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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Thoughts on Pipes

    A few weeks ago I joined in on a WTB thread discussion on pipes. The original post/query included a photo of what appeared to be a pretty standard mid-20th century briar pipe - the type of which I still have about 8 examples of here at my desk.

    A few years ago, I gave up on cigars and at the time I was the only 21 year old on my block to smoke a pipe. Since then even my pipe smoking has slacked off quite a bit. But I do enjoy a pipe on those evenings when out with the fellows in my unit.

    Last weekend I was at an event and like many of the others in our company I enjoyed the smoke of a good pipe...well a pipe anyway...a "safe" clay bowl job with a wood stem that I've had for about two years. I hate that pipe. The joy of a good smoke is ruined by a clay bowl that gets about as hot as a red coal in a couple of minutes and cannot be touched.

    So, looking at all of these briars I have here, in general can any of these be repurposed, or re-stemmed? - Specifically for our hobby? Some are very non-descript and don't have metal parts. Or, are they bound for the "Mad Men" prop house? Thoughts from you pipe smart folks appreciated.

    -Sam Dolan
    Samuel K. Dolan
    1st Texas Infantry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Dickson, TN.

    Re: Thoughts on Pipes

    Hello Sam,

    Having delved into pipes quite a bit over the past decade or so and having chatted with many on this site, whether it pertains to custom pipe creations, research of the history of the pipe, repair of period or original pipes or your question of possibly re-stemming, I have but two words for you: Randy Ubben. He is truly an artist and knows more about the history of the pipe than anyone I have ever met.

    Here is his website and if I were sitting in your place and asking the same question, my next action would be to contact Randy.

    Good luck to you!

    J. Mark Choate
    7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D.

    "Let history dictate our impressions.......not the other way around!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    King of Prussia, PA

    Re: Thoughts on Pipes


    I don't know how common they were, but brier pipes with curved hard rubber stems did exist in our period. I saw one in the old Civil War museum in Philadelphia. It looked almost exactly like a modern pipe.

    I'll second the recommendation for Randy Ubben. He replaced the stems on two pipes that I had chewed through. The pipes looked like new when I got them back. Well worth what he charged.
    Bill Rodman, King of Prussia, PA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Rome, Georgia

    Re: Thoughts on Pipes

    While I don't consider myself an expert, I am an "advanced hobbiest" on the subject and have around 40 pipes. Most are modern (Brebbia, Savenelli, Peterson, Nording, etc.)

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I suggest googling the term "czech peasant pipes" and "estate pipes". I have several peasant pipes that I bought over the years and have used in the field at many authentic events. Check carefully (no pun intended) though, many have plastic mouthpieces but you can find some with horn or bone. Most are in the $25.00 - $30. 00 range.

    I can't say with absolute certaintity that these are 100% authentic but I can say that I have been complimented on the peasant pipes by some of the best known names in our end of the hobby.

    Here is a link to a website that has serveral styles. I am not recommending these particular pipes or this site as all these mouthpieces are plastic. This is just to show pictures of what I mean by the term "czech peasant pipe".
    Marlin Teat
    “The initial or easy tendency in looking at history is to see it through hindsight. In doing that, we remove the fact that living historical actors at that time…didn’t yet know what was going to happen. We cannot understand the decisions they made unless we understand how they perceived the world they were living in and the choices they were facing.”-Christopher Browning

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Flint, Mi

    Re: Thoughts on Pipes

    Look at "Echos of Glory" for some examples of briar/wood pipes with modern stems.
    You dont want plastic stems but rather hard rubber stems. A good pipe shop can show you the difference.
    I have had people tell me my rubber stems are plastic. Just showing their ignorance.

    Mark C. Foster
    Flint, Mi

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