Baccy Pipes

Simple Cleanup On A Dr.Grabow El Dorado #69 Billiard


I have been looking for a nice El Dorado to add to my Dr. Grabow collection for a while, when this #69 large billiard showed up on Ebay. I bid and actually won it, i thought at a bargain price. The pipe was in excellent condition and the stamping’s were crisp. The El Dorado model does not show up often. They are a pretty scarce pipes.

The El Dorado was introduced around 1960-61. It was a top of the line Dr.Grabow. All used grade A full grain briar and were hand finished ,hand buffed . At a time when the average American worker was making between .65-1.50 a hour the El Dorado was priced at 10.00 dollars (the ad pictured is a later one from about the mid to late 1960’s).

Because of the price not many were sold. A former employee for Dr.Grabow said that they were lucky to sale a dozen a month most of the time. The El Dorado line lasted into the 1990’s but most sold were old stock from the production of them during the 1960s.

I did not have to do much to the pipe but a basic cleaning. There was quite a bit of cake in it, but it flaked out rather easy. Sandpaper easily removed what was left.The shank and stem was really clean and took little effort .
There may not have been much rim cake and scorching but what was there was stubborn. I had to do some long and delicate scrubbing and wet sanding with mineral oil to get it off and not remove the finish.

I gave stem a light sanding and cleaned up the metal tenon and stinger.

A rub down with mineral oil and quick inspection , she is ready for some buff and wax.

Finished pipe.

The pipe is also stamped with the Adjustamatic & on other side of shank . Shape number 69 on bottom.
Dr.Grabow at one time made as good as a pipe as any factory pipe makers anywhere. To label them all as cheap drug store pipes has always seemed unfair to me.

The pipe is a extremely fine smoker.

8 thoughts on “Simple Cleanup On A Dr.Grabow El Dorado #69 Billiard

  1. Troy, nice find on an excellent and rare pipe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work. She really shines, now. A fella could get lost, staring into that graining. Love the color also.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice addition to the collection, Troy. I agree the good Doctor gets knocked around, as do some of the other American made pipes, because they aren’t high grades/high priced. But some of my personal favorites are no-name or “classic” American names and I’m proud of them and their heritage. Enjoy- as I know you will!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Greg
    I have some Grabows that are just as nice as any European factory pipe for a fraction of the price and smoke as well if not better.


  5. Good Lord! That’s a good looking pipe! I love those Eldorados! Well done on the cleanup, Troy, and congrats on a beautiful pipe!

    Liked by 1 person

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