Do You Think Charatan Made This One?

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owen

Preferred Member
May 28, 2014
560
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I often keep an eye out for Charatan seconds and this would have caught my attention for what that's worth.

 

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kenbarnes

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
394
177
It looks very much like a Charatan second and, although I cannot see the stamping in detail, the size of the stamping looks small which could well make it an earlier example.

 

kenbarnes

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
394
177
Yes, in my opinion, this large bent is from the late 1950s-early 1960s. Towards the middle 1960s onwards, the stamp font size increased from 1-1.5mm to 2-3mm. Normally this No.42 giant bent would have been 're-worked'/ re-sanded to try and eliminate the flaws to make, for example, a Charatan 'cup and saucer' type shape. Also Reubin Charatan nearly always chose a saddle mouthpiece for a large bent because he said it was easier to warm and bend a saddle mouthpiece than a thick tapered one.

 

skaukatt

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
382
5
Thanks, Ken for that info, what a great insight into history we have here thanks to you! Much appreciated!

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,705
655
Thanks, Ken for that info, what a great insight into history we have here thanks to you! Much appreciated!
Ditto on that. :D
A further, related question:
What percentage of pipes that went out the door (as opposed to becoming firewood) actually received the Charatan stamp? (any grade)

 

kenbarnes

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
394
177
What percentage of pipes that went out the door (as opposed to becoming firewood) actually received the Charatan stamp? (any grade)
Relating to the 1950s, this is an interesting question that I will ask Barry Jones the next time we speak - possibly this evening. Barry did tell me the other day that Reubin Charatan did not have a sandblasting machine in the 1950s and Barry or Jonny Mahoney would prepare these pipes/bowls to be sent to a London Glass manufacturer who would use the machine they used for frosting/texturing glass for bathroom windows. Each order would have a note saying 'heavy on the bowls and light on the shanks'. When they came back sandblasted, Barry said that there were always a few that were completely blown away - so these were scrapped

 

kenbarnes

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
394
177
What percentage of pipes that went out the door (as opposed to becoming firewood) actually received the Charatan stamp? (any grade)
I spoke with Barry just now and he told me:

In the 1950s at the factory in Vine Street, Charatans would machine-turn one gross of one shape per week, say the largest billiard group 4, this would be turned with a small tobacco hole (group 1). These bowls would be inspected and the ones with flaws on the bowl or shank would be re-turned to a size 3. These were inspected and the ones with flaws were once again re-turned to a size 2. The group 4 ones which were clean were then placed in a pre-set chuck and the tobacco holes opened up the extra 2mm and so on. This is called 'solid turning' in order to maximise the yield. If these bowls had some small spots they were sandblasted. The fallings, (some people call them failings)were sold to other pipe companies as C-D bowls (the best being kept for Charatan, namely A-B bowls). So the production of catalogue-shape pipes was 144 per week although some were sold off as C-D bowls. In 1964 The factory took over the old Philip Morris factory in Prescott Street, a few hundred yards away, where they continued this production of 1 gross a week. Then in 1967, the factory moved again to Mansell Street, a few hundred yards from both other factories. When my father joined the company in that year, Barry suggested to my father that they turn half a gross each of 2 shapes so that more shapes would be coming through as the shape chart broadened. After this, production markedly increased as the demand for Charatans grew stronger.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,705
655
I spoke with Barry just now and he told me:
In the 1950s at the factory in Vine Street, Charatans would machine-turn one gross of one shape per week, say the largest billiard group 4, this would be turned with a small tobacco hole (group 1). These bowls would be inspected and the ones with flaws on the bowl or shank would be re-turned to a size 3. These were inspected and the ones with flaws were once again re-turned to a size 2. The group 4 ones which were clean were then placed in a pre-set chuck and the tobacco holes opened up the extra 2mm and so on. This is called 'solid turning' in order to maximise the yield. If these bowls had some small spots they were sandblasted. The fallings, (some people call them failings)were sold to other pipe companies as C-D bowls (the best being kept for Charatan, namely A-B bowls). So the production of catalogue-shape pipes was 144 per week although some were sold off as C-D bowls. In 1964 The factory took over the old Philip Morris factory in Prescott Street, a few hundred yards away, where they continued this production of 1 gross a week. Then in 1967, the factory moved again to Mansell Street, a few hundred yards from both other factories. When my father joined the company in that year, Barry suggested to my father that they turn half a gross each of 2 shapes so that more shapes would be coming through as the shape chart broadened. After this, production markedly increased as the demand for Charatans grew stronger.
As BS-clogged as the Internet is, sometimes it shines like a nova.
This is one of those moments. 8)
Many thanks, Ken, for tracking that info down and taking the time to write it out. BritWood collectors everywhere are smiling. :clap:

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,651
292
This is a section of text from the Ben Wade Pipedia page.
Lane had the pipe making machines brought from Leeds to London and used the well esteemed name Ben Wade to start the fabrication of entirely machine-made pipes at Charatan's Prescott Street factory. (Some sources say "not earlier than 1973" but proven by cataloges this isn't true.) Alas the "new" Ben Wades were quite usual series pipes, copies of well known standard shapes. The pipes often showed hardly masqued fillings and were processed quite coarsely with hardly polished pre-moulded Ebonite stems. Therewith Ben Wade degenerated definitively to a second brand. The stamping now read "Made in London England" or just "London". Nothing was left from the quality of the pipes once made in Leeds!
I've always felt these 'Made In London England' stamped pipes were decent smokers. I've owned 4 or 5 of them over the years as travel/work pipes because they smoke good and can be had for around $20 or less.

 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,266
166
Same question as I started the thread with. No stamping on this one of any kind. I got away with it for under $50 and I thought that was a steal wit this grain.





And the thing that made it get pitched.


 

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