I have been looking for a nice condition Bruce Peters pipe to add to my coupon pipe collection for a while. I was able to pick up this example for a trade with a friend of mine over at The Dr.Grabow Collectors Forum.
The pipe is in fine original condition with just some small rim dings and missing the removable stinger/cleaner. The stem is undamaged and in perfect shape. I am very happy with my trade.
Here is a little background on Bruce Peters pipes.
Bruce Peters was a coupon pipe offered by the Penn Tobacco Co. The pipes were made by HLT ( Henry Leonard & Thomas ) makers of Linkman , Dr.Grabow ,Royalton and so on.
The Penn Tobacco Co. major pipe tobacco was Kentucky Club. In this ad it looks like the man is smoking a Bruce Peters from the stem insignia. The other coupon lines ( Silver Mac Duff, the Vox Pop, and the Broadcaster ) had different ones.
Here is a little bit of history I copied from Pipes Discussion Forum . This was posted back in 2006 by Bradley Owen. It seems Mr. Owen had a collection of Penn Tobacco Co. coupon pipes and explains the run down on the pipes quite well.
“This pipe is named after Bruce Peters, the Treasurer of the Penn Tobacco Company. According to paperwork with my Bruce Peters, there were four pipes in the line offered by the company: the Bruce Peters, the Silver Mac Duff, the Vox Pop, and the Broadcaster. The Bruce Peters was the top of the line. The pipes were manufactured for Penn by Henry Leonard & Thomas, most well known as the manufacturer of Dr. Grabow pipes.
The Penn Tobacco Company was formed in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania on January 1st, 1901 by Russell Uhl and Henry Weigand. Mr. Uhl died April 4th, 1914 when he committed suicide by jumping into the Susquehanna River. (Side-note: Uhl held a number of patents for an all-glass screw-on mason jar top.)Henry Weigand continued to run Penn Tobacco until his retirement. During the 1930’s John H. Uhl was company president. Mr. Weigand died November 15th, 1942 and Penn Tobacco was sold to Bloch Bros. the following year. Among the companies more notable brands are Kentucky Club and Willoughby Taylor. The Wilkes-Barre operation was carried on until 1948, when the entire operation was moved to Wheeling, West VA, headquarters of Bloch Bros.
The paperwork I have with my Bruce Peters and Vox Pop’s both list them as coming from Penn Tobacco of Wilkes-Barre. However, another document I have states that pipes were introduced for sale by Bloch Bros. in 1948. Since the Kentucky Club and other pipe tobacco brands were still being manufactured through the 50’s, it would seem that the Penn Tobacco Company continued to operate as a separate entity, although owned by Bloch Bros.
I believe these pipes could only be purchased as promotional items using coupons from the company’s pipe tobaccos. On the “Certificate of Retail Value” accompanying my Vox Pop, the minimum value is set at $3.50.”
I personally do not have a example of a coupon but i did find this image of a later Bloch Brothers ,Wheeling WV. one. I imagine they are quite similar to the Penn Tobacco Co. coupon.
On to the pipe cleaning .
I just want to preserver what i have so I will do as little to the pipe other than cleaning it to keep the originality.
I just gave the pipe a general run of the mill cleaning of pipe cleaners and alcohol. Then i gave the pipe a good rub down with a mild cleaner I use. Scrubbed the rim with a green pad and gave the metal tenon,female collar a good going over with 000 steel wool.
The bowl had almost no cake so i just gave it a slight sand and wipe down with a paper towel dipped in alcohol.
I sanded the bowl with some 2000 grit to get the rim dings out best I could.
Since the stem was in such nice condition i just went over it slightly with some 1200 grit working my way up to 3000 grit being careful not to take off more surface than needs be.
Gave the pipe and stem a rub down with mineral oil and let it soak in before buffing and wax.
I wasn’t sure what kind of stinger/cleaner ( HLT pipes always used the term cleaner instead of stinger) was used on the pipe so I did a little Google research.
I found a couple of Bruce Peters Bench Made Lev- O- Lator models and both had the same type.
Digging through my used stinger/claeners i found a match. I think it came off a unmarked Briarcraft I picked up.
The shank on it was too long and would not seat all the way.
So a quick clean up and visit to the grinding wheel was in order.
Here is a little trivia for you some might not know. The reason HLT ( and some other pipe companies) called them cleaners was in case you did not have a pipe tool handy you could use it to scrape old ash and tobacco without banging it on something. That’s why they almost always have a type of spoon shape on the end. They were suppose to also filter and cool down the smoke as well like a regular stinger but served a dual purpose.
With the cleaner taken care of the pipe is ready for some final buffing and wax.
Finished Bruce Peters Bench Made coupon pipe.
I did give the bowl a thin carbon coating to help build up new cake quickly.
Pipe is marked Bruce Peters
Bench Made/ Imported Briar
The pipe smokes excellent with a very good draw. Usually on screw in tenon pipes i drill out the shank for improved draw but this one did not need it. The pipe is also of good quality with no visible fills or such.
I just so happen to have picked up 4 ounces of the latest C&D blend “Bob Bushman”. It reminds me a lot of the discontinued Kentucky Club blends that i smoked but made with high quality leaf. So i am keeping it a old Kentucky Club tin i have and will smoke it my Bruce Peters.
Til next time,
Good smokes to you.