NOTE: The Collectors' Corner pages are exclusively for displaying items in the collections of members of the Pipe Club of London.
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The Humble Corncob Goes Posh
The aristocrat of corncobs - the ARISTOCOB, an Art
Deco style aluminium system pipe with replaceable
corncob inserts. Circa 1963. A gift from Jason Shelton
Smith to the Johnny Long collection.
For a brief history of the Aristocob, click HERE.
World Famous Corncobbers -
real and imaginary - General
Douglas MacArthur, Popeye the
Sailor Man and Mark Twain.
THE CORNCOB PIPE (from Wikipedia)
"Corncob" pipes made from maize cobs are cheap
and effective, even if some regard them as
inelegant. The cobs are first dried for two years.
Then they are hollowed out to make a bowl shape.
The bowls are dipped in a plaster-based mixture and
varnished or lacquered on the outside. Shanks made
from pine wood are then inserted into the bowls.
The first and largest manufacturer of corncob pipes
is Missouri Meerschaum, located in Washington,
Missouri in the USA. [Website click HERE.] Missouri
Meerschaum has produced the pipes since 1869.
General Douglas MacArthur and Samuel Clemens
(Mark Twain) were perhaps the most famous
smokers of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon
characters Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.
Corncob pipes remain popular today because they
are inexpensive and require no "break-in" period like
briar pipes. For these two reasons, corncob pipes
are often recommended as a "Beginners pipe." But,
their enjoyment is by no means limited to beginners.
Corncob pipes are equally valued by both learners
and experienced smokers who simply desire a cool,
clean smoke. Pipesmokers who wish to sample a
wide variety of different tobaccos and blends also
might keep a stock of corncobs on hand to permit
them to try new flavors without "carryover" from an
already-used pipe, or to keep a potentially bad
tasting tobacco from adding its flavor to a more
expensive or favored pipe.
RIGHT: Corncob - political
The label reads: "VOTE FOR Carl J.
Otto for CONGRESSMAN 47". I rang
up the company in the US to inquire
as to the history of this pipe. They
stated that the Otto family once
owned Missouri Meerschaum, and
from mutliple photos inclucing the
vintage design of the label,
confirmed the pipe's authenticity.
They were unaware, however, that
any of the Otto family ever ran for
"You have a real collector's item
there," they said. Perhaps the pipe
was an insider company joke?
From the Johnny Long collection -
"As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation
myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when
asleep and never to refrain when awake."
- Mark Twain - from his 70th birthday speech
HISTORY OF THE CORNCOB PIPE
The corncob is a humble American invention.
John Schranke, a Dutch immigrant farmer living in
Washington, Missouri, first whittled pipes from
corncobs as a hobby.
In 1869, Schranke brought one of his creations to
the shop of a friend, Henry Tibbe. Tibbe improved
the pipe by filling in the uneven surfaces with
plaster of paris, and then he began to market the
A hundred years later, corncob pipe production
stood at around 10 million per year.
The president of the largest corncob pipe
manufacturer in the world (the Missouris
Meerschaum) still uses Tibbe’s workshop as his
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