke or vapor derived from the burning or vaporization of some substance. The most common form of these is the tobacco pipe, which is designed for use with tobacco, although the device itself may be used with many other substances. The pipes are manufactured with a variety of materials, the most common (as the popularity of its use): Briar, Heather, corn, meerschaum, clay, cherry, glass, porcelain, ebonite, acrylic and other more unusual materials. Other kinds of smoking pipes include:

Bowl (smoking), pipes of various designs for smoking cannabis

Bong, also known as a water pipe

Ceremonial pipe, used by some Native American peoples

Chalice, a pipe used by Rastafari in cannabis rituals

Chibouk, a long-stemmed Turkish tobacco pipe with a clay bowl, often ornamented with precious stones

Chillum (pipe), conical smoking pipe originally from India

Hookah, tall stemmed pipe in which the smoke is cooled and filtered by passing through water, also known as a water pipe

Kiseru, Japanese pipe traditionally used for smoking finely shredded tobacco

Midwakh, small smoking pipe of Arabian origin

Opium pipe, designed for the vaporization and inhalation of opium

Sebsi, traditional Moroccan smoking pipe

Tobacco Dock

Tobacco Dock is a Grade I listed warehouse in Wapping and is in the East End of London, United Kingdom. It was constructed in approximately 1811 and served primarily as a store for imported tobacco.

It is a brick building with many brick vaults and some fine ironwork. It was adjacent to a particular set of docks named London Docks, which have now mostly been filled in. Tobacco Dock is owned by Messila House, a Kuwaiti investment company.

At its north entrance stands a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) bronze sculpture of a boy standing in front of a tiger. In the late 1800s, wild animal trader Charles Jamrach owned the world's largest exotic pet store, located on Ratcliffe Highway, near to Tobacco Dock. The statue commemorates an incident where a Bengal tiger escaped from Jamrach's shop into the street and picked up and carried off a small boy, who had approached and tried to pet the animal having never seen such a big cat before. The boy escaped unhurt after Jamrach gave chase and prised open the animal's jaw with his bare hands.

Tobacco products

Tobacco is the agricultural product of the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. All species of Nicotiana contain the addictive drug nicotine—a stimulant and sedative contained in all parts of the plants except the seeds—which occurs in varying amounts depending on the species and variety cultivated. See types of tobacco and curing of tobacco for more information.

The vast majority of commercially available tobacco is derived from the species Nicotiana tabacum, although it is also produced from Nicotiana alata, and to a lesser extent Nicotiana clevelandii, Nicotiana longiflora, and Nicotiana rustica, among others.Once tobacco has been grown, harvested, cured, and processed, it is used to produce a number of different products. These are most often consumable; however, tobacco and the nicotine derived from it are also used to create pesticides.

Tobacco products can generally be divided into two types: smoked tobacco (see tobacco smoking) and smokeless tobacco.

An expert in tobacco and tobacco products — especially pipes, pipe tobacco, and cigars—including their procurement and sale, is called a tobacconist.

The health effects of tobacco consumption are discussed in health effects of tobacco.

Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders

The Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company ranks 82nd in the order of precedence of the Companies. It does not have its own livery hall but meets instead at various halls of other Livery Companies.

The Company's motto is Producat Terra, Latin for Out of the Earth. Its church is St. Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall, the official Church of the Corporation of London, located on Gresham Street.

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