Baccy Pipes


History Of The Night Riders & Black Patch Tobacco Wars (1904 -1911)

Through a link of old issues of US Tobacco Journal ( ) given by Andrew Stangl last night on  I ran upon this bit of tobacco history I was unfamiliar with.

Other than being interested in pipes and tobacco I am also a history buff. Being born and raised in Appalachia I have always been proud of our history and culture. My grandfather was involved in the West Virginia Coal Wars ( 1912-1921). The Black Patch Wars has a little bit of it all in it. Appalachia history, tobacco and the making of Dark Fired Kentucky, which is one of my favorite type of tobaccos to smoke.

The Black Patch Tobacco Wars was a period of violence in the dark tobacco region of the U.S.states of Kentucky and Tennessee  at the turn of the 20th century circa 1904-1909 ( dates vary on where you look but it spans mostly from 1904-1911).

The so-called “Black Patch” consists of about 30 counties in southwestern Kentucky and northwestern Tennessee; during that period this area was the leading worldwide supplier of Dark Fired Tobacco. Dark Fired Tobacco is so named due to the wood smoke and fire curing process which it undergoes after harvest. This type of tobacco is used primarily in snuff, chewing and pipe tobacco.

I will include a You Tube video explaining  most of the Black Patch Wars by local historian Rick Gregory towards the bottom of the post for those who wish to listen about The Black Patch instead of reading.

War in the Black Patch  1906 – 1911


During the period between 1900 and 1906 trouble began to brew among the tobacco men of the state, especially in the Black Patch area around Hopkinsville. the buyers had formed a trust and were controlling the market. They were getting tobacco at ridiculously low prices and the farmers were unable to make a living.

On September 24, 1904, Felix Ewing , Joel and Charles Fort addressed a gathering of 1,000 farmers in Guthrie and formed an organization to fight the trust. They secured a charter and called themselves “The Planters Protective Association”. Within a few days they had enlisted more than 5,000 new members. The primary objective of the Association was for the farmers to obtain better prices for their crops by pooling them and fixing their own prices.

A great many farmers refused to join the Association and they were paid higher prices by the Trust in an attempt to break up the Association. There was a great deal of friction between these two groups of farmers.

“Night riding” began almost at once in an attempt to force the outsiders (or Hillbillies, as they were called) into the Association. Independent farmers were threatened by anonymous letters, barns were burned and plant beds were scraped. Bundles of matches or switches were sent to persons who talked against the Association and later some of these outsiders were burned out or whipped. This activity frightened nearly 10,000 men into joining the


The Night Riders would attack individual farms and their crop if the farmers did not support the Association. They eventually occupied whole towns and would destroy the Trust warehouses and machinery in the towns. Not only did they destroy the warehouses, they also attacked individuals who supported the Trust. The Night Riders were known to be the most efficient association. In 1908 the association exerted the most control, having gained nearly complete control of the Dark Lead tobacco crop. The Night Riders achieved their success through violence and illegal, vigilante actions. In order to protect themselves from the government, the Night Riders took membership into the governmental elite of the affected Dark Patch regions. By gaining office they took control of the courts and officers of the counties and judicial districts. Attorneys for some victims began to move plaintiffs out of Kentucky to establish residency and qualify for suit in the federal courts. This broke the power of the Night Riders in local courts and brought them under the judicial process.

Dr. David A. Amoss
1857 – 1915
Alleged Leader of The Night Riders
Attended Major Ferrell’s School
Resident of Cobb, Caldwell County, Kentucky





POSTER ADVERTISING OPEN MARKET in Hopkinsville, circa 1910. Posters of this type were used by the Planters Protective Association in opposition to the Night Rider movement.








Two disguised Night Riders in Trenton, Tennessee, 1908.












Tales of the Black Patch were big news in their time, and major media across the world told embellished stories of it. It even became a source of entertainment, although much of it made the Night Riders out to be hillbillies or Klansmen, of which they were neither.



Wikipedia also has great information on the Black Patch Tobacco Wars
One interesting thing I found interesting on the Wiki page was the information on a man named Jasper Newton Wilburn who helped but a end to the Night Rider raids. The reason I find him interesting is we have the same last name. As far as I know we are not related , but then again maybe we are? I plan on doing some more digging on him and see if I can find out.

In April 1908 a Kentucky National Guard detachment commanded by Captain Newton Jasper Wilburn (then a lieutenant) led a series of raids against the Night Riders’ leaders. Wilburn arrested several Night Rider leaders, and provided protection to several key informers. He gained the help of former Night Riders, including Macon Champion, who implicated fifteen other local farmers. The arrests broke the power of the Night Riders and effectively ended the Black Patch War. Lieutenant Wilburn was rewarded with a promotion to captain. Even though most eventually escaped justice, Capt. Wilburn’s actions helped bring law and order to the region.


By the summer of 1910, the Night Rider trouble had come to an end except for a few scattered minor episodes. The tobacco growers were receiving higher prices for their crops, and the U.S. Supreme Court rules that ATC was indeed a monopoly and must be dismantled.

As a result of his efficiency in handling the difficult situation arising from the Tobacco War, Gov. Augustus F. Wilson commissioned Major Bassett a Lt. Colonel in the Kentucky Militia. Col. Bassett was called on several times to protect witnesses during the trials of the Night Riders.

John C. Latham did not rebuild his warehouse but gave the site to the city of Hopkinsville to be used as a park. It was named Peace Park.

Many of the Night Riders escaped prosecution while others were sued in civil courts.

Dr. Amoss faced trial in the Christian County Court and in March 1911 was acquitted of all charges. He then accompanied his son, also a physician, to New York City, where he practiced until his death in 1915.

 Here is the You Tube video of local Historian Rick Gregory talking about the Black Patch Wars.
 Here is some other recommended links I have found on the Black Patch Wars,
There is also a highly reviewed book on the subject matter called “On Bended Knees : The Knight Rider Story”  by Bill Cunningham I plan to try and pick up at a used book store,Amazon or EBAY.
 Well i hope you found this bit of tobacco history as interesting as I have.
Until Next Time,
Good Smokes To You.



NOS Heritage Antique #72 Canadian

I was able to find this NOS ( New Old Stock)  Heritage Antique #72 Canadian just recently.
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This is a pipe that has been on my bucket list for a while. After picking up my Heritage Heirloom 02 poker ( the pipe I use on the Baccy Pipes header ) exactly two years ago this month I started looking for a nice Heritage Antique to go with it. A #72 ( Kaywoodie shape) Canadian was my first choice. Luckily I was able to find this one for a very reasonable price. I would have paid more than double the price or most likely pass on it if it was on EBAY ,ETSY or a big name pipe shop.

Here is a brief history of Heritage pipes in case you are unfamiliar with them.

In May of 1960, S. M. Frank started a subsidiary company called Heritage Pipes. The Heritage pipes were an upscale line of push bit pipes meant to compliment the Kaywoodie line. Although not hugely successful, Heritage produced some fine pipes that are still in the collections of many pipe smokers. This company was dissolved on December 31, 1971.These pipes were Kaywoodie’s high end line and were made in the 1960’s and ended production in 1970. The Heritage Heirloom line was run by Stephen Ogdon who came from Dunhill. Only about 1 in 300 pieces of briar was good enough to use in the Heritage Heirloom line, and only top of the line Para rubber was used for the stems.

Heritage Heirlooms were the smooth version ( like the poker in the header) and the sandblast are called Heritage Antique.The Heritage pipes are not that common and quite collectible. Made in limited numbers and only a 10 year span. They are often referred to as American Dunhill’s.

I found this ad showing a Antique billiard from a 1964 Flying Magazine issue.HH ad 1964 (2) (248x468).jpg

The pipe arrived and I was pleasantly surprised at how short it was for a Canadian. Although the bowl was a average #72 size ( 1 3/4 inches tall) the pipe was barley 5 inches long, along with a small diameter oval shank and stem. 100_2416 (640x439).jpg100_2412 (640x373).jpg

Talk about light and comfortable! The pipe barely weights anything.

Only thing I did to the pipe was give a good dusting, a wipe down with mineral oil  and a very light sanding on the stem with some fine grit paper.100_2420 (640x480).jpg

After that a light buff on the stem and a coat of fresh wax over the whole pipe.100_2422 (640x440).jpg100_2432 (640x480).jpg

The Heritage Antique is now ready for some service.1.jpg



For size comparison here is the heritage #72 next to one of my KB&B Yello-Bole standard size #72 Canadian’s.100_2466 (640x440).jpg

I did give the bowl a thin honey and carbon coat to aid in breaking in before smoking some C&D burley in it.10.jpg

I’m on about the tenth bowl so far and its breaking in really well. Again it is very light and comfortable. This is the lightest Canadian I own now and is quickly becoming my most favorite one. Its just needs a bit more breaking in too really make it a top smoker.

Until  Next Time ,

Good Smokes To You.




A Rare Shank Logo KB&B Yello-Bole Sandblast Imperial #3751

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing through Etsy, just looking around and I stumbled on this 1930’s shank logo sandblast. il_570xN.1205129852_ofec (570x342).jpg

I was just floored by it and knew I needed this one badly! The stamping’s just made me to want it more.il_570xN.1252354947_9szu (570x342).jpg

Not only did it look to be in excellent original condition but it has about every bell and whistle on it for me. A top of the line Yello-Bole Imperial to start with. Not only is it a rare pre- war sandblast. It has a rare  shank logo and a unknown 37 pre-fix number. It is also a shape 51 which is one of my favorite Kaywoodie/Yello-Bole shape’s. I have looked at 100’s of pre-war  Yello-Boles and have only seen three sandblast ones (including this one). This is the only shank logo of the three. Very rare indeed. The other two sandblast had a prefix of 27. Looking up the 37 I could not find it.

27 prefix is…………27    KB&B Yello-Bole, sandblast finish, push tenon, black vulcanite stem (1932-1940’s)

Either it was mis-stamped 37 instead of 27 or its a unknown pre-fix number, I am thinking it was most likely mis-stamped. I will add it to the pre-fix thread on the Kaywoodie Forum just in case and for future reference.

The 51 of 3751 of course is the shape number…..51   Medium billiard, short stem 1932-1966.

Shank logos were not used after 1939 so the pipe dates from between 1932-1939.

I contacted the seller and asked him about the pipe. He sent me a response.

“The pipe is immaculate, considering it’s age. It has been smoked,as there is a thin layer of carbon lining the bowl, but I have to assume at some point it was a collector’s pipe. There’s also a very slight hint of underlying oxidation on the stem. But considering the overall condition of this pipe, I wasn’t willing to mess with it.”

I wish more pipe sellers took this attitude! Too many rare pipes are a over buffed mess by people more worried about making them shiny instead of preserving them.

We have had a regular correspondence since then and have talked quite a bit about pipes. His name is Darryl and owns NorthShorePipes , check it out sometime he has some nice pipes for sale.

Or his web store

The pipe arrived and I was not disappointed.100_2294 (640x356).jpg

It did have some oxidation as Darryl told me but the stem was in perfect shape.100_2297 (640x387).jpg

It also has the early metal tenon with screw in stinger.100_2298 (640x512).jpg

First thing  I checked to see if the stinger would unscrew. It would not, so I gave a good soak in alcohol.100_2301 (640x368).jpg

After a couple of hours I dried off the stem and heated the stinger and got it to unscrew. I don’t think the stinger has ever been removed from the pipe.100_2303 (640x480).jpg

I put back in for another soak so I could clean up the male and female threads.100_2308 (640x470).jpg

I gave the shank a good scrub with a brush and alcohol to remove any lingering tobacco residue.100_2314 (640x422).jpg

I pulled out the stem and stinger after a couple more hours in the alcohol. I scrubbed the female and male threads with brushes.100_2316 (640x407).jpg

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The stem is ready for a Oxy Clean and warm water soak to remove the oxidation.100_2321 (640x480).jpg

I pulled it out every so often and scrubbed it with a piece of Scotch Brite pad.100_2325 (640x480).jpg

I gave it a light sanding with 1800-2800 grit.100_2331 (640x480).jpg

I cleaned up the stinger and tenon 000 steel wool. I also ran some of it in female threads in the tenon.100_2333 (640x378).jpg

After a good wipe down with mineral oil the pipe is ready for some light buffing.100_2341 (640x404).jpg

I went over stem lightly with brown and white tripoli before waxing.100_2344 (640x379).jpg

I mixed up a batch f my homemade Yello- Bole coating but had a hard time getting to it to stick on the walls of the bowl so instead of stripping out the inner bowl I just gave it a carbon bowl coating. I used honey instead of syrup to keep it inline with the Yello- Bole original Honey Cured bowl coating.100_2351 (640x471).jpg


Finished KB&B Yello-Bole Imperial #3751.

I used a original Imperial bowl foil plug  for the finished pictures that I got from a previous NOS pipe. 1.jpg

I also have a Yello-Bole box that I been saving for the right pipe. This will be its new home from now on when its not being smoked.2.jpg3.jpg


3751 with Yello -Bole box , Yello-Bole tobacco pouch and pipe tool.12.jpg

Here is a picture of the 3751 with my also rare Kaywoodie 5651 Shellcraft meer lined from my previous blog post. Both are 51 shape four digits and made around the same time in the 1930’s.13.jpg

I have ran a couple of bowls in the 3751 so far and it is a excellent smoking pipe I am very happy about finding and being able to smoke a four digit Yello-Bole sandblast finally. It will be a centerpiece in my KBB Yello-Bole collection.

Until Next Time,

Good Smokes To You




Old Time Meer Lining Repair Method On a Kaywoodie Shellcraft #5651

I recently acquired this 1930’s 4 digit Kaywoodie Shellcraft #5651 from Ebay. Being a pre-World War II sandblast and one of my favorite Kaywoodie shapes (51) . I decided to bid on it. The blast looked really nice and looked in general really nice shape.s-l1600 (2) (640x355).jpgs-l1600 (1) (640x340).jpg

My main concern was it had a meer lining that was damaged about the rim. This is most likely why I won the pipe so easily and with a low bid. I thought well it shouldn’t be that hard of a repair and the seller told me in a message that he could not see any cracks in the bowl. Well we were both wrong, but we will get to that.s-l1600 (3) (640x514).jpg

Stem had some tooth marks and the seller had listed the stinger was cut. Again no problem i thought , easily fixed.s-l1600 (4) (640x411).jpg

Unscrewed the stem and it was indeed cut.s-5.jpg

I did some research on the Shellcraft line and they seem to be a rarer Kaywoodie line. I have seen a few on the pre- 1930’s push stem rusticated version’s but was not familiar with the post 1930’s sandblasted synchro stems.

From Pipephil

“The pipe is sandblasted while the early Shellcraft was rusticated. The “drinkless logo” on the stem has been replaced by a clover and a 4 digit shape number has been attributed indicating thus the entry of the Shellcraft into Kaywoodie’s lines.”

I dig some digging in online Magazines on Google and could only find one ad from Popular Mechanics dated Dec.1941. In the 1930’s- early 1940’s five dollars would be about almost a 100 dollars today.s-l1600 (440x1280).jpg

Seems they were made up until  the beginning of World War II. All  the 1930’s-1941 examples I have found seem to be meer lined and carry the prefix of 56. The pipes are not stamped meer lined so if you run across one be careful with the reamers so that you don’t crack them, they seem to fall prey to that from the only few I could find any pictures of.

I had read and heard from other pipe restores that a old late 19th-early 20th century druggist recipe for fixing broken meerschaum was egg whites and finely ground chalk, so that was what I was going to try and fix the meer lined rim with. It is said to have about the same porous properties of meerschaum and imparts no taste to the tobacco.

To keep this post from being really long I will concern most of it with the meer lining repair and not the clean up itself.

The pipe had been really smoked a lot , more then I thought. In fact the shank diameter was reduced at least by 50% so i spent quite a bit of time just cleaning the shank and the bowl.

Once i got the shank cleaned and carefully removed all the cake and loose meer from the bowl I found the cake was hiding  some badly cracked meer. In fact this is the good side, the other side was even worse but the picture turned out to be too blurry to post. Take my word for it ,it was not good. I’m not sure if it was banged too much , smoked too hot or someone tried to ream with a reamer not knowing it was meer lined and it cracked. Well whatever caused it the damage was done and it needed repaired.1.jpg

I have never repaired a meer lining before and only have owned one meer lined pipe. So this was going to be interesting. After mulling over it for a day or two i decided to just bite the bullet and dive into it.

I cleaned the brair really well and then wiped down it with 91% alcohol so that i could mask it up. I figured this was going to be messy and i read that egg whites and chalk dry hard as a rock so I did not want that all over the pipe. 2.jpg

I masked it off  a little onto the briar so that the mixture could get behind the old meer. I will clean off the excess later …..hopefully.3.jpg

I got my chalk and pulled out two sticks. I ended up grinding up about six for my total repair.4.jpg

I ground the chalk  into a fine powder with the end of a screwdriver in a stainless steel bowl. Once you think you have got it ground really well……do it some more!  The finer it is ground the better.5.jpg

Separated me a egg white.6.jpg

My first coat i decided i wanted thin so it could run down into all the cracks. So i mixed it about 1 table spoon to 1 table spoon chalk. I found best way to mix is use back of a spoon or your fingers.7.jpg I applied the first thin coat. I let dry for about two hours. Be sure to plug up shank hole with a thick pipe cleaner. It does not dry real fast so take your time there is no rush.8.jpg

2nd thin coat , then again dried for two hours.


3rd coat I made thicker at about 2 to 1 , two parts chalk to one part egg white. I let dry for several hours (about six) before i preceded.10.jpg

I unmasked the bowl so i could do some cleaning and sanding on the rim.11.jpg

I ran a file across was so it would ride on the build up and not the briar til it was even with it. I did not want to sand away any of the rim blast if i could help it. Then i cleaned up in the rim blast with a brass wire brush.12.jpg

After cleaning it up and running some 220 grit inside the bowl lightly I masked the pipe again for a final coat. This is when you want to take your time and mask it best you can.

I mixed a thick coat this time of 3-4 parts chalk to 1 egg white.13.jpg

I coated the bowl and rim again, i found on thick coats to dip the finger you use in the egg white so the mixture does not stick to it. This will make it easier to apply and spread. I let this thick coat sit for 24 hours before unmasking.14.jpg

Afterward same filling and cleanup as before.

I did my final sanding with 500 grit and then a green pad.15.jpg

I sanded it down real close to the old meer but not enough to break through. I could not help it on the rim but it is all even.


Afterwards i gave the brair a good rub down with mineral oil.16b.jpg

I was going to remove the cut tenon and replace it wit a proper 4 hole Kaywoodie stinger, in fact i bought a parts pipe with one from a friend before the pipe even showed up.


Well the regular 1930’s 4 hole Kaywoodie stingers  do not fit, the diameter is too small and they wont screw into the shank.18.jpg

After doing some online looking i found some pictures of another 4 digit Shellcraft that sold on Etsy back in 2013. It has a long shaft 4 hole stinger unlike the shorter ones I have in all my 4 digit ones.


Here is another picture of one. If anyone has a parts one for sale let me know please.s-l1600 (640x242).jpg

I’m not sure if these are specific to all Shellcraft’s or just ones of the early 1930’s ? That’s what I need though and I do not have one. In the meanwhile I will have to use the cut tenon.

I got rid of the oxidation, filed, filled the tooth marks, filed the rough cut of the tenon and gave it a good wet sanding.

After that the pipe was ready for some time on the buffer.20.jpg

I let the pipe cure for a couple of days or so before trying to smoke it.

After mowing the yard  later on in the week I decided it was time to try the pipe out. I went outside, took a few pictures and packed her full for a initial smoke.

Finished Kaywoodie Shellcraft #5651


The long shank and short stem of a 51 just really appeals to me.



Although I dislike it having a cut sting ,it certainly has a great draw and is easy to clean.


Pipe is stamped 5661… Imported Briar ….. Shellcraft / Kaywoodie100_2222 (640x264).jpg

I broke it in with a couple of bowls of 5 Brothers.100_2244 (640x413).jpg

I decided to smoke the pipe often for the next few days to see how durable it would be and if it would crack under heat before posting on the blog.

After several days of running my new favorite burley blend  Low Country Natural Virginia & Burley  ( blended by C&D ) I am very pleased with the results.

Although I was not impressed at first, as the first couple of bowls were rather hot but it settled down after a few more bowls. After getting some seasoning and thin cake I can say it smokes really well and much cooler. No cracks are appearing as well. I get a good taste from the tobacco and the repair is not impacting the taste of it at all. I can not tell that the bowl lining is not pure meerschaum by smoking it.100_2259 (640x500).jpg

The more I smoke it the better it is getting. The repair is coloring nicely already and i think in a little time it will be hard to tell there was even a repair.

Til Next Time ,

Good Smokes To You.

I forgot to mention that Kaywoodie reintroduced the Shellcraft in about 2000 but they are completely different pipes and should not be confused with the pre -war ones if you run across one in a estate sale or online auction.



In Memory of Edward James AKA Ozark Southpaw 1950-2017

The recent passing of Edward James AKA Ozark Southpaw was some sorrowful news not only to me but all the members of the Dr.Grabow Collectors Forum where he was a long time member, moderator and mentor too many of us . He was also a member of other pipe forums around the internet.7843312_orig.jpg

Ed had the best Dr.Grabow collection in the world as far as i know , even building a Skyliner (behind him in the picture shown) with all the correct pipes. A quest that took him years of searching for good quality originals. He also had a multitude of Linkman’s among other various makes and rare pipes and tobacciana.

Not only was he a master collector , pipe restorer, pipe and tamper maker but he was a wonderful human being as well. He always was wiling to answer questions , help solve problems and give wonderful tips to people having pipe issues or guidance in restoring a pipe.

Sadly I never did get to meet Ed in person but spent many a conversation on old pipes made during and before World War II. We also shared a love for old cars ,especially Mopars (Dodge , Plymouth ,Chrysler).

I also never got Ed to commission me a pipe or tamper but i did acquire a few parts i needed for restoration work on pipes from him.We also exchanged ,traded and gifted each other tobacco from time to time.

One of my first Linkman pipes i ever got was a  early 1940’s era #9732 that was missing a stem that fellow Dr.Grabow Forum member Tim Pollock gave me. After posting that i was looking for a Linkman Canadian parts stem that may work on it , Ed sent me a message saying that just send me the pipe and I’ll make you a stem with correct stinger, inlaid propeller emblem for free. Touched by his kindness i sent him the pipe and a couple of tins of tobacco as a gift. A few weeks later it returned not only with a a stem like a factory original, it was even better! He had made the stem out of German Ebonite.

Here is a few pictures i have taken of the pipe during the few years now that i have owned it.1.jpg5.jpg4.jpg2.jpg


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The pipe has been very special to me since ,but now i consider it priceless with his passing.

Ed was a avid Carter Hall smoker , its pretty much what he smoked 95% of time i would say. In fact for the longest time its hard for me not to see a tub or pouch of Carter Hall and not think of Ed.

From now on as long as I live and own the Linkman Canadian it will never have another tobacco in it but Carter Hall as a honor to Ed’s memory.

Here’s to you Ed , thank you for being a mentor and mostly a friend.  RIP100_2245 (640x485).jpg




Smoke Master Sandblast Large Billiard

On my earlier blog about Wimbledon coupon pipes i touched upon the Smoke Master  pipes. I recently acquired a Smoke Master sandblast so i figured i would feature it on Baccy Pipes as well.

Smoke Master was originally a pipe offered by Briarcraft but by 1950 they had closed their doors. In the 1960’s Dr.Grabow purchased the rights to manufacture the Smoke Master and made them up until the mid 1990’s. They were offered from coupons , mail order and catalogs.

Here is a coupon from a box of Union Leader from my collection.100_1978 (640x613).jpg100_1979 (640x399).jpg100_1980 (640x429).jpg

It has a early bar code so i would say it is most likely from around mid-late 1970’s.100_1981 (640x309).jpg

Here is a order form that was sent to you with the initial pipe purchase in case you wanted another pipe you could pick out the shape as well.Smokemaster+Bard+RJM+ad.jpg

Smoke Master used a unique system where you used a pipe cleaner as a filter. Smokemaster+Bard+DRB+ad.jpg

Even though the bottom says Briarcraft this is a Dr.Grabow instruction sheet because of the N.C. address.

The Smoke Master pipe was also advertised on Dill pipe cleaners.05-10-2010+08;51;17PM.JPG

Here is the Smoke Master sandblast i restored with the Union Leader box and coupon.100_1983 (640x475).jpg

The pipe was in great shape and just needed a good cleaning and a couple of small tooth marks filled in. Even though its not shape stamped i know from experience that it is a  Dr.Grabow shape #69 large Billiard. I would say this pipe is from around the same time as my Wimbledon ,late 1970’s to early 1980’s.

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It is simply stamped Smoke Master/ Sandblast on bottom of shank.100_1975 (640x296).jpg100_1988 (640x416).jpg

A close up of the unique pipe cleaner/tube filter system .100_1989 (640x372).jpg

This is my first Smoke Master so it was also my first time trying out the pipe cleaner filter system.100_1994 (640x470).jpg

It does work well and deliver’s  a very dry smoke. The draw at initial light up was kinda restricted but after getting it going and down about a 1/4 way it really started smoking better. The draw with the tube and cleaner removed is very open and is probably the way i would prefer to smoke it since i smoke drier non aromatic tobaccos. If i did smoke wet and bitey tobacco a lot i say this would be a ideal system to use.

Here is a comparison photo of my Smoke Master and Wimbldeon (bottom) sandblast pipes together. As you can see the Wimbledon uses a smaller diamond inlay than the Smoke Master and it sports a shorter stem on this particular pipe.

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To see the post about Wimbledon pipes here is a link.

There was also a Smoke Master Super Sandblast ( also stamped Super Sandblast).Smokemaster+Bard+RJM+ae.jpg

It looks to use a larger diamond inlay  than a regular sandblast. I have not found one of these yet but i have been keeping my eye out for one.

Here is a order form for one as well.Smokemaster+Bard+RJM+af.jpg

Well i hope you will enjoy the information i have posted on my Smoke Master pipe.

Until Next Time,

Good Smokes To you.



Preserving A Early Patent WDC Milano Hesson 1549

Last week i got a email from my friend Al over at Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum. He wanted to know if i was interested in a  WDC  Milano Hesson poker stamped  Pat ‘d Dec 22, 1925 1549. He would offer it to me first before he posted it on Ebay.  I told him i was interested and so he sent me some pictures and offered it to me a a great price , so a deal was struck. I do own a early 1900’s  WDC Durobit NOS poker but i have never been able to bring myself to put a flame to it yet. So a WDC poker i could smoke and enjoy was something I was looking forward too.

From the pictures he sent it looked in pretty good shape for a pipe that is at least 87 years old. When the pipe arrived i was not disappointed.100_1804 (640x411).jpg

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The rim had seen some wear and wore quite a few ashtray dings.100_1808 (640x469).jpg

The pipe was certainly early 20th century as it used a screw in tenon that was threaded directly into the briar of the shank. The skinny stem at the button is another sure sign of a pre 1930’s pipe.100_1809 (640x457).jpg100_1815 (640x382).jpg

The stamping’s are getting pretty weak so after cleaning it up some i took the pipe outside and manged to get some OK shots of them.

WDC /Milano100_1886 (640x414).jpg

Hesson Pat ‘d Dec 22, 1925 1549. With pretty much no info on WDC shape numbers i assume 15 means Hesson and 49 means poker shape.100_1878 (640x359).jpg

After doing some research i found that WDC updated the Hesson patent in 1932 and renamed it the Hesson Guard as depicted in this 1930’s ad.Hesson-Life-12-20-1943-108-M3.jpg

The most notable change is they switched from a screw in tenon to a push stem as noted in this pic i found off the web.Hesson Systems (640x477).jpg

Also later 1932 post stamping seem to be WDC inline with Milano instead of WDC over Milano as in this other pic i grabbed of the web also.

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My estimation on the year of the pipe is 1925-1930 ish. Maybe as late as the later patent date as 1932 but i kind of doubt it. Threaded briar was pretty much done by 1930 and in fact I am surprised it was still being used as late as 1925.

I gave the outside of the pipe a good cleaning with mild cleaner/water i mix up myself.100_1821 (640x397).jpg

The cork “guard” seems to work pretty good as the pipe shank did not need much cleaning at all. In fact i was assuming it had all crumbled away after 90 years but its still there and is solid.100_1823 (640x416).jpg

Topping the rim enough to get rid of all the dings would have taken off more material then i was comfortable with as the poker is on the smaller size at only 1 1/2 inches tall. I opted to sand out as many as i could with light sandpaper and mineral oil. It will still wear some of the dings but I am OK with that , after all the pipe is almost a 100 years old  and i would rather keep it as original as possible.100_1824 (640x448).jpg

Sanding the rim did lighten it up quite a bit so to add some patina back to it I dried off all the mineral oil and stained it several times with black coffee and a Q-Tip. Letting it dry between coats , I gave it at least 6-8 coats of black coffee.100_1834 (640x450).jpg

After soaking the stem in alcohol it cleaned up pretty easy and only had a light oxidation that i was able to scrub away with Bar Keepers and did not have to subject the metal tenon to a Oxy- Clean bath. I sanded a few  light tooth marks out , gave it a good wet sanding and cleaned up the metal with some 000 steel wool.100_1850 (640x443).jpg

After both the stem and bowl was cleaned and ready for a buff and wax  i put them together and gave it a few dry drags. The draw seemed kind of restricted to me so i used a small 7/64 inch drill bit that was just barley larger than the hole through the cork guard and gave it a re-drill.100_1852 (640x473).jpg

I had also gave the chamber a new carbon coating so i though maybe some of that might be blacking the airway.

I do not know what kind of cork they used but I’m here to tell you that stuff is very hard! It took quite a bit of effort to re-drill it by hand. The draw was much improved by the drilling.100_1854 (640x476).jpg

I gave it a good coat of mineral oil and wipe down before taking it to my buffing wheel.100_1856 (640x403).jpg

Finished WDC Milano Hesson 1549


I have smoked a few bowls of 5 Brothers straight burley in it and i have to say  its a much better smoker than I thought it would be. The Hesson “cork guard” seems to work better than i expected and delivers a really dry smoke.11.jpg

Until Next Time,

Good Smokes To You.


If you would like to see my NOS  WDC Durobit poker it is also on Baccy Pipes


Budget Refinish For A LHS Purex Superfine #15 Rustic Poker

This is my second  LHS Superfine poker pipe I have added to my personal collection. The first one I acquired almost two years ago. The first one has beautiful grain with lots of bird eye. I really enjoy smoking the pipe but it’s one I try to take care of and it never leaves my home. I have been keeping my eye out for another one that I could use more as a carry anywhere /work pipe. Recently I saw on Ebay just what i was looking for. The LHS pokers are not a common pipe so it has been a long wait for my second one.

I usually do not like to talk about prices on pipes or what i have paid for them but for this budget pipe i think it is appropriate. The opening bid was $8.99 so i figured a bid on $10.00.dollars for a budget work pipe was perfect. There was another bidder but i ended up winning it for 9.50 plus the very reasonable shipping of $2.85.

The pipe looked to be in good shape other than a banged up rim and misaligned stem,but with no chew holes to deal with.s-l1600 (2) (640x259).jpg

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As you can see the  shank collar has backed out some to cause the stem to be misaligned when screwed in all the way.

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From the picture of the stem removed you can see the pipe had been stored for a long time uncleaned and tight causing the stem to corrode and stick. When someone broke the stem loose it was stuck tight casing the collar to unscrew some from the shank. This is why I say if your going to store a metal tenon pipe for a long time to not leave it screwed tight but just slightly loose.s-l1600 (5) (640x427).jpg

The pipe was also in desperate need of a very good cleaning.s-l1600 (3) (640x345).jpgs-l1600 (4) (640x281).jpgs-l1600 (6) (580x640).jpg

I was going to make a rustication tool and rusticate the whole pipe, but i decided to try a simple easy and inexpensive refinish on the pipe since i was going to use it as a carry around /work pipe. I can always refinish the pipe in a fancier rustication and finish at a later date.

When the pipe arrived the first thing to do was get the stem aligned correctly. I placed the pipe in the freezer overnight to see if i could take the collar all the way out , clean and oil it and reset it back in shank. The stem was very tight though and could not get it to back out any further. I then only had the choice to screw it back in the fraction it was unscrewed.

I heated the collar up over my gas stove and put the stem back in and screwed it back flush.100_1697 (1280x891) (800x557).jpg

The stem is now properly aligned.

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I gave the bowl a good cleaning and stripped the remaining finish off with acetone and a cotton ball.

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The cake was very hard and thick so I decided to give it a alcohol salt bath for a couple of days.100_1702 (1280x960) (800x600).jpg

I gave the stem a pipe cleaner soaked in alcohol to see how it was. It was very dirty so it will need to soak  in alcohol for a while.100_1704 (1280x960) (800x600).jpg

After a couple days of soaking and adding alcohol to the salt every few hours it was ready to continue work on.100_1707 (1280x989) (800x618).jpg

I gave the inner bowl and shank a good cleaning. The salt manged to soften up the rock hard cake and remove most of it. I also re-drilled the shank a little larger for a increased draw.100_1712 (1280x860) (800x538).jpg

I topped the banged up rim with some 220 grit.100_1715 (1280x1078) (800x674).jpg

What i thought was a bad ding near the top of the bowl was actually a large fill.100_1720 (800x600).jpg

To completely remove it i would have had to take too much off the rim for me so i decided to leave as is and try to cover and hide it the best i could. I wasn’t really that concerned  with it being  this will be a budget burley burner for me. After topping the rim I went over it with 500 – 800 dry paper as well.100_1721 (800x578).jpg

I decided to just give it a quick Sharpie refinish. I first covered the pipe with two coatings of black sharpie to contrast the the grain and rustication.100_1724 (800x520).jpg

After letting the  marker dry for about 15 minutes i wiped  the briar with acetone and a cotton ball to remove most of the excess.100_1729 (800x609).jpg

I then sanded it with 1200 grit and mineral oil ,avoided the stamping’s.I then went over the pipe again with mineral oil and 000 steel wool to remove the black but leave it in the grain and rustication. Wiping off the excess with a paper towel.100_1732 (800x613).jpg

After giving the stem a long soak in alcohol  then a Oxy Clean soak it was clean enough to sand out the tooth marks and fill one with Superglue and ground vulcanite powder from a old stem.

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Then i wet sanded whole stem.100_1738 (800x498).jpg

After letting the mineral oil dry from the the black marker removal I gave it a couple of coats of red Sharpie and then gave it a go over with mineral oil and 000 steel wool to leave a red tint over the briar and to help hide the fill.100_1744 (800x542).jpg

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The pipe is now ready for some buffing and a few coats of  wax.100_1750 (800x461).jpg

Now the pipe is not the best looking or show pipe but for less than $13.00 dollars I have a good take anywhere/work vintage pipe that i don’t have to worry about getting a ding in it,or charring the rim from smoking often.

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The rim is out of around still,but again its something i can over look on this pipe.8.jpg

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I will not use the stinger on the pipe but have included it for pictures. At least LHS used removable ones.

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The pipe is stamped LHS PUREX Superfine over Imported Briar. The Imported Briar on a LHS makes it post war 1946- 1960 era pipe. LHS closed its doors in 1960.100_1778 (800x362).jpg

#15  (poker shape) is stamped on bottom of shank.100_1786 (800x506).jpg

I really like the size of a LHS #15 poker. They are a larger bowl size then Dr.Grabow , Kaywoodie and Yello -Bole pokers but are quite a bit harder to find. The removable stinger and larger diameter opening on the metal tenon is another plus on the LHS models. I also like using the old screw in stem pipes as work pipes because they are very tough and dropping one will not snap a tenon like I have done on push stems before.

I have smoked the pipe for a couple of days now and its a perfect pipe for what i was looking for with just a few dollars, a little time and elbow grease. It’s a great ol’ smoking burley burner that will get plenty of use.

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Til next time ,

Good Smokes to you.

Here is a link to the other LHS Superfine i have if you would like to see it as well.



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1946-1948 NOS Royalton Tru-Line

I picked up this unsmoked NOS (new old stock) Henry Leonard & Thomas, Inc. (HLT) made Royalton off Etsy. HLT was also the manufacturer of Linkman and early Dr.Grabow pipes.1.jpg

This is one the first HLT lines if not the first to use the new Ajustomatic stem.Van Roy pipes was first to use the Ajustomatic  same stem patent during the 1940’s but HLT had not purchased the Van Roy company yet as they did later on (around 1953). Both used the D. Lavietes  Ajustomatic stem patent.

This one is stamped with patent pending .13.jpg

That means the pipe dates between 1946-1948 ( if you want to be real technical as late as Feb. 1949)

The “Ajustomatic” stem joint is US Patent #2,461,905. Patent application was filed January 25, 1946, by David P. Lavietes, of Boone, N.C. He received his patent on February 15, 1949.
The patent documents for the Ajustomatic say D. Lavietes of Boone, NC applied to patent the feature January 25, 1946. It wasn’t patented until February 15, 1949, so  the Ajustomatic pipes between 1946-1948 would have been stamped “Ajustomatic Pat. Pend.”

The Royalton was one of the top of the line pipes for HLT.

Here is a picture of the Royalton Tru-Line sales board it came off of.

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The pipe is a small billiard measuring 5 inches long by 1 1/2 inches tall. It has really nice grain and i could not find any fills on it. It also has the smoothest Ajustomatic stem i have ever used , even comparing it too some other NOS Ajustomatic pipes i have picked up over the years. This is by far the oldest NOS Ajustomatic i have ever owned. I have a Van Roy  Ajustomatic from about the same year ( was not NOS when i got ) and its no where near as smooth as this Royalton. Even after restored and oiled.2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg8.jpg9.jpg

The Royalton has a removable cleaner. The draw is excellent even with cleaner installed. It has a rather large opening in the metal tenon than usual screw in stems. A regular later model Dr.Grabow removable spoon bit is too small to fit in the Royalton.10.jpg11.jpg


I have not smoked the Royalton yet, but plan on breaking it in soon with a few bowls of 5 Brothers.100_1630 (800x600).jpg

The Royalton is still manufactured by Dr.Grabow today in Sparta,North Carolina although it does not use the Ajustomatic stem anymore like this one. The stems are no longer black but only come in a colored swirl pattern.

Until  Next Time,

Good Smoke’s To You.




Wimbledon Pipes : The History & Facts

I have been keeping my eye out for a Wimbledon pipe for quite a while, passing on several mostly because it was not the shape number i desired. I was hopping to find a #690 and had passed on one a few months ago and have been kicking myself since.I spotted this one on Ebay last week and knew it was the one I had been waiting for. I made a”Best Offer” on the sellers price and a deal was struck.s-l1600 (640x357) (2).jpg

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It was the right shape number of # 690 ( Extra Lg. Billiard) and looked to be in excellent shape with a equally excellent blast. It just needed a good cleaning and removal of some stem oxidation and chatter.s-l1600 (2) (640x479).jpgs-l1600 (3) (640x384).jpg

There is incorrect information regarding these pipes on the internet that i would like to bring attention to, so i will be covering the history and facts of these pipes.

If you look up Wimbeldon pipes on such sites as pipephil or pipepedia you would come to the conclusion that because of the Diamond on the stem that this is a Braircraft  made pipe or some have even mistaken this for a GBD/Comoy  pipe. Although GBD/Comoy did make a Wimbeldon pipe ,both of these conclusions are incorrect.

These pipes were actually made in North Carolina by Sparta Industries better know as Dr.Grabow. These were actually coupon pipes for Borkum Riff Tobacco. Borkum Riff was owned at the time by the Swedish Tobacco Company.

I have been a been a long time member of the Dr.Grabow Collectors Forum .

I have learned a lot about the history of pipes made by HLT/Linkman/Dr.Grabow and other pipes associated with them such as Mastercraft,Royalton and the Smokemaster. Smokemaster is the product line that the Wimbeldon was made under. There is several members of the DGF ( Dr.Grabow Forum) that are really passionate on the history and facts of all thing Dr.Grabow related but the major person we have fallen onto for information is Ted. Most of the facts i will disclose in this post came from him. Here is the background on Ted and Dr.Grabow. He started with Grabow in 1966. Mastercraft in 1973. In 1982  he was Executive VP of Mastercraft, Grabow, and Spartacraft. In 1989  became President of the corporation. Now you can not get a finer Dr. Grabow pedigree that that in my opinion. Ted is now retired but still has a deep connection with the company.

Hopefully by the end of this i convince you and others that this is a Dr.Grabow made pipe with facts and evidence.

The Smokemaster name was purchased by Dr. Grabow in the 1960’s from from the heirs of the Briarcraft company.The  Smokemaster, LL Bean and later Wimbeldon were all made under the same product line. The earlier Braircraft  Smokemasters used a Diamond with a B inside on the shank and a B on the stem.

Here is a NOS Briacraft Smokemaster.il_570xN.1061571886_c2sh (501x370).jpgil_570xN.1108146999_b8yh (570x428).jpg

Black vulcanite stems are the same but with a white B on the stem.il_570xN.591689540_qxx8 (262x93).jpg

ALL Smokemaster , LL Bean and Wimbeldon with a diamond on the stem (colors vary from line and model ) like this Wimbeldon were made by Dr.Grabow and not by Briarcraft.

Around 1978 Dr.Grabow was looking for a name for the new Borkum Riff coupon pipe they were going to introduce. They decided on the name Wimbeldon.It is not really sure why they chose this name, but at the time the name was owned by GBD/Comoy. Dr.Grabow purchased the rights to the name Wimbledon from them.

GDB/Comoy Wimbeldon pipes can be identified by  a tennis racket on the stem and the stamping of Wimbeldon Made in England on the shank.


Now from research you can do on the web Braircraft closed its door in 1950 a full 28 years before Dr.Grabow acquired the Wimbledon name. In fact I am skeptical Braircraft ever made a Wimbeldon pipe. I have done pretty extensive research on them and prior to the GBD/Comoy Wimbeldon pipe I find no other pipe company using the name, including Briarcraft. I have even contacted a  Briarcraft collector and he does not own one or has seen one. I think that since people confuse the Dr.Grabow made Smokemasters /LL Bean  pipes with Briarcraft that they just assume Briarcraft made a Wimbledon as well.

If anyone has a Wimbledon with a Briarcraft stamp or logo I would very much like to see it!

I also picked up a this old  Borkum Riff tobacco tin with a original coupon inside solely  for this post.100_1565 (693x800).jpg

The first pipe is clearly a #690. These are all Dr.Grabow shapes with a 0 added on the end. Mine is a Dr.Grabow  #69 Ex. Large Billiard

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Notice the North Carolina address.

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Here is a quick snippet of Borkum Riff history.

‘Borkum Riff’ tobacco was launched in Sweden in the 1960s. It was a rough cut blend of Virginia and Burley tobaccos. The tobacco blend had been developed with an eye on the US pipe tobacco market. Initial sales were sluggish, but when Borkum Riff’s Bourbon Whiskey blend was successfully introduced in the US in 1969, sales increased.

Now remember Briarcraft closed its doors around 1950, so this is another fact that makes it impossible to be a Briarcraft made pipe.

Ok ,lets take a look at the Braicraft shape chart. Although Briarcraft has a LG. Billiard 69  shape ( middle of chart) it just does not quite look like our Wimbeldon.

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Now lets pull out my  Dr. Grabow shape chart .100_1589 (1180x1280).jpg

The bottom right is where we want to zoom in on. There is the Dr.Grabow shape #69. I don’t know about you but it looks like a match to me.

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Once you have learned the Dr.Grabow shapes they are pretty easy to pick out from other pipes. The Smokemaster ,LL Bean an Wimbeldon pipes made by Dr.Grabow all use classic  Dr.Grabow shapes.

I have seen  these Wimbeldon pipes listed for sale on Ebay ,Etsy and other places that sale pipes as 1920,1930 and 1940 era Briarcraft pipes. It is just not true and it is AT LEAST a  30 year discrepancy . That to me is just too big a difference to ignore. Same goes with the Dr.Grabow made Smokemaster and LL bean pipes. The Smokemaster and LL Bean pipes were made from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. The Wimbeldon also ceased  production in the 1990’s.

The Smokemaster’s was a coupon pipe in Union Leader and I think Briggs. They were also sold through advertisement on Dill pipe cleaners and catalogs.Smokemaster+offer+in+Union+Leader+RJM+aa.jpgSmokemaster+offer+in+Union+Leader+RJM+ab.jpg

Of course the LL Bean pipes were sold out of the LL Bean catalog. Although LL Bean will deny ever selling tobacco and or pipes if you ask them now. PC , don’t you love it? Briarcraft LL bean pipes have no stem logo, stem banded and have the script stamping of “Aged Imported Briar ” on the bottom  ( like all Briarcraft ) on the shank. Like these 2 un-restored originals.

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Hopefully i have convinced you on who, what and when on this Wimbelon pipe. So now lets look at the pipe after a good cleaning , buff and wax. Since this is becoming a long post I will skip all the usual  cleaning process and go right to the “After”.

Borkum Riff Wimbledon #690 coupon pipe  ( 1979/80 – early/mid 1990’s)1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg100_1531 (800x664).jpg100_1532 (800x525).jpg100_1536 (800x750).jpg100_1543 (800x499).jpg100_1559 (800x378).jpg100_1564 (800x574).jpg

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Even if you are not a fan of Borkum Riff tobacco you got to admit they made a good looking tin. My step father smoked this when i was a pre-teen and teenager in the 1970’s and the smell of it when it smoked  takes me back to that time.

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The pipe smokes excellent (that is not Borkum Riff tobacco but lets just pretend for the pictures sake as I would rather smell it than smoke it ). If you get a chance to own one of these, I highly recommend them. They are a very good quality pipe and I really like the looks of them. The sandblast are the most common and the shape I see the most often is the # 810 author ( Dr.Grabow #81) not my favorite pipe shape so I have passed on them. The Plum French smooth ones seem to be quite a bit more scarce to me . In fact i did not even know they made them until I got the coupon in my hand, I thought Wimbledon’s only came in sandblast.

Well I hope you enjoyed this long post, but this has bothered me for a while that these pipes were being misrepresented as something they were not and wanted to get it off my chest. Hopefully I did not bore you too bad.

Until Next Time,

Good Smokes to you.

If you would like to know more about Dr.Grabow pipes or dispute some information on here then come on over to the Dr.Grabow Forum, we would love to chat pipes with you.