A Tale of Two Pipes
    October 2nd, 2018

I am wealthy in my friends—William Shakespeare

If you have one pipe, you’re a pipe smoker. If you have two pies, you’re a collector—Bill Unger

Fred Brown

This is the tale of two pipes. One is a venerable Custom-Bilt given to me years ago by a dear friend who is now gone. The other is a "Custom Bill," named for the spirit of the North American Society of Pipe Collectors quarterly and a devotee of Custom-Bilt pipes.

Bill Unger, who died in 2013, was an authority of Tracy Mincer Custom-Bilt pipes. And he even wrote the book on the Mincer Custom-Bilt. Not just a book, but The Book!

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Keepers of the Flame
    September 5th, 2018

Fred Brown
Once you become hooked on smoking a pipe as a pastime, you come to realize there is something else going on here.

The pipe itself is an art form. Its beauty has lured many a person to its siren song.

Think of the many brilliant men (and women) who have smoked the pipe, perhaps because of its utilitarian nature, but also due to the lure of its artful lines and contours.

The list of exceptional and gifted people who have taken up the pipe is just too long to enumerate here. And there are many, many lists with the august names of those who have altered history in one way or the other who did so while smoking a pipe.

But there is another side to this thought: pipes have also been named for painters of renown.

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Pipe Popping News in Pipelandia
    August 6th, 2018

Fred Brown
Well, the big news in Pipelandia is that Laudisi Enterprises, parent company of SmokingPipes.com, has acquired Kapp & Peterson,
, notably the Peterson pipe factory in Sallynoggin, Dublin, Ireland, and the Peterson of Dublin shop on Nassau Street.

The above news is straight from the horse’s mouth (nothing intended here, folks) F. Sykes Wilford, President and CEO of Laudisi Enterprises.

In fact, here is Sykes answering questions on the big purchase via email to me:

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A Year without Tobacco: 6-Months In
    December 12th, 2017

A. MIller
Month 1:

I’m completely off tobacco. I just up and walked away. I’m kind of impressed with how little physical dependence I had on my pipe. Being a nearly-every-day smoker and usually more than one bowl per day, I’m impressed by this. I’ve read that, due to not-inhaling, there is a significant enough delay between first puff and nicotine getting in to my system that my mind never associates the two. It’s true—at least for me.

I’m experiencing no noticeable physical withdrawal affects at all.

So far this feels like no big deal. I mean, I miss my routine. I miss the complexity of flavor. I miss being able to feast on a good bowl between meals. But nothing terrible.

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Estate Pipes Central
    November 7th, 2017

A. Miller
If you’ve ever gone antiquing, it’s likely you’ve rolled in to a location (usually outside of most towns) where there is more than one antique shop. While technically competitors, the nature of these shops being near one another makes it so that you can visit one place, and have opportunity to visit more than one antique shop. The shopper’s benefit, and as a result the sellers do too.

This is the same premise for the recently launched Estate Pipes Central—the brain child of Mkelaw Pipe’s Dave Neeb. I spoke to him recently about the genesis of the site and what they’re looking to do. Now, Estate Pipes Central could be a conglomerate of every person and company selling estate pipes that could be found. But this was not the intention for Dave. The very point was to gather well-known, reputable online retailers to one convenient location.

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Alive in That Electric Vibe
    September 18th, 2017

Fred Brown
I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs - Albert Einstein, 1950

I’m late with this column this month for a variety of reasons: I wrecked my car, but managed not to injure or kill anyone. I wasn’t smoking my pipe at the time, which is probably as good a reason as any to find cause. Plus, my brain begins to miss gears like an old car without a steady dose of pipe smoke.

Second, I have been fretful, ornery, and downright hard to get along with over the events of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

I have some acquaintances in Texas and Louisiana, but I have several friends and some relatives in Florida. The power of Irma was not only awe-inspiring, but she was also like a dark, hovering wraith of brutality.

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Fred Brown
Rising from the calamity of World War II in Europe,
a small woodworking shop in Przemysl, Poland, by the San River, began looking around for new ways to sustain itself in a town known for its pipes and its pipe artists.

Already producing wood carvings and plastic creations, the owners were eager to explore their on artistic talents, to carve pipes in Przemysl, known in Poland as the Headquarters of Tobacco Pipes.

In fact, Przemysl is filled with many pipe artists, and has even erected monuments to the pipe in the town’s center. Pipes and pipe making are central to Przemysl and sustain its regional and cultural identity.

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Fred Brown
This is not a "tobaccoreviews.com", a Pipestud, or a Jiminks type of tobacco review. I’m not in that league. But I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about the recent re-release of "Stonehenge Flake" by G.L. Pease and the late John Gawith of GH&Co.

Pease and Gawith (and what a combination that is, right?) originally blended this masterpiece in 2001 as a special limited edition of a 1,500-tin run. That event sold out quickly, leaving a few of us to wonder what happened? Stonehenge has not been seen since, to my knowledge.

And now, it is baaaaaaaaccccck! Somehow, I missed the first shipment, and was just waiting like a vulture for new tins to arrive at SP.com.

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Fred Brown
Ok, boys and girls, gather around.
The Pipe Pundit is going to delve into a few thorny intricacies of the care and feeding of a pipe. This is pure Pundit pipe philosophy, just so you know.

As we all are aware, our beloved briars require, nay, must have vast quantities of opulent tobacco in its many forms. Some of us fancy tobacco-cum-ambrosia topped with spritzes of lemon meringue, coconut juice and licorice, otherwise known as aromatics.

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The Other Side of the Street
    May 12th, 2017

Fred Brown
Well, go on with you, now.
The FDA is taking a breather from its ransacking of the tobacco industry, especially pipe tobacco, so the story goes in a recent Washington Post epistle.

Yeah, sure. I’ll believe it when I see the cold, hard, results. Don’t fall for all the smoke and mirrors and let your hopes run amuck. This looks like and smells like fool’s gold to me.

Here’s my take (and please take it for what it’s worth): The boys and girls who work for the FDA have had a front-row seat watching as other large bureaucratic watering holes have been stripped almost naked by the new administration.

Budget cuts, staff cutbacks and surprise firings have been de rigueur.

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