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What tobaccos did the great men smoke?

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  • Started 4 years ago by skagit
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    skagit

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    Tolkien...Einstein...Davis...Twain.

    What kind of tobacco do you think (or know) they smoked?

    --Skagit

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. jackswilling

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    From reddit

    "C. S. Lewis liked Gold Block and Three Nuns. Both are available, but the consensus seems to be neither reincarnation is the same as the originals. Three nuns has two clones that supposedly come close to the original (Three Friars and Cocktail Hour), but I doubt they're 100% the same.
    Albert Einstein smoked House of Windsor - Revelation almost exclusively. It's out of production now, but Pipes & Cigars offers a clone.
    Earl Bertrand Russell, philosopher, smoked "Golden Mixture" from his local shop, Fribourg & Treyer. You can still get it at Pipes & Cigars.
    I can't find the name of the blend Bing Crosby smoked, but Cornell & Diehl 104: Crooner is supposed to be a recreation of it.
    Tolkien's blend was Capstan Medium Navy Cut. I searched for it, but I could only find it by the unit, not individual tins. Maybe some Tolkien-loving Redditors can group-buy a case and give us a review.
    Twain would buy Blackwell's Durham, now defunct, by the pound, but by all accounts (and his own admission) he wasn't too picky.
    William Faulkner smoked My Mixture 965, A10528 by Dunhill, and Prince Albert when he was out of both of those. I, for one, would love to hear compare modern 965 with today's blend, but until we get Futurama head jar technology, hearing his views on smoking is just a pipe dream. (Bad pun unintentional)
    President Gerald Ford favored Edgeworth.
    Gen. MacArthur smoked Harkness D and F, the House of Windsor blends, and "whatever was available at the PX."
    Edit: It was fun looking these things up, so I figured I'd do another batch!
    First, props to jarvis400 for pointing out Pres. Ford also enjoyed Field and Stream.
    Basil Rathbone, the definitive Sherlock Holmes actor, smoked Wilke's No. 515.
    Rather inauspiciously, Joseph Stalin, leader of the second world, smoked Dunhill's Royal Yacht. Guess being a brutal dictator doesn't bar one from having good taste."
    http://www.reddit.com/r/PipeTobacco/comments/1crwuc/preferred_tobacco_of_famous_pipe_smokers/

    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson
    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. huntertrw

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    "Albert Einstein smoked House of Windsor - Revelation..."

    No, Professor Einstein smoked Philip Morris' Revelation which the House of Windsor attempted to duplicate many, many years later.

    "President Gerald Ford favored Edgeworth."

    According to a letter from President Ford to Richard Carleton Hacker, and which was shown in the latter's book titled "The Ultimate Pipe Book," his favorite pipe-tobaccos were Walnut and Field & Stream.

    Love Me, Love My Pipe
    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. jackswilling

    jackswilling

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    I can't believe I can't trust reddit

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. wyfbane

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    It was still an interesting read. I thought the consensus for Tolkien was Capstan Blue (flake)?

    Dunno.

    I am curious, but not curious enough to put in the effort to research it.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. huntertrw

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    "But it was on the Internet, so it MUST be true!"

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. gunslinger

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    I too had always heard Tolkien smoked Capstan Blue Flake. This description from SmokingPipes website would seem to confirm it:

    "Like the milder-bodied Capstan Yellow, Capstan Blue was originally created by W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristol well over a century ago. It's remained a favorite to countless pipe smokers across generations (J.R.R. Tolkien having been on of its most noted aficionados), a testament to the quality of this fine Virgina flake."

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    Anthony David Rosenthal smoked McClelland Blue Mountain, McClelland Navy Cavendish, and an assortment of fine aromatics... oh wait... My mistake. I'm not famous. Yet

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. huntertrw

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    "My mistake. I'm not famous. Yet"

    Pursue your pipe-making career, and I fully expect you to be!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. lochinvar

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    Georges Simenon (author of the Inspector Maigret novels) smoked Dunhill Royal Yacht.

    I have seen at least one picture of Umberto Eco (author of 'Name of the Rose' and "Foucault's Pendulum') with a tin of MacBaren Symphony.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. misterlowercase

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    I've always loved this topic, but it is fraught is disaster, misconception, and many convenient pigeonholes.

    Like the story of Latakia being cured with camel dung, reported upon by one fanciful British journalist of yesteryear, these stories or "facts" become enmeshed in the culture and regurgitated over and over, and often the case, as with life itself, is much more complex.

    It is indeed wellknown that Einstein favored Revelation, but he was only in the USA fulltime from '33 to '55, he was born in 1879, when he did start smoking? What did he smoke back in the Fatherland? More often than not, nobody put forth an effort for indepth research, so the same bullshit gets plastered everywhere.

    But it ain't bullshit, at least in Einstein's case, but there are unanswered questions it seems to me.

    The thing with Tolkien being a dedicated Capstan Medium smoker rings true to me, but I'm almost sure he smoked other stuff as well.


    This old tobacconist receipt sold at Bonham's for $ 2,114 because it had JRRT's siggy onnit, he bought a whole pound of Capstan.
    http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20135/lot/221/

    In other instances, like Georges Simenon for example, it's noted that Dunhill's Royal Yacht was his favorite smoke, and that may very well be the case, but it certainly wasn't all he smoked. In the photo below you see the ever-present tin of RY, but also a tin of Dobie's Four Square along with an unidentifiable tin...

    As for Stalin, I've always read it was Edgeworth, not RY, which was his favorite.

    Just like the "camel dung" myth, it was probably started by a well-respected source, like Life magazine or something...
    LIFE Jan 1, 1945

    ...and there is a kernel of truth there - it's been well-documented that he received special gifts of Edgeworth from the American ambassador, just as perhaps he got all his Dunhill pipes from Churchill, but as to "favorite tobacco", most biographical sketches point to his fave being Herzegovina Flor, cigarettes available at any kiosk inwhich he would unroll and stuff into his pipe.

    This thread was pretty good,
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/famous-pipe-men-and-their-tobacco
    I added a little about William Faulkner and how he was a multivaried smoker, along with the Dunhill blends, he also very much loved Balkan Sobranie and St. Bruno, having them special ordered for him at the Oxford Rexall Drugstore, but he actually seemed to have smoked all kinds of stuff according to the few first-hand accounts from friends and acquaintances that I've read.

    I also enjoyed this thread,
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/attn-dunhill-experts
    trying to discover the exact Dunhill blend from Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

    Despite the pitfalls, it's still fun finding out what the famous folk smoked, just like discovering which typewriters certain writers preferred...

    William S. Burroughs:
    1950s, various typewriters, since he was constantly pawning them; many of his manuscripts were done on a Remington; Naked Lunch typed from handwritten notes by Kerouac, presumably on Kerouac's Underwood; Hermes Rocket (photo Oct. 1959); Antares (Burroughs shoots up as the Antares watches); Facit Portable (1965 Paris Review interview); Olympia SG1 (cover of Word Virus anthology, 1970s photo); Olivetti Studio 44

    Lewis Carroll:
    Hammond no. 1, received on May 3, 1888, used to write a mathematical treatise and some letters

    Leonard Cohen:
    Olivetti Lettera 22

    Francis Ford Coppola:
    Olivetti Lettera 32

    e.e. cummings:
    1940s Smith-Corona Clipper

    Philip K. Dick:
    Hermes Rocket, Olympia SG3

    William Faulkner:
    Royal KHM, Remington Noiseless desktop, 1930s Underwood portable

    Allen Ginsberg:
    Remington portable no. 5, Smith Corona Electra

    Dashiell Hammett:
    Royal De Luxe

    Ernest Hemingway:
    Corona 3, 1926 Underwood, Underwood Noiseless Portable, various Royal portables (including a Royal Arrow and Royal #P207059), Halda portable model P

    Alfred Hitchcock:
    '30s black Underwood Champion portable

    Aldous Huxley:
    Remington portable no. 5 (streamlined with touch regulator)

    Franz Kafka:
    Oliver 5

    Buster Keaton:
    Blickensderfer no. 5

    Stanley Kubrick:
    Adler Tippa S

    Jack London:
    Standard Folding, Bar-Lock no. 10

    H. P. Lovecraft:
    1904 Remington Standard (understroke)

    Mickey Spillane:
    L.C. Smith Standard Super Speed

    Mark Twain:
    Sholes & Glidden, Hammond no. 2

    Kurt Vonnegut:
    Smith-Corona Courier, Smith-Corona Coronamatic 2200

    J.G. Ballard:
    Olympia Monica

    Charles Bukowski:
    Royal HH, Underwood Standard, Olympia SG1, IBM Selectric II or III

    J.R.R. Tolkien: Hammond

    & et cetera ampersand et cetera

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. huntertrw

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    According to the late author Shelby Foote, Mr. Faulkner also enjoyed Prince Albert.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. flakyjakey

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    @mlc - Troy, as always you have the full story, if it can be unearthed!!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. lostandfound

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    I've always been interested in finding out what our favorite artisan pipe makers smoke. Someone should start that thread. I don't think it's ever been done.

    Jerod
    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. blueeyedogre

    blueeyedogre

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    I'd wager that while they had their favourites, I'm sure they sampled other blends as well. Heck, even Condorlover has been known to try something other then condor once or twice.

    "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." - Corinthians 16:13
    "Let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians." – Sir John A MacDonald
    "The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine." - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    skagit

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    Awesome! So much interesting information. I love the receipt signed by JRRT.

    --Skagit

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. condorlover1

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    It has been known to happen!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. natibo

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    I'm glad I post my reviews on the internet so future biographers of me can determine what I liked to smoke.

    Bo
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I consider Bing Crosby a great man. So what did he smoke?

    Bing Crosby is a legend. An actor, a singer and yes a pipe smoker.. Everyone has seen Bing smoke his pipes. But did you ever wonder what he smoked in it as a regular tobacco.. From time to time we come across these answers for historical figures thus and will attempt to see if the tobacco is still being made. So that you too “can swing on a star and carry moonbeams home in a jar”..

    Bing’s favorite blend is still available by C&D and is called Crooner. Crooner is an American classic blend of slow-burning, nutty cube cut Burley and the sweet and fragrant notes added by the herb, deertongue. It is lovingly recreated by C&D from a recipe from the late Bob Runowski, who used to blend it with, and for, Bing Crosby.

    article link

    tobacco link

    Posted 4 years ago #
  20. jiminks

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    I don't know about Bing and Crooner, but I know a friend of mine saw Bing go into a tobacco shop in 1945 in La. Being a big Crosby fan, but a non-smoker, it was hard for him to stay in the shop, but he did see Bing buy a pouch of tobacco. He couldn't remember the name of the tobacco, unfortunately. It's very possible that Bing may have smoked more than one brand of pipe tobacco.

    As for Stalin, I always heard he smoked Edgeworth Ready Rubbed. In the 1940s, Groucho's face appeared on an ad for ERR, and the ad stated that he smoked that blend.

    Hugh Hefner also smoked Sail, along with Mixture #79. I was told that by a long time employee.

    Shelby Foote smoked Edward G. Robinson's Pipe Blend, but he was also known to mix Carter Hall with it.

    I saw a photo of JFK with a pipe. Wonder what pipe blend he smoked when he wasn't smoking cigars?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  21. stephenw

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    I had heard a story that Stalin only smoked a pipe because of the image of a pipe smoker being thoughtful. The story goes that he was a die hard cigarette smoker and that he filled his pipe with cigarette tobacco. But then I could be wrong.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  22. jimbo44

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    Tony Benn - St. Bruno

    Clement Atlee - Will's Cut Golden Bar

    William Conrad - Amphora Full Aroma (Red)

    Aaron Spelling - Mixture#79

    J M Barrie - Craven A ("the Arcadia" )and, later, John Cottons 1&2

    Posted 4 years ago #
  23. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

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    Basil Rathbone, the definitive Sherlock Holmes actor, smoked Wilke's No. 515.

    That is also false. Jeremy Brett is the definitive Sherlock Holmes actor.

    Come to think of it I don't believe I've ever seen anywhere what blend(s) Jeremy puffed on while playing Holmes.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 4 years ago #
  24. huntertrw

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    "Shelby Foote smoked Edward G. Robinson's Pipe Blend, but he was also known to mix Carter Hall with it."

    Richard Alley (the former owner of the now defunct Memphis (Tennessee) Tobacco Bowl, in an article titled "Shelby Foote's Pipe" as published in "Urf!") said, "I inherited Foote as a customer. His routine was that every six weeks or so he'd call and tell me he would be down that day, and I'd put his order together - two pounds of a tobacco I called Mello Mix and a few canisters of Edward G. Robinson pipe tobacco. He handled the blending himself. Sometime that afternoon, he'd pull up to the curb in his little white BMW, come in and pick up his package and then leave. I'd include an invoice and he'd mail a check within the week."

    In a published interview titled "Shelby Foote, The Art of Fiction No. 158" by Carter Coleman, Donald Faulkner, and William Kennedy, and which appeared in "The Paris Review," they said this, in part, of him: "During the interview, Foote sat at his desk or paced to and fro in his slippers, frequently refilling his pipe from a humidor with a mixture of Half & Half and Edward G. Robinson tobacco."

    Posted 4 years ago #
  25. huntertrw

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    "I don't know about Bing and Crooner, but I know a friend of mine saw Bing go into a tobacco shop in 1945 in La. Being a big Crosby fan, but a non-smoker, it was hard for him to stay in the shop, but he did see Bing buy a pouch of tobacco. He couldn't remember the name of the tobacco, unfortunately. It's very possible that Bing may have smoked more than one brand of pipe tobacco."

    In his autobiography titled "Call Me Lucky" there is a photograph of Mr. Crosby in his dressing room, and on a table in the background is a clearly visible can of Hayward Mixture. A more recent Hayward Mixture can is shown in the image below.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  26. misterlowercase

    misterlowercase

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    Great info Hunter,
    many thanks.

    Photo documentation is one of the best ways to really know.

    I had never heard of Hayward Mixture, but it has an excellent entry on tobaccoreviews.com and I learned a good bit about it.

    Also interesting is this newspaper article I came across while looking up HM,
    complete with the Bing connection, circa 1947...
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=R40hAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CJgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2061%2C1765741

    I would have speculated that he smoked house blends from Barclay Rex, Wilkes, and Ed Koplin's Original Tinder Box, or even grasped at straws that perhaps he was gifted certain baccy from either American Tobacco Company or Liggett & Myers, both of whom were show sponsors of his, so some concrete info is good to have.

    Quick googbook browse gave hint to how generous and kind Der Bingle The Groaner King was. A brief description of him gifting a pipe and some baccy to a deserving soul:
    Dr. George: An Account of the Life of a Country Doctor

    The pipe he would have gifted would have most likely been a Merchant Service in his trademark shape, he bought them by the dozens to give away to adoring fans who wanted a memento.

    Henry Mancini wrote:

    I was interested in him for a reason other than music. I had never smoked cigarettes, but now I had begun to smoke a pipe. Bing was a pipe smoker. Wherever he went he had a pipe in his mouth, a great pipe with the thinnest stem I'd ever seen. Finally I said 'Bing, that's a very unusual pipe."

    He said, "Yeah, Hank, it's called a Merchant Service pipe. I got it in London. I love it because it's so light that I don't have to take it out of my mouth when I'm making a golf swing."

    He gave me one just like it.


    Did They Mention the Music?

    :
    :

    On JRRT, an interviewer once asked him of his favorite pipeweed, and this was the answer, I would have never guessed Troost!


    Sir,

    As a pipe smoker, and since I know you are one too, I have this simple question for you: what is your favorite brand of pipe tobacco?

    Thank you in advance for your highly anticipated answer,

    F. Smith

    -

    Dear F. Smith,

    There are a lot of tobacco brands, some better than others (Van Rossem's brand is not bad). But of all the ones I know, I am tempted to say that my favorite should be one of the varieties grown in the Southfarthing of the Shire, like the Longbottom Leaf. But I am sure that no man will ever surpass (nor equal) the Hobbits in growing pipe-weed, which finally leaves us only dreaming about it!

    Sincerely,
    JRRT

    http://www.dialogus2.org/enTOLK/pipetobacco.html

    Posted 4 years ago #
  27. jackswilling

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    ^^^ Good stuff. That and the Tolkien receipt are too cool. I am a Middle Earth Fan Boy.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  28. misterlowercase

    misterlowercase

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    Howlin' Wolf apparently liked Edgeworth,
    it looks like the Aromatic version...

    The men who made this burner of a hot track were indeed great!!!!
    :
    :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7aq5MsaIL0

    Posted 4 years ago #
  29. huntertrw

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    What pipe-tobaccos did Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) smoke? Perhaps many; however, according to the advertisement shown below, Player's Navy Cut was included in his rotation...at least for the purpose of commercial endorsement:

    Posted 4 years ago #
  30. huntertrw

    huntertrw

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    misterlowercase:

    The advertisement which you posted above (and which is reproduced below) is puzzling to me. According to Jose Manuel Lopes in his book titled "Pipes - Artisans and Trademarks" Merchant Service was a, "...former English brand made by Merchant Service Ltd., a firm created by Herbert Merchant (d. 1944) and which later belonged to Holland Penny Limited. It was a favourite (sic) of the North American entertainer Bing Crosby."

    In his book titled "Rare Smoke - The Ultimate Guide to Pipe Smoking" Richard Carleton Hacker noted that Mr. Merchant was once employed by Dunhill.

    Accordingly, the question arises, who was Headley and French Limited, and how do they figure into all this?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  31. misterlowercase

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    I went ahead and did a transcription of a very interesting tidbit.

    An article read in Pipes & Tobaccos Magazine Vol.7 #2, the Ask Chuck section, which reprinted an excerpt from The Pipe Smokers Ephemeris, as written by Fred Janusek who had contacted David Holland of Holland Penny in 1980,
    this is what Mr. Holland said:

    "...but in fact the small business closed down some years ago. At one time most of the famous people in Hollywood bought their pipes from me, but the last customer I met in London was Danny Kaye a year or so ago when he bought some of my last pipes. The late and dearly remembered Bing Crosby used to have several made each year, including two silver-mounted special light-grain ones for his own smoking...In the best days, Karry Rose, Henri Mancini, Sam Lutz and so many Hollywood actors and producers used to smoke these pipes, but I think 'pirate' imitations stole my trade. You ask how it all started and I will tell you.

    In about 1938 Bing Crosby was playing golf at St. Andrews in Scotland with Mr. Herbert Merchant, who was smoking a long, slim and finely balanced briar; Bing liked the pipe and asked Merchant to make him one, to which he agreed, and the pipes were thus supplied throughout the war and after. Merchant died in 1944, and to keep the story brief, I became director of the group that took over the old business. I was intrigued to see reference in the files to the Hollywood trade (by this time Bing's friends were also having the pipes made) and decided to resurrect the trade and if possible expand it without losing the personal custom element. My then chairman ordered me to close it down, but I disobeyed, and quietly had some pipes made to the original pattern by a small firm of craftsmen. The board didn't know what I had done, of course, and then I started a long period of wonderful correspondence and some meetings with American pipe smokers.

    Some years later, the Herbert Merchant business was sold by my then Group, to Imperial Tobacco - one of the giants in the tobacco trade. When my chairman asked me what I wanted as my leaving gift, I asked for the Merchant Service pipe business. He was surprised and reminded me that it had been closed down years before; When I told him I had not carried out his orders but had kept the trade going, he was at first very angry, but then saw the irony of it all and forgave me. He arranged for the name and the rights to be sold to me for £1.

    I thereupon took the USA registration for the Herbert Merchant name, which was in fact Merchant Service.

    I formed a limited company with my partner, the Hon. Patrick Penny, and thus was born Holland Penny Ltd.

    We opened swank offices in Berkely St. off Grosvenor, and for a time thought we were going to establish a top pipe shop, but we found we could not expand the business without endangering the personal custom factor, and before long closed the premises.

    I bought the shares held by Penny. My craftsmen then stopped making pipes, and that was really the end of the business."

    Perhaps "the Group" Mr. Holland mentions as him being director of, was, in fact, Headley & French?

    The H&F advert is from Jan. 1950.

    Wilczak & Tom Colwell in the book WMTP? has the MERCHANT SERVICE name listed as having been made by Merchant Service, or Headley & French, both located in England.

    This document seems to indicate that H&F was voluntarily liquidated in 1952:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/39678/page/5627/data.pdf

    That's all I got, and I'm speculating about Mr. Holland to have been working for H&F.

    Hopefully, if Jon Guss happens to see this thread,
    he would be able to fill in some blanks.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  32. huntertrw

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    misterlowercase:

    My thanks to you for this information! It seems that the plot is thickening. Now if only Mr. Guss will fill in the missing pieces...

    Posted 4 years ago #
  33. briarguys

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    Interesting.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  34. foggymountain

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    MaCarthur said he smoked whatever was at the PX. Basil Rathbone was Holmes for me. I can't watch anyone else in the role.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  35. irish

    Gary

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    I smoke Carter Hall.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  36. brass

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    I Googled Merchant Service pipes but couldn't find one for sale. I think I might like to get one assuming they aren't priced ridiculously. Doesn't look like their is a demand one way or another, assuming they were marketed under the name "Merchant Servic".

    Posted 4 years ago #
  37. huntertrw

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    brass:

    Because of their association with Mr. Crosby, and the fact that they are no longer made, I believe that you will find that Merchant Service Special billiard pipes can be rather spendy. You might look for one with a silver band, and a fishtail bit. Mine has the latter (which according to Richard Carleton Hacker in his book titled "Rare Smoke - The Ultimate Guide to Pipe Collecting" was a rare option), but not the former (which most of Mr. Crosby's had), and is an excellent smoker.

    Good luck in your search!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  38. dottiewarden

    dottiewarden

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    Just check the ***What Are You Smoking *** threads to find out what great men are smoking!

    Dot
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    hierophant

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    I smoke Pirate Kake, Nightcap and Gaslight. So...those

    Posted 4 years ago #
  40. mcitinner1

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    I love this thread, the older you get, the more you miss the old days. I remember well as a kid how everyone smoked anytime and anywhere.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    jguss

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    Now if only Mr. Guss will fill in the missing pieces

    if only i could! i can tell you a few things, although the company was such a minor player i haven't given it much attention.

    i believe that the merchant in question was herbert william merchant (1887-1941). that's only a tentative identification. i picked him because the dates are about right, and because one of his legatees was percy john woods, who happened to be a cigar importer. of course this could be the wrong guy, and i know it doesn't square with the 1944 death date given above, but i think it's better than 50/50 he's the right man.

    now on to more definite information. herbert merchant limited was incorporated in march of 1929. not coincidentally that's the year the business first appears in the london phone directory, listed as (you guessed it) a cigar importer. the business was located at 25 denmark street, where it remained throughout herbert's lifetime and beyond. after the war, in 1947, it relocated to 34 aybrook street, where it remained through at least 1967. by the early seventies it had relocated to Andover in Hampshire. note that by 1947 the company had branched out and was then listed as wholesale tobacconists and confectioners.

    the story about der bingle ogling one of herbert's pipes in 1938 is interesting. it may well be true, but the timing seems a bit iffy to me. what i can say for sure is that the first year merchant's pipes are listed in the cigar & tobacco world annual price directory is in the june 1949 edition. that's not to say they couldn't have been sold earlier; just that they weren't in the trade price lists. likewise the first appearance i could find (bear in mind the data i consult isn't complete) of the various merchant pipe brands is in the 1949 fancy goods brands directory. these listings continued at least through the early sixties.

    The specific pipe brands i found include "merchant ivory", "merchant service briars" (in five grades, and then later in a straight grain), "kent" (in shelled or plain), "aybrook" (clearly named for the new address), "longfellow", and "windsor". note that all these were apparently not necessarily sold in any given year; brands appeared and disappeared over time.

    as for headley & french, your guess is as good as mine. they were clearly closely linked, and i suspect under identical ownership since the 1949 price list shows h&f's name above the merchant pipes, and the address is aybrook (i.e. the same as that listed for herbert merchant in the phonebooks). what i can say is that h&f was only listed in the phone books for a few years (1948-51), with the latter date being consistent with the liquidation notices in the london gazette. my personal guess is that the company may have changed hands a few times, with h&f being just one of the owners after the founder died.

    final note: the implication that imperial never got herbert merchant is strange, since there are several documents that suggest otherwise (to name just one, the entity that was named "herbert merchant limited" was later renamed "imperial tobacco (imports) ltd".

    Posted 4 years ago #
  42. chlorophil7

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    Good topic!

    Nobody ever left foot prints on the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave butt prints on the sand of time? ~Unknown
    Posted 4 years ago #
  43. 4nogginsmike

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    Am I not a great man; and do not great men smoke Condor?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  44. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    Has anyone tried Herzegovina Flor? I'm not a big fan of Joe Stalin's politics (or anyone's, come to think of it) or his methods, but I am fascinated by his management style. I think he and Steve Jobs were the two most effective managers of the 20th century.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 3 years ago #

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