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sittingbear

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2015
393
599
This picture was in the local paper from my hometown of Burlington, Colorado. It shows a Volga German (Russian German) immigrant by the name of Christian Adolf as he shelled his corn. It looks like he just took a corn cob from the stack behind him and made his own cob pipe. The picture was taken in 1918. My guess is he was smoking Prince Albert or whatever they had at the General Store at the time, as the High Plains of Eastern Colorado is not tobacco growing country. The paper ran the photo as part of an announcement of a family reunion to be held in town this summer.
On a side note, my grandfather, who was about 10 years old when this photo was taken and lived on a farm nearby, taught me how to make cob pipes exactly like this one. It was my first pipe, and I still have it!


 

elbert

Preferred Member
Mar 10, 2015
604
15
Very nice! The farm my father grew up on is still in the (extended) family, I would love to make a pipe out of the corn one summer. I've read that today's corn varietals are less suitable, as they've been bred for larger kernels and smaller cobs?

 

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sittingbear

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2015
393
599
elbert, yeah, I think that's true. The hole I was able to bore in the cob was really too small to smoke anything, but I was probably about 10 at the time so I didn't care. Plus, I think Missouri Meerschaum uses their own strain of corn that maximizes the cob and minimizes the kernel, which is why their pipes are able to have such large bowls. These days, they only really grow two types of corn where I'm from, sweet corn and feed corn (for cattle, mostly), so they obviously want to use the types with larger kernels. I wonder if a good heirloom corn would produce a decent sized cob, though?

 

elbert

Preferred Member
Mar 10, 2015
604
15
I suspect the cause isn't hopeless even with sweet corn. Missouri Meerschaum needs to get a usable cob out of nearly every ear, but the dabbler just needs to get a usable cob out of a harvest.
I talked to a German fellow the other day, who was amused when the subject of corn came up. "In Europe we feed that to the pigs."
It was only afterward that I realized I'd missed a chance to trot out Boswell's quip, when Samuel Johnson remarked that oats were given to horses in England, but in Scotland were eaten by men.
"And nowhere are there such horses! And nowhere, such men!"

 

shermnatman

Member
Jan 25, 2019
254
7
Prince Albert in a MM Cob; a classic combination which never fails to satisfy. - Sherm Natman

 

sittingbear

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2015
393
599
Elbert, that's true! I lived in Sweden for a time and had "American food" with my friends a couple of times. One friend just kinda poked at the corn and refused to eat it. I won't say what he called it, but he felt it was unfit for white Europeans to eat. I also offered pumpkin pie and he wouldn't eat that, either, calling it "pig food!" Another friend very reluctantly took a few bites and was surprised by how good it was! I still ended up eating the whole pie though, since they wouldn't touch it after that! Lol
Tulsa, I believe it's back in my hometown. Next time I'm out there, I'll grab it (thanks for the reminder). Expect a zombie bump!
 

papawhisky

New member
Jan 29, 2019
44
3
Austin, Texas
You can by MM's seed here to grow your own pipe: https://aristocob.com/Homegrown-Cobfoolery-Seed-Corn-Kit-Genuine-Missouri-Meerschaum-Corn-Cob-Pipe-Seeds-PREORDER-P5681929.aspx

 
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