Robert L Marx Exhibition Pipes

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jguss

Lifer
Jul 7, 2013
2,476
6,448
The clipping below, by the way, appeared in the February 2, 1935 issue of the United States Tobacco Journal and served as the announcement to the trade of Marx’s new venture. It contains much useful information for those interested in the history of Marxman pipes.

The article reveals Marx’s acquisition of an equity stake in Jobey and describes the nature of the relationship between the two companies, with Jobey serving as designer and outsource manufacturer for Marxman pipes while Marx owned the brand and handled all product strategy, sales, marketing and distribution decisions.

It also describes the first three lines offered by the company, with a focus on price points and what today might be called the value proposition.

IMG_0203.jpeg
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
The clipping below, by the way, appeared in the February 2, 1935 issue of the United States Tobacco Journal and served as the announcement to the trade of Marx’s new venture. It contains much useful information for those interested in the history of Marxman pipes.

The article reveals Marx’s acquisition of an equity stake in Jobey and describes the nature of the relationship between the two companies, with Jobey serving as designer and outsource manufacturer for Marxman pipes while Marx owned the brand and handled all product strategy, sales, marketing and distribution decisions.

It also describes the first three lines offered by the company, with a focus on price points and what today might be called the value proposition.

View attachment 251912

Wow!

Some observations.

A 25 cent Scotsman pipe tells us Marx intended to have a line from the cheapest up, not from the carriage trade down.

The ads we see ten years later are for $3.50 to $25 pipes and the new factory address is 27 or 29 West 24th Street.

And while Marx is a German last name, you could hardly get more Scots than Robert Louis.:)

What a bold and calculating young man, to prosper in the Flatiron District in the middle of the Great Depression.
 
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jguss

Lifer
Jul 7, 2013
2,476
6,448
Young indeed, although the balding pate makes Marx look older than the 30 years he was at the time of the photo.

His parents Herman Marks (1869-1918) and Edith Wolf (1874-1935) were Ashkenazi Jews. Each was born in Germany but met in America and were married by a rabbi in Ohio in 1896. Herman was a retail clothing merchant and died at the age of 50 in Ohio (I haven’t seen his death certificate but given the year the Spanish Influenza is a tenable guess for cause of death). I’m not sure where the “Robert” came from but Herman had an older brother named Louis so perhaps that accounts for the middle name. What the Hebrew names were can be conjectured but not confirmed without contemporary (or family) records; they do not appear on the tombstones.

I agree with your assessment. Starting a business in 1935 was a daring move. Presumably his career at Demuth was successful enough to accumulate sufficient capital to finance the Jobey investment and the launch of Marxman.

As for the address the Marxman offices (sales only; recall the factory was separate at that time) were originally located at 307 5th Avenue before moving to 27 West 24th Street in the summer of 1938:

1696809878319.jpeg
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
An observation about the pipe industry, which in the Depression was centered in the Flatiron District in NYC.

The Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938 mandating covered workers a minimum wage of 25 cents an hour and overtime after 44 hours, with minimum age standards of 16 years.

That was $11 a week.

The little girls in the Garment District were being paid between $4 to $6 a week. was against minimum wage laws until I read in law school how the child laborers were treated in the cotton mills in the South and the sewing rooms in New York City.

I don’t think Marx ran a sweat shop.

To the contrary, I imagine him paying old hands as much as a dollar an hour.

He allowed Pipe Lover’s Magazine to photograph his factory over and over again.
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
Young indeed, although the balding pate makes Marx look older than the 30 years he was at the time of the photo.
From Pipedia: Several years before UST bought Mastercraft, M/C had aquired Marxman Pipes. A wonderful kind man, Bob Marx was still working as a salesman in NYC, and I was fortunate to make a few sales calls with him. You all remember Charles Atlas? Bob Marx was about 76 and had just been awarded the (I think) Atlas Award for being the finest speciman of manhood over 70 years old in NYC, or maybe the state.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri

Here is the famous airplane for which the Movie Studio defamation lawsuit occurred. Marx lost the lawsuit @Briar Lee What do you think?


While the suit could have been serious, I suspect it was for the publicity, and likely encouraged my showboat lawyers soliciting Robert Marx.

Today Marx would have to pay the movie to showcase his toy airplane.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
Today my Selected Grain Marxman came in. Like all other Pre 54 Marxman pipes just a twist or two of a sharp knife blade took out all the cake and left a pure brown briar bowl.

But for $2.50 instead of $5 the customer basically got a little plainer, varnished, machine made Super Brair.

The varnish just melted off with Everclear and 0000 steel wool.

Was the Selected Grain just a Super Brair that didn’t make the grade?
 
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Tate

Lifer
Sep 27, 2023
1,259
17,449
30
Northern Illinois
Today my Selected Grain Marxman came in. Like all other Pre 54 Marxman pipes just a twist or two of a sharp knife blade took out all the cake and left a pure brown briar bowl.

But for $2.50 instead of $5 the customer basically got a little plainer, varnished, machine made Super Brair.

The varnish just melted off with Everclear and 0000 steel wool.

Was the Selected Grain just a Super Brair that didn’t make the grade?
That would make sense! And the super briars that had really good grain were upgraded to a Royal or DeLux it seems from some adds I've found. Pretty interesting stuff!
 
The clipping below, by the way, appeared in the February 2, 1935 issue of the United States Tobacco Journal and served as the announcement to the trade of Marx’s new venture. It contains much useful information for those interested in the history of Marxman pipes.

The article reveals Marx’s acquisition of an equity stake in Jobey and describes the nature of the relationship between the two companies, with Jobey serving as designer and outsource manufacturer for Marxman pipes while Marx owned the brand and handled all product strategy, sales, marketing and distribution decisions.

It also describes the first three lines offered by the company, with a focus on price points and what today might be called the value proposition.

View attachment 251912
@jguss, Is this from a hard copy or do you have a link to an archival article? Thanks.
 

jguss

Lifer
Jul 7, 2013
2,476
6,448
@jguss, Is this from a hard copy or do you have a link to an archival article? Thanks.

Unfortunately very little of what I have is available online; the bulk comes from page-by-page review of physical copies of trade journals and other documents. In this case I accessed a complete run of the USTJ housed at the NYPL and the images I posted were taken with my iPhone in the library.
 
Unfortunately very little of what I have is available online; the bulk comes from page-by-page review of physical copies of trade journals and other documents. In this case I accessed a complete run of the USTJ housed at the NYPL and the images I posted were taken with my iPhone in the library.
Thank you for the quick response. I figured as much. I searched for longer than I wanted, to find that online. I'm doing a restorations of a Marxman and wanted to add it to the blog. If you are okay with me using this thread and copying the image. Of course, giving you credit.
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
3,993
11,118
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
Missing the stem but this Marxman Hipster with a Nose Ring carved pipe was ahead of its time:
s-l1600.jpg

 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
The medium carved figure series was $5.

$5 was the same price as the A size Benchmade, Jumbo, or Super Briar which (except for Super Briar) have only minimal gouche type carvings. The $3.50 Mel-o was more extensively carved.

Look at the detail and artistry of the African man head:

IMG_6636.jpeg

And that red color came from smoking, not stain. My horse head is equally artistic and came tan, and quickly colored to Marxman Algerian briar grade red. Mel-o pipes were umber stained, the rest left natural.

IMG_6638.jpeg

But never say never, I own a $15 size Giant Billiard that came unsmoked and stained.

The Select Grain, Super Briar, Royal, and DeLuxe seem to have been machine fraised and hand finished Kaywoodie and Lee competitors. A Mell-o, Morocco, and Dunsboro also came in a choice of shapes.

But I don’t think any other major pipe maker turned out as many bench made, carved, individual shaped pipes as Robert L. Marx.