E. Roberts In the first part of this series, A Brief History of Two Leaves: Tea & Tobacco, we took a look at the remarkable parallels in the early histories of tea and tobacco—plants springing out of the ground from falling body parts, a close association with spirits and the divine, a sense of ritual. […]Read more
By E. Roberts A cup of tea and a pipeful of tobacco are a sublime combination; one that speaks to a contemplative repast, a sense of ritual, and a repudiation of worldly cares. It may not be surprising that tea is the most popular prepared beverage in the world, second only to water in consumption; […]Read more
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- July 1, 2022 Law of Binding Energy
This may sound a bit over the top, but our pipe community is held together by some equivalent of the law of binding energy. So sayeth Dr. Pundit. Harrumph! Simply put, the law says the universe is held together by binding energy. Seen another way, the law explains in a blackboard full of Einsteinian math the energy it takes to separate us from the universe. Or something. Now, without getting too overwrought in the physics or chemistry of binding energy, let’s just say we are a bound community of pipe-loving groups. It would require a great deal of energy to separate us from our hobby. The Pundit has not run off the rails yet. See, our energy is connected through a community of pipes and tobacco, a village of individuals who enjoy just sitting around pontificating and puffing our beloved pipes. That’s binding and energetic. You get it if you have ever participated in a pipe club gathering. There is not enough energy to scramble one atom of our togetherness. That’s our law of binding energy. This short lecture is a windy opening to what is today’s reality in the pipe world, and our daily lives. Pay attention, class. There will be a pop quiz at the end of this discourse. Of late we have seen tectonic shifts in the “old normal.” The good old days, so it seems to the Pundit, have been pummeled by powerful events: the Covid pandemic virus and its many mutations of tragedy; supply chain choke holds; massive cargo ships becoming lodged in narrow river lanes like toy boats in a ditch; the Great Resignation spreading like a virus; a disastrous war in Ukraine and the threat of even more violence. Ok, the Pundit gets it. Enough of gloom and doom. Back to the original thought of our law of binding energy. It is similar to the law of supply and demand for pipe smokers. In simplest terms, when all other economic factors remain constant, the law of supply says that if prices go up, supply generally rises. But if supply remains constant, and prices continue to rise, demand generally drops. For us pipe smokers, supply and demand have been somewhat steady during these upside-down years. We have access to sufficient supply and, mostly, prices have not resulted in a bank shot off the charts. We pipe puffers have our own law of supply and demand, similar to our law of biding energy. Now, for the promised pop quiz. Pay attention, for another lecture of sorts is in order after this. Pop question: how do supply and demand affect pipe smokers? You in the back: “More supply means we have fewer pipes.” Wow, you weren’t paying attention. Ok, one more. You in the front row with your hand half raised: “We have too many pipes on cargo ships.” You fail, too. Correct answer: The Law of Supply and Demand may affect other segments of society, but not so much the pipes and tobacco community. There are too many of us in the demand side. No matter the prices. There, you have it. Now on to more important matters. Why do we celebrate Independence Day? If your answer is because some yokels in Boston tossed tea in an ocean, or it’s because we fly flags and blast fireworks into the night skies, one might want to dig a little deeper. Ok, so why do we celebrate? You there in the corner half asleep. “To celebrate independence from some king, or something.” Well, yes, but I was looking for a more profound answer. Such as, from whom did we snatch independence from the jaws of colonialism? In a more perfect union, the Fourth of July is the day the original thirteen colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, giving birth to a new America, and unbuckling itself from the nutjob King George III and Great Britain. America is 246 years young this July 4th. Ok, that was a little harsh about the royal nutjob. King Georgie suffered from insanity in spurts. History records that many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as those who penned the document, were tobacco farmers. This founding fathers’ fact, dear friends, gives pipe smokers bragging rights! So, the heart of all this is that after we’ve fired off that bucket full of fireworks to celebrate our precious independence, we can savor the notion that pipe smoking in America is not only patriotic but also historic. It’s that binding energy continuum thing. Tobacco formed the first cash crop of the British colonies. Think Jamestown and John Rolfe, the guy who married Pocahontas and was big in early Virginia politics. He also enjoyed tobacco and planted a crop of West Indies seeds, allegedly, in Jamestown in 1612. And on the money side, by the time of the runup to the American Revolution, just about all of the Southern Founding Fathers owed their wealth to the sale of tobacco. And to be historically correct, not all of them smoked tobacco. But tobacco smoking was common among the Founders, particularly using churchwarden-long clay pipes in the inns. See, many of the Founding Fathers (a tasty aromatic blend from Cornell & Diehl, just sayin’), were also pipe smokers. The author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was a tobacco farmer who puffed a pipe for a brief time. Benjamin Franklin was likewise a short-time pipe smoker while helping to edit the famous freedom document. We can forgive ol’ Benjy because floating a kite near lightning with a lit pipe might not have been a promising idea. Founders John Adams and James Madison, also tobacco farmers, knew a good pipe blend when they smoked one. By the way, Dolley Madison, wife of the fourth U.S. President, smoked a pipe and allegedly cigars as well. And now, dear friends, I hope by the time you read this epistle, you have had or will have a binding energy type Fourth. Finally, a message from our first U.S. President, […]
- June 28, 2022 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 511
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 511! Our featured interview tonight is with pipe maker Nate King. Nate started smoking pipes in 2004, and starting making them in 2005. Prior to that he worked in the Indy race business where as a transmission specialist, precision and attention to detail is a high priority, and this carries over into his pipe making. Nate makes all kinds of pipes from the classic shapes, to whimsical. retro-inspired pieces such as a commission inspired by an old-style microphone. He has also participated in many collaborations on pipe designs, such as with fellow pipe maker Michael Lindner, and tobacco blender Gregory Pease. In Pipe Parts, Brian will have a pipe review, and at the end of the show we will have a guest rant. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
- June 23, 2022 Kapp & Peterson Relocates to New Factory
Via press release dated June 22, 2022 – Kapp & Peterson is pleased to announce that as of 23 May, it has relocated to a new facility in the Deansgrange neighborhood of County Dublin — a relatively short walk from its previous home in Sallynoggin. Moving is not something the Dublin-based institution takes lightly. “We were in Sallynoggin for 50 years,” says Managing Director Joshua Burgess. “And Sallynoggin was only our second home after moving from the original St. Stephen’s Green factory in 1972.” Peterson’s staff leaves behind fond memories of Sallynoggin. “The factory in Sallynoggin was my first job,” says Factory Manager Jonathan Fields. “I worked in that building when I got married; I worked there when my kids were born.” “Despite our attachment to the building and the community, the move ultimately made a lot of sense for us,” says Burgess. “When Laudisi acquired Kapp & Peterson in 2018, we were able to sign a four-year lease. As our time in the building came to a close, we took a hard look at our needs,” he continues. Those needs included more space and updated infrastructure. “We reached a point where if we wanted to continue to grow and do things like update our tooling, some big changes were necessary,” notes Burgess. “For example, the electrical capacity of the building had reached its limit. The electrician at one point said, sort of jokingly, ‘No more machines. I can’t add one more machine without doing a serious overhaul of the electrical.’” “Moving the factory was a really big project,” says Fields, “but we wanted to make it happen with as little disruption to the staff and our pipe making as possible.” To that end, the entire Peterson staff pitched in, moving the equipment, tools, and briar that they know best. “We moved all our machinery and pipes in three days,” says Fields. “We left Sallynoggin on a Wednesday and started making pipes in our new home the following Monday.” After four weeks in their new location, the men and women who make Peterson pipes are settling into their new home. “The new place is great,” says Tony Whelan, former factory manager and 50-year Peterson veteran. “When I volunteered to help with the move, I became the first employee in Peterson history to work in three different locations. I’m proud of that.” In addition, Fields notes that the entire staff is getting to know its new neighbors. “The Grange pub is a good place to head after work. They pour a nice Guinness.” Peterson now finds itself with ample space for growth in pipe making and storage. “In the new space, we’re able to group work together in an intuitive way,” says Burgess. “All the machines that are related to drilling — bowls, mortises, mouthpieces — can now be in the same production line. It promotes better collaboration when everyone who’s doing the same sort of work is stationed together.” Sykes Wilford, Laudisi’s CEO, recently worked alongside the staff in its new location. “I’m so pleased with the new place and all the work the guys did to make it happen,” says Wilford. “Peterson has a bright future here, and I’m convinced that the new factory furthers our goal of making excellent pipes, firmly in the Peterson tradition.”
- June 21, 2022 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 510
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 510! Our featured interview tonight is part three with Fred Janusek. He is a Doctor of Pipes, and professor of mathematics. Fred is in his early 80s, and he has been smoking a pipe since college in 1957. His first pipe was a very shellac-covered Yello Bole. These are some great stories of back in the day when pipes were everywhere. We will skip our usual opening segment as we have that much good material from Fred. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
- June 14, 2022 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 509
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 509! On tonight’s show we have a new segment of what Brian calls “Inside Fred’s Head” with Fred Hanna. Fred is a well-known pipe collector, author, and speaker at pipe shows. He has a PhD. in psychology and teaches the same at the Chicago Campus at Adler University. He is also author of the book, “The Perfect Smoke”. This is the eighth in a recurring series with a long form discussion of pipe and tobacco questions sent in by our listeners. In the opening “Pipe Parts” segment, we will have a Father’s Day Gift Guide for pipe smokers and collectors. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
- June 7, 2022 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 508
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 508! Our featured interview tonight is part two with Fred Janusek. He is a Doctor of Pipes, and professor of mathematics. Fred is in his early 80s, and he has been smoking a pipe since college in 1957. His first pipe was a very shellac-covered Yello Bole. These are some great stories back when pipes were everywhere, including men’s clothing stores. At the top of the show, we will have an Ask the Tobacco Blender segment with Jeremy Reeves. Jeremy is the Head Blender at Cornell & Diehl, which is one of the most popular boutique pipe tobacco companies in the USA. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!