The Comeback Of Pipe Smoking

TOBACCO pipe smoking, thankyouverymuch.

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J. Alan Pipes.
Photo:Jeffrey Burt Gracik
J. Alan Pipes.
Photo:Jeffrey Burt Gracik
J. Alan Pipes.
Photo:Jeffrey Burt Gracik
J. Alan Pipes.
Photo:Jeffrey Burt Gracik
J. Alan Pipes.
Photo:Jeffrey Burt Gracik
A Meerschaum pipe, owned by Peter Gladis.
Photo:Chion Wolf
A Meerschaum pipe, owned by Peter Gladis.
Photo:Chion Wolf
A Meerschaum pipe, owned by Peter Gladis.
Photo:Chion Wolf
A Meerschaum pipe, owned by Peter Gladis.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Kevin Godbee of PipesMagazine.com
The Comeback Of Pipe Smoking
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The Comeback Of Pipe Smoking

 

If you're not a hobbit or a college professor, smoking a pipe is a differentiator. 
 
It's a signal to the world that your tastes run in a slightly unusual direction. The character played by Chion Wolf's brother Michael Gladis in the early seasons of Mad Men was one of those people. Always looking for a way to be different. Hence the ever present pipe. 
 
The other major social meaning of pipe smoking has to do with thought. Sherlock Holmes even describes mental puzzles in terms of how many bowlfuls they will take to solve. And Gandalf, in one of Tolkien's lesser works, talks about the virtues of the pipe for clearing the mind of its shadows.

If those two examples are too fictional for you, consider that Einstein said pretty much the same thing. Today on the show, we consider the recent uptick in pipe smoking. And yes, there will be health warnings. I promise. 

 
You can join the conversation. Leave your comments below, email colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

EMAIL FROM PIPE MAKER, JEFF BURT-GRACIK:

re: Sherlock Holmes: Gourd calabash pipes, like we think of Holmes smoking, have meerschaum bowls that separate from a natural gourd body. Historically they have had solid amber or bakelite stems as well as black vulcanite. There are many different kinds of pipes that he's smoked in his various film representations; from normal briar pipes, to long churchwarden shapes and gourd calabashes.

EMAIL FROM ROBERT:

Thanks for the show today. Well done.

And here's to Ramona, who evidently believes no one anywhere should even be allowed to talk about doing anything of which she does not personally approve.

Offended people are offended, I guess.

EMAIL FROM BILL:

Sherlock Holmes smoked a calabash pipe

EMAIL FROM CARROLL:

Question for guest: I love the smell of pipe smoke; can he explain why it smells so much better than cigarette or cigar smoke?