Are There any Carey Magic Inch Fans Out There?

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john019

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jul 19, 2018
140
39
92869287928892899291So I have come across this Carey pipe a while back. It has an "A" on the back, so I was guessing it was a grading system. Tried looking up info on it, and couldn't find anything about the grading system Carey used on their pipes. I even contacted them, and sent them some photos of the pipe, and the response I got back was, "Yes that is a Carey pipe. The carver retired awhile ago, and we don't have any more information on this pipe". So if anyone knows anymore details about the grading system that Carey pipes used, it would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Fixed Capitalization in Title - Bob
 
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stogie37

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 24, 2012
679
3,461
Southport, North Carolina
I’m definitely a fan of the Carey Magic Inch pipes and have 60 of them in my rotation. I’ve probably had twice that many pass through my hands as I cherry picked the best smokers. That said, they are normally viewed as a utilitarian pipe, with the finish, graining and even fit taking a back seat to function. Your pics are one of the nicer ones I’ve seen, and I’d have to look more closely at my collection to see if any have similar grading marks. They sourced bowls from different carvers/factories over the years and some of the most beautiful examples came from the Shalom factory in Israel - home of the original Alpha pipes in the 70’s. Your pipe is from that factory and era. There were a few excellent carvers employee by Shalom that turned out some gorgeous and distinctive pipes. If I find any with grading in my collection I’ll be sure to post here. Carey is still going strong (?) in the states, and prior to moving to the Carolina coast in 2018, I lived 20 minutes from their U.S. headquarters in Canton, Ohio. While not a retail shop, I was able to hand select some pipes there and also buy a “lifetime” supply of sleeves at wholesale pricing from them! Enjoy!
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
38,374
48,368
I had one of their little carburetor straight apple pipes that may have come with a bag of tobacco, sort of a starter kit. The little vents in the stem struck me first as an annoyance, and then as an obstacle, so I taped them over, but the draw was still a little indirect and tight, so eventually, after it haunted my rack for many years, I sent it away. I'm interested that some collect an array of these, and this makes me suppose that most of their pipes are better than the one I bought. Also, the finish was notably matte and dull.
 

tomnernas2ndson

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 27, 2011
147
211
61
Nebraska
I had one of their little carburetor straight apple pipes that may have come with a bag of tobacco, sort of a starter kit. The little vents in the stem struck me first as an annoyance, and then as an obstacle, so I taped them over, but the draw was still a little indirect and tight, so eventually, after it haunted my rack for many years, I sent it away. I'm interested that some collect an array of these, and this makes me suppose that most of their pipes are better than the one I bought. Also, the finish was notably matte and dull.
Yes, they have a wide variety. I've got some that are magnificent and others average. I use the filters and like them. However, to each their own. Happy Holidays.
 

condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
6,726
18,726
New York
I remember the quarter page advertisements in the Sunday Express for Carey Pipes before it went tabloid sized. It always featured a picture of the all embracing British Father telling you about his 'magic inch' and how if you didn't absolutely love the pipe you could smash it with a hammer and return the bits to the U.K factory. One of my friends in the scouts had a Father who always had a pipe in his mouth and we used to make jokes about his 'magic inch' since my friends brother was a little on the 'special' side or as we used to say - very challenged!
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
11,732
22,061
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I remember the quarter page advertisements in the Sunday Express for Carey Pipes before it went tabloid sized. It always featured a picture of the all embracing British Father telling you about his 'magic inch' and how if you didn't absolutely love the pipe you could smash it with a hammer and return the bits to the U.K factory. One of my friends in the scouts had a Father who always had a pipe in his mouth and we used to make jokes about his 'magic inch' since my friends brother was a little on the 'special' side or as we used to say - very challenged!
glad I am not the only one that can't hear magic inch with out wanting to giggle a little bit.
 
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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
38,374
48,368
Because I didn't have a good experience with my one pipe, I couldn't figure out how Carey stayed in business over so many years selling the little carburetor pipes, but I guess I just got a lemon. They sold those little pipes in the classified sections of magazines for a half century, always temptingly reasonably priced, and usually with tobacco, a pipe tool, and pipe cleaners, if I remember.
 
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T-townrestore

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 10, 2021
119
329
Tacoma
Because I didn't have a good experience with my one pipe, I couldn't figure out how Carey stayed in business over so many years selling the little carburetor pipes, but I guess I just got a lemon. They sold those little pipes in the classified sections of magazines for a half century, always temptingly reasonably priced, and usually with tobacco, a pipe tool, and pipe cleaners, if I remember.
I have not tried one yet. They are all over eBay, you know they’re pretty much a dime a dozen. I would get one to fix up, but I plan on eventually selling the ones I work on and I doubt it would sell, or at least get a return on it.
Most reviews I’ve seen about them are “Rip off that stem and just get it a regular one.”
 
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jpberg

Lifer
Aug 30, 2011
2,140
4,138
Find an old patent number Carey. I think they went to shit with the “Grecian Briar”.
Ive got a patent billiard (with 3M tape over the vents) that smokes pretty well.
 
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DAR

Can't Leave
Aug 2, 2020
355
1,096
Tiburon, California
About a year ago I bought a Magic Inch billiard from eBay for $11 just to see what they were all about. It came with their filters and I've smoked it maybe 3 times. It isn't a bad smoker. No worse and no better than any other filtered pipe. I just don't ever smoke it. Maybe because it's nothing special compared to the rest of my pipes but not because it doesn't smoke well enough........ now, since I've been reading this thread, I'm going to load a bowl.......
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,053
2,173
Humansville Missouri
Here is the E A Carey advertisement I remember.....

View attachment 98013
To that ad or one about like it I sent off a request the summer of 1974 for a catalog, and bought my first Carey, a slight bent Apple I still enjoy. I have maybe a dozen more.

I pull the stingers from all my Lee pipes, I don’t put filters in any of my filter pipes, but I use the Paperite sleeve on my Carey pipes.

A similar vented pipe using a tiny hole instead of a paper sleeve is sold by Carey, named the Duncan Hill Areosphere.

I think the Magic Inch works about as advertised. Especially for a new pipe smoker, it seems to cool the smoke, and reduce gurgling. Very little air enters the smoke stream, but it seems enough to make a noticeable difference if I cover the vents with a drinking straw.

A Carey is a great change of pace, I think.
 
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