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Brokennock

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I'm sorry,,,, I just don't buy into the bit (ha ha ha, get it?) about breaking off the end of the pipe for the next user.
1st of all, it would leave a sharp edge.
Secondly, and more importantly, I see no reason to believe most folks had any incling that a clean pipe end was a necessity. Knowledge of transmission of germs and disease was in its infancy at this point.
 
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Who sells "church warden" or "tavern" style clay pipes?
thanks
I have gotten pretty much all of my Clay Pipes from Penn Valley (and I have several). They are Real Smokers so you are not buying 'junk' prop pipes, they really work.
From time to time they even get a rare batch in from Germany.
My preferred ones are 7-8 inch and, with care, have lasted for years - just toss it in the fire and it cleans up like new....but I always keep a dirty one handy for that 'Dirty Pirate' look (photographers love the 'dirty clay pipe' look).
And the best part of Penn Pipes; Reasonable Prices!

 
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I'm sorry,,,, I just don't buy into the bit (ha ha ha, get it?) about breaking off the end of the pipe for the next user.
1st of all, it would leave a sharp edge.
Secondly, and more importantly, I see no reason to believe most folks had any incling that a clean pipe end was a necessity. Knowledge of transmission of germs and disease was in its infancy at this point.
Correct, I used to believe that story but later found it was just a wives tale.
The long lengths were for just fashion and status statements.
However, a properly made 22 inch taven pipe does make for a surprisingly good smoke...but if not made properly- JUNK
 
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Clay pipes were certainly a very popular trade item. Traditional styles are not hard to find. In addition to the sources noted above, I know Crazy Crow, Jas. Townsend, and Wandering Bull have them.

As @Loyalist Dave pointed out, the long-stemmed pipes do not travel well. They didn't travel well back in the day, either. Lots of broken pipes and pieces have been recovered from archaeological sites.

However, I suspect some efforts may have been made to salvage some of the broken pipes on the frontier. The image below may illustrate that point. The picture shows William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton (second from the left) and Dr. Walter Butler Cheadle (middle) with their Assiniboine/Metis guide, Louis Battenotte (second from the right), Mrs. Battenotte, and their son (far left). Milton and Cheadle traveled all of the way across Canada, from Quebec to the Pacific coast of British Columbia, in 1862-1863. Dr. Cheadle wrote a book about the adventure, entitled The North-West Passage by Land. This illustration is from that book:

View attachment 163165
If you look right dead-center in the foreground, you see this:

View attachment 163166
That looks like a common clay pipe bowl with a very short stem, inserted into an elongated secondary stem. This was probably a pretty simple "fix" for a clay pipe with a broken stem. Making a replacement stem of wood could be accomplished without much trouble. I know for a fact you can burn the pith out of a sumac sapling with a hot wire in just a few minutes. For shorter stems, you can just use a gimlet... No heat required. The gimlet will follow the path of least resistance, which would be the pith. One end of the wooden stick could then be reamed out a little larger to admit the clay pipe stem, and you're back in business.

In addition, the broken stems were not necessarily discarded. The jagged ends could be smoothed up, after which they were strung and used as beads. There is an interesting monograph on this topic right here: Clay Pipe-Stem Beads in North America. This practice likely began in the early 17th century and continued into the 19th, although it was evidently most common in the northeast. I made some stone pipes with wooden stems some years ago, but I don't smoke any more and don't have any clay pipes on hand, broken or not. However, I thought at one time I might try making some pipestem beads, and reasoned that surely a few of the new pipes, imported from overseas, must get broken in shipment. Retailers must find a few broken ones in their shipments, I thought. So, I contacted a couple of sutlers and asked if I could buy some broken pipestems. Nobody responded. I'm sure they thought I was nuts.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
At the sites of the rendezvous lots of clay pipes are found. Full clay stems. The conventional thinking is the reed stemmed pipe just wasn’t much in use until after the MM period. The steamship Arabia was full of Reed stem but not full clay steamed pipes. However that’s almost twenty years after MM period and the rendezvous.
But I often wondered if this isn’t a predator trap situation.
Predator traps are where a herbivore gets trapped in mud at holes. Carnivores come along for an easy meal and umph they get trapped too. So bodies found in the trap represent a higher percentage of carnivores then actually live in the area.
La Brea tar pits in LA is a good example of this.
It sure is easy to break a clay stemmed but reed stems are pretty tough. Most of the time it won’t break if dropped and stick in a hat a gust of wind won’t break it if your hats blown off your head. I have one over forty years old. And more then one clay stem that didn’t see a year.
 

Notchy Bob

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I had heard that bit about the long stems of tavern pipes being broken off little by little, for sanitary purposes, to accommodate multiple users. However, I always found it hard to believe. Germ theory had not evolved in those days, and lots of things were shared. It was common practice, for example, to leave a dipper gourd at a spring, to be used by anyone who passed that way and wanted a drink. My paternal grandmother still had an "open" well (it actually had a wooden cover) with a windlass and bucket, and an enamel dipper hanging right there, so anyone could dip out of the bucket and drink. Her house had indoor plumbing with cold water only, but she refused to drink any water that passed through a pipe. She said it tasted funny.

I visited the Soviet Union in 1985. They had tank trailers parked in many places. The tanks were full of "kvass," which is a rich, yeasty, non-alcoholic dark beer. People would queue up to pay a couple of kopeks for a mug of it, but the sellers usually only had one or two mugs. They would just keep refilling the same mug (without washing) for the next customer.

Anyway, I think the long-stemmed tavern pipes were used for reasons other than sanitation.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 
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toot

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Long pipe, story goes it was smoked in church, and a warden could light it for you from a brazier. The long stem was so to could be reached easily from the aisles without disturbing the other folk on the pew.
Also called a tavern pipe. One would smoke in a tavern. Then break off a bit of stem so the next smoker had a clean pipe.
Church wardens are private, tavern are shared.
Honest, I just doubt both these stories but sound nice.
The longer the stem the cooler the smoke. So I think it just got to be used when a smoker could just sit and smoke. As opposed to guys who worked with a stem in their mouth and needed a short one. So travernsor churches gave a chance to have a cool relaxed smoke.
thank you for the URBAN LEGEND. it a is very interesting subject!
 

toot

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At the sites of the rendezvous lots of clay pipes are found. Full clay stems. The conventional thinking is the reed stemmed pipe just wasn’t much in use until after the MM period. The steamship Arabia was full of Reed stem but not full clay steamed pipes. However that’s almost twenty years after MM period and the rendezvous.
But I often wondered if this isn’t a predator trap situation.
Predator traps are where a herbivore gets trapped in mud at holes. Carnivores come along for an easy meal and umph they get trapped too. So bodies found in the trap represent a higher percentage of carnivores then actually live in the area.
La Brea tar pits in LA is a good example of this.
It sure is easy to break a clay stemmed but reed stems are pretty tough. Most of the time it won’t break if dropped and stick in a hat a gust of wind won’t break it if your hats blown off your head. I have one over forty years old. And more then one clay stem that didn’t see a year.
when I was a young kid after ww2, I used to walk the potato fields in my state after harvesting them, I would find many of the broken clay pipes & stems, that were used by the farmers that used to plow them with a team of horses, while I was looking for INDIAN ARROW HEADS & artifacts.
 

toot

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I'm sorry,,,, I just don't buy into the bit (ha ha ha, get it?) about breaking off the end of the pipe for the next user.
1st of all, it would leave a sharp edge.
Secondly, and more importantly, I see no reason to believe most folks had any incling that a clean pipe end was a necessity. Knowledge of transmission of germs and disease was in its infancy at this point.
a broke clay stem does not get any way as sharp as a broken piece of glass. just take your jack knife and scrape the end smooth. every man carried one. think about it?
 
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Here are the clay pipes I used to buy from an old timer at Friendship. I think I remember his name as Parker. Dunno if that was first or last but do remember he was a fine person. I bought a lot of pipes from him over the years but could never afford his #1 quality pipes. He dug them up from a very secret location on the Ohio river where a factory used to be located that made these. According to him, these were indian trade pipes. I cannot date, help there would be appreciated. In the pic, the one laying sorta verticle has a face and is near #1 quality. The others are distorted. All except the broken pieces at the top are smokable and I did use a couple of these shown. Lotsa memories here.
clay pipes.JPG
 
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It is true that the longer stem provides a cooler smoke, however a longer stem also takes a harder draw, further, the raw smoke and residue remains longer which soon clogs the long thin stem. As I mentioned earlier a pipe needs to be made proper to function correctly, I have had a few from various vendors that were nothing more the 'props'; the draw was Horrible!
Now; have you ever tried carrying a 9" to 20" clay pipe between your teeth for a day...and don't break it?
Such long (cool and refreshing) pipes were a household, tavern, church item and not for travel or laboring. I doubt any at all will be found in the hills or along any trap lines carried there by the MM.

As for the broken stems being 'sharp'; not at all. I have had well used ones snap off between my teeth, it just becomes a 1/4" or so shorter, I have never cut myself on one nor need to toss it away.
My most used 7" pipes begin to develop a 'nick' where I carry it between my teeth, makes a little easier to carry until *Snap* I bite clean through.
I saw some documentation somewhere about how old smokers of such pipes, both clay and red, wear their teeth down where they carry their pipe.

As for Reed Stems, I have always heard they came about by Civil War period, after the great age of MM. However, wood pipes and other clay pipes had been around but they would cost more so the average person went for the clay pipe that would not cost but a penny compared to a dollar or two (rough value, not quoting).

Now Briar; if I recall correctly, did not come about until early 1900s. Prior would be ash and other hard woods.
 

GeronPG

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I found a Tavern Pipe, new in the box at an estate sale recently, made by Williamsburg Pottery. ($5 - sold!) What everyone says is true - good for home, not for travel; hot bowl, cool smoke. The stem is a little too long, but fun now and then. I really like church wardens.
 
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I'm sorry,,,, I just don't buy into the bit (ha ha ha, get it?) about breaking off the end of the pipe for the next user.
1st of all, it would leave a sharp edge.
Secondly, and more importantly, I see no reason to believe most folks had any incling that a clean pipe end was a necessity. Knowledge of transmission of germs and disease was in its infancy at this point.
My clay pipe broke and it was fine for use.
 

toot

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It is true that the longer stem provides a cooler smoke, however a longer stem also takes a harder draw, further, the raw smoke and residue remains longer which soon clogs the long thin stem. As I mentioned earlier a pipe needs to be made proper to function correctly, I have had a few from various vendors that were nothing more the 'props'; the draw was Horrible!
Now; have you ever tried carrying a 9" to 20" clay pipe between your teeth for a day...and don't break it?
Such long (cool and refreshing) pipes were a household, tavern, church item and not for travel or laboring. I doubt any at all will be found in the hills or along any trap lines carried there by the MM.

As for the broken stems being 'sharp'; not at all. I have had well used ones snap off between my teeth, it just becomes a 1/4" or so shorter, I have never cut myself on one nor need to toss it away.
My most used 7" pipes begin to develop a 'nick' where I carry it between my teeth, makes a little easier to carry until *Snap* I bite clean through.
I saw some documentation somewhere about how old smokers of such pipes, both clay and red, wear their teeth down where they carry their pipe.

As for Reed Stems, I have always heard they came about by Civil War period, after the great age of MM. However, wood pipes and other clay pipes had been around but they would cost more so the average person went for the clay pipe that would not cost but a penny compared to a dollar or two (rough value, not quoting).

Now Briar; if I recall correctly, did not come about until early 1900s. Prior would be ash and other hard woods.
they used to pull off a broom straw & ream the tar / residue out of the steam. they were long enough to accomplish it.
 
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Brier showed up late eighteenth century but as said above didn’t really become popular till around 1900. Cherry and hickory were popular before that,
German porcelain pipes started about 1750 but few would have made it to America till the 1840s and never became too popular outside of German communities, I have a couple and they are good smokers byt you could heat a home with how hot the bowl gets.
Meerschaum started in 1720s , I’m thinking 1722, but long since lost my pipe history book. I really doubt any one outside of a British officer would have had one in America by the time of the Revolution and may well be not even then.
The coolest smoke I ever had was the calabash pipe with meerschaum bowl. This is the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ pipe, although Doyle always has him with a straight brier in his stories.
 
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they used to pull off a broom straw & ream the tar / residue out of the steam. they were long enough to accomplish it.
A broom straw wound be good for a quick fix but will not really 'clean' it out and it will clog right back up, especially depending on the tobacco's moisture content.
To Clean a clay pipe simple hold it over a fire and BURN IT CLEAN. Even a tar (tobacco) soaked pipe (or just the stem - but a 'cake' is not needed in clay) will burn out Clean White like the day it was made.
But Be Careful not to get burned - it will be HOT! And always lay it aside and let it cool naturally, also it will be brittle when hot but once cooled - JUST LIKE NEW AGAIN!
 
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Here are just a few of my favorite cray pipes, some are several years old now some are just three or so years.
The real dirty one (second from bottom) is the same as the brand new un-used one on the bottom (Always keep a couple spare on hand). The dirty one has been 'Fire Cleaned' once, it turned Clean White, then after a dozen or so bowls it gets nice and dirty brown again. I always keep one handy like this for 'Pirate Events' as the dirty clay pipe gets lots of "Ooos" and "Wows" from general spectators and cameramen.
I had one that was So dirty the residue had soaked clear through and would get my fingers sticky when smoking...I finally dropped and broke it some years back.

The long Tavern Churchwarden is the one that Penn Valley now sells. The ones who used to make their curves stem stopped making them (there are others out there, but not all are true smokers, some are just props and will drive you nuts trying to smoke a bowl and relax).

The small one in the middle (also from Penn Valley) I call my Rendezvous pipe, great for carrying around - I wrapped the stem myself as the shorter ones are hard to hold when hot.

The top most one Penn Vally sold a few years ago, said a German vender found an entire case full lost and forgotten in a basement somewhere, they estimated them to be at least very early 1900s.

Bottom line: to clean a clay pipe just Stick it in the Fire, comes out like brand new!
 

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