THE PIPE TIMELINE
100 A.D. - Evidence shows Mayan civilization in Mexico was using pipes to smoke.
1500s - Tobacco and pipe smoking introduced to Europe.
- Sir Walter Raleigh popularizes the clay pipe in England.
1750s - Meerschaum, found in central Europe, is discovered to be an excellent material for pipe bowls.
1840 (Circa) - Francois Comoy begins carving pipes out of briar in Saint-Claude, France. Briar was revolutionary because it enabled the smoker to hold the bowl in their hand, which was impossible to do with clay pipes. Additionally, briar possessed a natural beauty and grain that clay could not.
1850s - The French begin producing wooden pipes with porcelain and clay bowl liners; a style of pipe which is still made today.
1860 (Circa) - Briar pipes become the standard throughout Europe for pipe tobacco lovers.
1868 - Henry Tibbe founded The Missouri Meerschaum Company (USA) which is still the largest producer of corncob pipes in the world.
1950s - In America, pipe smoking becomes the symbol of sophistication and a re-assuring cultural icon: in part, thanks to movies, magazines, and marketing.
“Today, with over 10 million pipe smokers in America alone, the symbol of the pipe still provides an image of stability and in fact, is stronger than ever before due to a constant closing in and fear of the technological world around us. The pipe remains standing as a bastion of individuality and security. With the advent of computers, laser beams, and dehumanizing robots and words like “artificial intelligence,” “petrodollars,” and “megapollution,” mankind’s natural instinct is to seek solace and retain a sense of self-esteem by returning to the very basics of life. The pipe provides much of this. It is a trusted friend, a “working” companion and a symbol of all that is right and orderly in the world.”
-Richard Carleton Hacker