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Did Anyone Get Rich Making Pipes?

(29 posts)
  • Started 2 months ago by mso489
  • Latest reply from ophiuchus
  1. mso489

    mso489

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    Did anyone in history or even legend ever get truly wealthy manufacturing tobacco pipes? I don't mean a person rich by inheritance or other investments or pursuits taking up pipe making after they were already getting rich or had gotten rich another way. I mean who was the last person to actually attain wealth through pipe making? Or isn't there any such person? Idle curiosity, but provocative.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  2. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Wealth is subjective and high overrated.

    To answer your question...... nobody I know of.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 months ago #
  3. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Afred Dunhill. Probably rolling in his grave over the blasphemy now surrounding the vaunted Dunhill marque.

    Maybe Joe Barling or Bruce Sasieni or Tommy Rossi or Roger Savinelli or Bill BBB and GBD*

    *Some will note the surnames are ridiculous.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 months ago #
  4. clickklick

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    I imagine a few Danes aren’t hurting.

    Hobbyist Pipemaker - Carmette Pipes
    Posted 2 months ago #
  5. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    I don't think anyone gets rich from making pipes. It's the SELLING of them that generates wealth...

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 2 months ago #
  6. warren

    warren

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    Dunhill increased his fortune (inherited) inventing and selling auto accessories after inheriting his father's successful harness business. So, he doesn't count. He simply leveraged leather, into auto parts, then a clothing business and finally added pipes and tobacco. Then his progeny, carrying on the tradition (the first lighter to be operated by one hand was invented by a brother or son or some such), leveraged that into millions selling off those businesses while they still had enormous value. I believe his chief business was making money. His tobacco/pipe businesses did that in spades.

    I would guess he'd be quite proud of what the family is worth today. He didn't develop the pipe and tobacco empire because of any humanitarian drive. I doubt he had a real emotional attachment to various Dunhill owned businesses other than to make them successful. The clothing business catered to the rich, providing livery for drivers and such. The auto parts were also directed towards rich customers wanting to trick out their vehicles with things like clocks and cool mirrors. He knew to always go where the money was.

    I think he'd be resting quite comfortably, knowing that his father's genius for making money filtered down, through him and on to the third and fourth generation of Dunhills. The Dunhill (dunhill) marques are still producing a lot of moneys. I doubt he would view the family name as sullied. Luxury items were what he sold throughout his life. Dunhill pipes were for those with money, not the working class. The tobaccos? Same target audience. There is a reason the first Dunhill tobacco products store was located in the most ritzy and wealthy part of London. The first American store was in New York, not Oshkosh.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 months ago #
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    ekert

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    I'm sure Eric Nording is doing well for himself.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  8. mso489

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    I think some of the businesses generate impressive bottom lines as businesses, but I'm not sure how that translates for ownership wealth. Iwan Ries moved upstairs after it became too expensive to remain at street level. I can't even imagine what it costs to maintain a large retail store in Manhattan such as Nat Sherman. The owner income is likely swoon-worthy, but how that translates to life on Manhattan, I'm not so sure. How are the owners of Missouri Meerschaum and Dr. Grabow doing in less intense cost of living situations? Eric Nording started young, did well with the freehand craze, and has kept innovating and does strong personal marketing, so I suspect he's done well, likely better than most. I can't think of anyone who has made a fortune on pipes alone.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. condorlover1

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    Probably that fellow who invented the Falcon pipe made from recycled Boeing 707 parts!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. warren

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    The Nat Sherman Sherman Group Holdings was mostly premium cigars and cigarettes. I don't know what Altria paid but, they purchased the entire company I believe (term were not disclosed). Sherman didn't get into pipes and blends until the sixties, he invented the plastic tip cigar (never patent protected by the way), cigarettes which tasted like cigars so customers would have something to smoke on airplanes where cigars were prohibited, manufactured a great many of their cigars and cigarettes in their own facilities. It was/is much more than a store in Manhattan.

    I'm betting the family members are indeed well off today. But, it wasn't purchased for the pipes/blends. The cigars, cigarettes, manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania, real estate and, obviously the marque were probably most of the value.

    For Altria it was a big step up from Malboro, vaping tools and other stuff. I suspect.

    Posted 2 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Carlo Scotti, the founder of Castello, did very well, though exactly how he was able to get the business started and capitalized two years after WWII (which he spent across the boarder in Switzerland) when Italy was in the ditch politically and economically has never been entirely clear. In fact, it is shrouded in mystery, perhaps intentionally so. I guess you would say Franco Coppo doesn’t count since he married Scotti’s daughter, but I have seen pictures of the relatively large boat he keeps on Lake Cuomo, so he has done all right. Both Scotti and Coppo could have taught Alfred Dunhill a thing or two about pricing.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Some of the old time pipe makers who started companies likely got rich but not wealthy. Making pipes isn't what you'd pick for a career if you wanted to retire with millions. Even if you made 5 pipes per week and were a high end guy selling them for $500 each, that's $2,500. Even if $2000 of that were profit, which it's not, you'd make $100K per year. Not a bad living for certain but not rich and certainly not wealthy.

    Still, if it's what you love to do and you're good at it, a nice gig if it were to somehow survive all the anti smoking sentiment. Problem with pipe smoking as a career now is it requires smokers for it to work. The future for all that doesn't look promising.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. danish

    danish

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    Yes, some pipe makers became rich according to Pipedia :

    Lars Ivarsson's favorite anecdote about Sixten, is this: An American came into the work shop and bought an expensive pipe. He said to Sixten: You must be a rich man. Sixten answered him: I am very rich... and I have a little money too.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Rich; wealthy. I thought they were synonymous, with wealthy being a gentler term than rich. Where does one start and the other leave off?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. cosmicfolklore

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    It would be merely an assumption that the anecdote about Sixten would have been in English. There could something lost in translation.

    Michael
    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. donjgiles

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    Rich with friends, family, having been blessed with things in life other than money, perhaps?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. georged

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    donjgiles knows

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

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    Could you not also have a wealth of friends? "Wealthy with friends" sounds just as odd to my ear as "rich with friends."
    I know what the quote was getting at, but when you think about it, rich and wealthy are both pretty awkward and interchangeable in the quote.

    I would think that successful or enriched or one of many other words could have been better used. But, it's not my quote.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. npod

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    I know of two pipe makers who are very financially secure and well off. Both have followed a similar business model. First, focus on pipe making and brand marketing. Second, establish a solid customer base. Third, diversification. This last one is crucial and it's what any makes business a success. Without naming names, I can say that these makers are well versed in reinvesting their profits, buying in to other revenue streams, branching out to other subsidiaries, producing accessories, and investing and saving in general. One of the makers completely amazes me with his knowledge of the investment world and markets.

    Unfortunately, I have also seen great makers fail to achieve basic sustainability.

    Neal
    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. warren

    warren

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    Neal hits the nail on the head. Reinvest in the company until it is solid. Then look for investments such as land, the markets, for the really risky types, futures. I know of one guy, so successful he is actively trying to lose a fortune. He purchased a Washington D.C. newspaper. That's rich, or ... wealthy ... or ... flush ... set ... pick a word. So, getting rich sometimes equates to, "you don't have to be smart" or even hardworking.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    I am reminded of a story my father used to tell about success...

    A fisherman would go out early in the morning and catch two fish. One to sell and one he took home to feed family and friends, and then they would drink their way late into the evening singing and having fun. Then do it all over again the next day.

    A businessman comes along and starts making suggestions to the fisherman on how to grow his business and be successful. Stay out later, catch three or four fish. Invest in more and bigger boats. Make more money...

    The fisherman asks, "then what?"

    The businessman says, "Then after years of hard work, You build a fleet of ships, you will be successful, and then you can stay up late drinking and singing with your friends."

    The fisherman just looks confused and says, "I already have that. I am already successful."

    I grew up around and know lots of folks that you could call rich, wealthy. But, I wouldn't trade a single day to be these folks. It is a very rare thing to meet someone who is rich and is anything close to being a happy person.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. warren

    warren

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    You need to expand your group of acquaintances or, friends ... people you know ... pick a term.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  23. mso489

    mso489

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    I know the essence of that story. The wealthiest I've ever felt was in school on the GI Bill living in a rented room in campus town with control of my time, a vast library in easy walking distance, the home ec cafeteria and student union for food, and fellow students for as much conversation as i wanted, and some fascinating faculty to study and study with. And dreams of potential astonishing success. That's rich. Meant both earnestly and ironically.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  24. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    You need to expand your group of acquaintances or, friends ... people you know ... pick a term.

    Hmmmm, it has been my experience that people that have a lot of money live in a different more defensive shell. They have to. Sure, not "all" wealthy. There is always an exception out there. But, for the most part, it is harder to get close to people, when you can never really be sure if they are in the moment with you because of the money. Nor, do the people trying to get close to them sure that they aren't there for the money.
    It's pretty damn hard to make friends as you get older in general. But, throw in wealth, and things get harder. Marriage comes with it's own problems of possession. "Is she here because she wants to be, or because we are bound by law?" Add in money, and the internal question becomes bigger. This isn't anything new. It's the heart of saying like... "money can't buy happiness" etc...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. warren

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    Worry not Michael! We here like you because of your money. Not, in spite of your money.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. mikethompson

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    Rich with friends, family, having been blessed with things in life other than money, perhaps?

    came in here to post something like this, thankfully beaten to it.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    Businessmen get rich, not artisans unless they are incredibly savvy in marketing and monetization.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. ophiuchus

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    Rich with friends, family, having been blessed with things in life other than money, perhaps?

    Thank you.

    Meanwhile, I'm aware of people with a lot of money who are happy. They associate/hang out with other happy people who have a lot of money. Such people do exist.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. ophiuchus

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    Back to the topic ... anyone have any idea whether any of these pipemakers who rate four digit prices get to keep any/some/most of the revenue generated by their art product? (After typing this, I asked myself whether this is any of my damn business.)

    Posted 2 months ago #

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