Tobacconist University
Accoutrements College

Accoutrements College: Pipe Accessories


The calumet is a highly decorated pipe made by the Indians of North America: the calumet has also been known as the “peace pipe”. Typically, the calumet was made of wood or clay with a long stem decorated with feathers, animal parts, beads, and other embellishments. It was generally used for spiritual or ceremonial purposes and stuffed with a mix of tobacco, herbs, and other organic matter.

Calumet Pipe


By the early 1600’s , the clay pipe was being used throughout Europe. Initially popularized by Sir Walter Raleigh in England, these pipes had characteristically small bowls and long stems. They were sufficiently resistant to heat and could be easily manufactured.

Clay Pipe


The corncob is the quintessential American pipe. Before large scale production began in 1868 the corncob pipe was popular among American pioneers and Indians. While the bowl is made from the cob, usually a reed or hollowed out piece of wood is used for the stem and mouthpiece. Typically corncobs smoke hot and wet and have a limited useful life, unlike briar or meerschaum.

Corncob Pipe


German for "sea foam", meerschaum is a light, white, clay-like mineral that is primarily found in Turkey. Meerschaum has become synonymous with the pipes that are created from it. While it is soft when harvested, it hardens into a very porous material that looks similar to ivory. Meerschaum pipes are famous for their intricate carvings as well as their unique patina that comes with age and proper smoking. New meerschaums are white or cream colored, but will change to amber and golden brown as they get smoked. Many pipe enthusiasts and tobacconists will only handle meerschaums with a glove to avoid staining it with oils emitted by the human hand.

Meerschaum Pipe   Meerschaum Pipe   Meerschaum Pipe


aka: narghile, narghila, nargile, nargila, sheesha, shisha, water-pipe, or hubbly-bubbly

Technically speaking, a hookah is an indirect smoking system; because the smoke travels through water (or other liquid) before reaching your palate. The hookah has changed very little since the 1600's: the modern hookah is composed of four [major] parts: bowl, stem, body, mouthpiece. With the help of water, these components work together to provide a cool, filtered, and smooth smoking experience. As seen below, hookahs use a hose to attach the mouthpiece to the pipe. A traditional hookah can have anywhere from one to four hoses/mouthpieces. This multi-hose system facilitates communal/social smoking with multiple participants.

Credit is given to the Turkish for refining the design of the hookah: they integrated it thoroughly into their culture and helped spread its popularity. But long before the Turkish adopted the hookah, it was invented and used by the people of India. Indians and Persians were smoking hashish and opium in their hookahs long before tobacco was even introduced to them. However, by the 1600’s, smoking tobacco from a hookah had become common throughout most of Europe. Perhaps ironically, the hookah was now being used for a purpose for which it was not intended. Consequently, the tobacco had to be uniquely concocted to suit the hookah "system". Hookah tobacco, also known as shisha, is typically moistened with honey or molasses as well as flavored with fruits and/or spices. The tobacco is kept lit by using hot coals to apply a consistent heat.

When smoking a hookah, tobacco is placed in the bowl and a hot coal is placed on top to facilitate combustion. As you draw air through the mouthpiece, smoke travels through the stem and into the body, where the water is stored. The smoke then filters upward through the water and travels toward your mouth. Drawing the smoke through the hookah is a slow and deep breathing technique, because the smoke must travel and filter a long distance through so many parts.

Hookah Pipe   Hookah Pipe

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