Meerschaum, The Past and Present
    March 7th, 2019

James Foster, CST
New Mexico Meer Mine

Recently on the forums, an old post got resurrected about the differences between block and pressed meerschaum and the reminder was that pressed meerschaum is rarely used these days because it takes huge machines to use.  I actually didn’t know this and thought it would be a good time to talk to some experts and pull out all the information about where the meerschaum industry is today.  But before we talk about today how about a peek at the past.  Did you know that we used to find meerschaum in the United States in New Mexico?

Let’s go back in time over a hundred years ago to 1907.  Turkey, like today, controlled the worlds purest and best meerschaum which was used for pipes, and as a natural insulator for heat, cold, and electricity.   We stumble across a hard to reach mine in the mountains near Silver City and Pinos Altos in South Western New Mexico. As an aside, 1907 was before we had automobiles everywhere -  this was train country and the horse still reigned supreme when it came to local transportation.  Not too far from the mine, only 26 years earlier, Billy, the Kid was shot dead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Meerschaum - The Prince of Pipes
    April 1st, 2009

Meerschaum Claw PipeIn another article here I suggested that the best pipe to smoke was a briar pipe … a pipe made from a particularly hard timber that only comes from the Mediterranean but perhaps the ultimate in pipes isn’t made of wood at all … perhaps it’s made of stone.

Genuine Meerschaum pipes are regarded as the elite of pipes and they are made of a soft white mineral that is so light it can actually float. These days Meerschaum generally comes from Turkey although there are deposits in several other nearby countries. When mined the mineral is quite soft but hardens when exposed to the sun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,