Author Archive for Phil Anderson


Vintage Pipe Ads

I found a pretty cool vintage advertisement search engine (via Seth Godin).  A search for pipes has some amazing results.  Some of my favorites so far: Half and Half, Radiator Pipe, Honey Pipe??.  I’m guessing you either are not allowed to or its no longer profitable to advertise pipes, so this is a glimpse at Pipe heyday.


Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone some Christmas Cheer this holiday.


Nobel prize

Recently the Nobel Peace Prize has been in the news when it was awarded to our President. Every year there is usually some controversy around it’s recipient and this year is no different.

However, there is a lesser known prize that truly represents those who have strived to achieve calm and relaxation in the world. This prize is the Nobel Peace Pipe. The first receipient, in 1912 was appropriately Alfred Dunhill for his revolutionary windshield pipe.

Other notable recipients include arch duke felelwizen, who’s shared bowl of Scottish blend is credited with ending world war one. Albert Einstein, the most famous pipe smoking pacifist of course was the 1948 recipient.

Will this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Pipe be as controversial as the 1997 award to Frog Morton? We wait with anticipation.



I finally got a chance to smoke the Meerschaum pipe I got for my birthday.  I had never tried one yet but figured it was a good addition to my collection and I had heard they are excellent for testing new tobaccos since the meerschaum soaks up the tars and lets you taste the pure tobacco without adding anything (for better or worse).

Finding a meerschaum I liked was quite the task.  Most you’ll find have intricate dragons, or sexy ladies, or other things that make an already fruity looking pipe even more noticeable.  The one I got has some little designs but in the end is pretty plain as these things go (see it in my pipe collection in my profile).

Deciding what tobacco I should try in the pipe was the next challenge.  Do I go with something new, as this was for tasting?  I decided to go with something I knew already so I could see what the difference was, and also something I hadn’t smoked in a while.  That tobacco was Frog Morton on the Town.  This was one of the first non-aromatic tobacco’s I smoked (although the people on seem to thing it almost counts as aromatic) and the distinctive oriental blend seemed suiting for this pipe from Turkey.

I will say the smoke was excellent.  The pipe provided an extremely cool smoke and for the first time I felt like I could taste the intricate flavors of the tobacco I hear described online.  I could definitely get used to a pipe like this.

There is a problem though.  First, unless you treat meerschaum’s with the care of a bomb technician, they will get dark and ugly.  I’m fine with that and don’t plan on babying it.  The second problem is that nothing looks more like smoking weed then a meerschaum pipe, and it’s kind of “fancy” looking so I don’t think I’d ever smoke it in public.  The best compromise seems to be meerschaum lined pipes, which look normal on the outside but are coated on the inside.

In the end I think every pipe smoker should have one of these in their collection as a neutral tasting pipe.  There is still no replacing a high quality briar for what it adds to the smoke.


Pipes in film

I recently saw Dead Poet’s Society, which has a very prominent scene about smoking pipes. Also, Slingblade featured a doctor who always was puffing on a bent apple.

Both movies continued to perpetuate the stereotype that pipe smoking is a pastime enjoyed by sophisticated, intelligent individuals to pass the time.

This sterotype is of course spot on.


First Meerchaum

It was a bountiful pipe day for me on my birthday! First some PPC members surprised me with a very nice rusticated Boswell from Shawn’s recent trip, then I get home and find my first Meerchaum!


Georgetown tobacco

Recently I had to leave the friendly confines of Steel City, and travel to our nation’s capitol. Even though I was born in Washington DC I did not know the joy of piping when I lived there, so I wanted to see what was around. The most famous tobacconist in DC seemed to be Georgetown tobacco.

Found on the main shopping area of historic Georgetown, it could easily have fit in 100 years ago. Once inside, it seemed like every wall was covered in pipes or expensive cigarettes. They also claim to have one of the largest walk-in humadors in DC. I imagine Bill Clinton probably stopped in here every now and then for a fresh cigar.

The pipes in cases were some of the finest brands including Dunhill, Peterson, and even Tsuge. They also had a decent batch of store brand pipes, all of which seemed very nice.

I was drawn to their drawer of 30% off pipes, and debated a 5 dot saseni or rusticated comoy, but in the end wound up with an unusually large straight billiard pipe from Kriswell. A helpful store employee even offered to polish it for me before bagging it up.

But while any store can have a good selection of pipes, what sets GT apart is it’s fine selection of house tobacco. I picked up some Reverie which is a delicious mixture aromatic that is hard to define, 1281 which smells kind of butter rummy, and councilman, a spicy British.

If you are ever in DC I recommend it, and if you love thier tobacco, they offer online ordering.


Irish Proverb

“Light your pipe and be silent.
There’s only wind and smoke
in the world”


Pipe Rage

I’m sorry to report that a member of our illustrious pipe club was assaulted last night in what could only be described as a case of “pipe rage”.   The member (who will remain un-named) was partaking in a relaxing bowl of VBC when suddenly an elderly gentleman, who witness describe as drunk and confused, came running out of no where and tackled the member, shouting something like “Sic semper pipists!” with a distinct british accent.  Although we thought such pipe related bigotry had been left in the old world, this was a good reminder that not everyone understands the joy of piping.  One can only assume that perhaps as a young lad his father beat him with a Dunhill, but this is mere speculation.  Luckily the victim and his Saseini were unharmed in the altercation, however a relight was required.


Pipes in the News

Evidently anti-smoking zeal France is censoring a pipe from a beloved icon of French Cinema


August 2020