Military Mount Definition

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puffdoggie

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2013
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Is a pipe with just a metal band around the shank end considered a "military mount" or only if it has that band and a metal fitting (spigot) on the end of the stem? I'll set back and eat my popcorn now. :puffy:

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
31,131
15,240
I think the true military mount has metal on both the shank and the joining part of the stem. The idea was you

could disassemble the pipe in a hurry, in a military situation. As we know, you shouldn't do that with most pipes

where the stem fits directly into the briar. But pipes are made both ways. If I recall, Peterson makes some "military

mounts" with metal only on the shank. Now we will hear from the experts.

 

briarfriar

Senior Member
I'm hardly an expert, but the army mount design allows the stem to fit the pipe without a tenon. It was invented to permit easy breakdown and pocket storage of a pipe by soldiers who kept damaging their briars by leaving them assembled inside their pockets.
Peterson, Stanwell, and others make great ones.
Jay
EDIT: Click here to see the anatomy of a Stanwell.

 

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warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,969
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Another tale is that when the shank broke on one's pipe a spent shell was cut and slipped over the shank to hold it together. I read somewhere that most pipes were carried in two pieces as a matter of routine. Soldiers usually smoked in camp when work was done and meals eaten. The pipe was broken out, assembled and smoked before everyone bedded down.

 

darwin

Preferred Member
Apr 9, 2014
820
2
A true "military" mount. called by Peterson and others a "spigot", uses a metal socket on the shank that a metal covered tip on the stem plugs into. This makes disassembling the pipe easy when hot and stem damage is not an issue. Most others that appear to be a military style have a cap on the shank and a regular tenon plugs into the briar. I think this latter style is a cool look but the pipe should be treated as any other briar would be. In other words wait for the pipe to cool before removing the stem.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,217
489
I just consider it anything with a tapered tenon, whether it has any metal or not is kind of beside the point, a tapered tenon will still fit even if the hole changes size.

 

darwin

Preferred Member
Apr 9, 2014
820
2
That's true but it's not always easy to tell exactly which is which in a lot of the picture of pipes online. Even with a tapered tenon I'd still want to wait until the pipe cools down before removing the stem unless there is some pressing reason to do so.

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
13
This old thread is pretty good,

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/military-mount-question
But I'll go ahead and xerox one part here, because someone might know the answer.
from the Peterson catalog:

"The Spigot style evolved from the practice of soldiers in earlier centuries who repaired broken pipes by sliding a used cartridge case over the shank and reinserting the mouthpiece."
I'd reckon the design has been in use at least since the 1860's.
Does anyone know what the likely candidate would be regarding proper size cartridge casing as to form the ferrule end-cap?
There was a lot of technological advances in the late 19th century with ammo, particularly the transitioning from larger caliber to smaller caliber. I've seen somewhere an educated guess as to what was actually used for fashioning the ferrule which suggested :

7.92mm Mauser

Lee Enfield - Mk III - 7.7mm

French 8mm rifles
The cartridge casing would have to be the right size to fit the end of the shank!
Here's a pic of a box of well-preserved ammo cartridges from circa 1885:



 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,964
272
The whole shell casing yarn sounds like one of those stories that gets told so many times that it becomes accepted as true. The 1912 BBB catalogue, for instance, had a gazillion different models with silver caps and tapered stems. They're called everything under the sun, including "army," "golf," "socket," etc.
Here's the thing -- even if you can believe that someone (somewhere) worked a shell casing onto a broken pipe shank, he would have had to simultaneously invent a tapered stem to go with it. Unless the pipe were an army mount pipe to begin with, the stem wouldn't have been a tapered stem. It would have had a bone screw or have been an ordinary tenon-mortise push stem.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
11,190
6,228
A true "military" mount. called by Peterson and others a "spigot", uses a metal socket on the shank that a metal covered tip on the stem plugs into.
I will respectfully disagree, and Barling will back me up. A military mount does not use a metal covered tip on the stem. A spigot, which uses a different shaped shank cap does use a metal covered end on the stem. Spigots use a squared off end, while a military mount uses a rounded cap, also known as an "olive".
The illustration below is from the circa 1918 Barling catalog. Note the mount and the name given to it.


 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
13
Good point Pitchfork,

I had neglected to remember that most briar pipes back then were screw tenons.

:idea:

For some reason I had always believed the various war stories,

but it probably is a mythology.
Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an old pipe ever modified with a shell-casing endcap either,

surely a few would have surfaced.
Thanks for bursting my bubble.

:(

:lol:
They should probably be called "sport mounts" because that's more accurate I'd reckon.
One war with a lot of pipe relics is the Boer War and most of 'em are regular pipes,

not an army mount to be seen!
Many of the old Civil War clays had "army mounts"...


Here's an even fancier CW era wood pipe,


This 1892 catalog shows "powhattan" pipes, maybe this design was just adapted for silver-fitted briar pipes and somebody started circulating wild tales about a military relation to try and boost sales?


 

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
4
Colorado
From doing my own research one of the persitant stories is the military mount was invented in the trenches of WWI. I wanted to see an actual pipe fitted with a casing. After Googling. Duck Ducking, Binging & Yahooing, I can up empty. So I started calling museums and speaking with some experts, the overseas calls were a pain btw, and I still came up empty handed.
After looking at a 1910 Peterson catalog and seeing the army mount design I assumed the WWI connection was false. Afterwards I read a post that someone stated Peterson promoted the Army style pipes with their contracts as perfect for field conditions. I assumed stories started after a soldiers ferrule fell of his pipe and was lost and an empty shell casing was used as a repair.

 

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
4
Colorado
Addendum.
I'm sorry but to get back to the original question. I think the ferrule end with the tapered seem is your original design. From a production point of view that is easier to produce in quantity back in the day. If you have a government contract you need to produce. Spigots might have been special runs for "esteemed" individuals. Until I see a pre 1900 spigot that is what I believe.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,964
272
I think the ferrule end with the tapered seem is your original design
That would be my guess, but it would be hard to say for sure.
I didn't think much of the date at the time, but here's a recent auction for a spigot made in 1888. So definitely the spigot is at least that old.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221574145412?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2648
Does anyone know when vulcanite/rubber was first used as a stem material? I ask because an amber stem wouldn't last very long in an army mount configuration unless it was made as a spigot. What I'm saying is that amber stemmed spigots may have come before plain vulcanite army mounts. No way to know for sure, at least at this point.
One other thing to consider about the army mount is that those old meerschaum pipes with the silver caps and the long wooden stems -- those were a kind of army mount in a way (silver shank, tapered stem). Here's one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-meerschaum-pipe-1810-hand-carved-/171509021227?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27eebbfa2b Could that have something to do with the origin of the term? My guess, though, is that "army mount" was just a marketing term.
Interesting discussion.
EDIT: Here's a better example of the old meerschaum's with an army type mount. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Long-Smoking-Pipe-SOLID-SILVER-bowl-rim-and-cap-Swedish-hallmark-1837/111494468979?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
20,230
6,693
Outer Space
Lots of things were fashioned out of shell casings. I have a collection of trench lighters that were made out of casings, actually made in the trench. They had an assortment of tools handy, just in their gear to make most things. They could also be flared out to be used as funnels and shot glasses. My uncle has a pair of glasses repaired by his father in WW1 with casings. Necessity is the mother of invention. And, keep in mind that men used to be much better at carving and making their own things with simple tools. I'm fairly sure that this modern world has made most of us complete idiots with hand tools. People now a days think they need big fancy machines to do what our forefathers used to be able to do with a stick and a pocketknife. Indians in the mountains used to be able to make fantastic gold and silver objects with a campfire, sticks, and rocks.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,969
1,604
Brass is easy to work. Trench life is very boring. I suspect there is a germ of truth to the shell story. Some of the "trench art" from WWI is very intricate. A man wanting to smoke and having nothing but a broken pipe is probably going to do what is necessary. Remember, this was before the Golden Age of duct tape and Red Green.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,964
272
Brass is easy to work. Trench life is very boring. I suspect there is a germ of truth to story. Some of the "trench art" from WWI is very intricate.
We know the term pre-dates WWI, but you might be right -- trench art could have certainly given the term staying power.

 

zack24

Preferred Member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
I think the key behind all the discussions is that a military mount uses a tapered mortise and tapered tenon with a 1.5-2% taper unlike a conventional mortise and tenon that has a constant diameter that can cause problems when the mortise is allowed to swell or shrink without the stem being in place. Here's a link to a video from JAlan Pipes on how it's done on the artisan pipes today...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnDkGrhiDTA

 
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