View Full Version : Tobacco Pipe Smokers!

05-09-2014, 10:11 AM
Hello everyone,

I have a good cast of characters in my novel who almost all smoke pipes and I'm just looking for any information that can be really useful to making it seem real and sound like I know what I'm talking about.

I understand a good method of packing the bowl, but as far as pipes go–brands, makes, taste, methods of smoking–are all things I don't know.

05-09-2014, 04:15 PM
It's hard to find pipe smokers anymore. The main thing is pipe smokers are always fiddling with their pipes, cleaning, repacking, relighting. Relighting is a big thing, most that I saw had special lighters that helped direct the flame down as opposed to using mathes or old zippo lighters.
The other thing with pipe tobacco, it didn't smell like cigars. Pipe tobacco was more fragrent. Think of the old Swisher Sweets.

King Neptune
05-09-2014, 04:40 PM
How one packs the bowl depends on the type of tobacco, and what the smoker likes. Pipe lighters are O.K.; I preferred kitchen matches. The material of the pipe itself is also a matter of preference, but I never heard anyone mention the name of the maker just what it was made of, briar, corncob, or whatever; I never met anyone who used a clay pipe, except for pot. The type of tobacco is also very variable; they range from light like cigarette tobacco to stuff that is dark and strong like the strongest cigars. Another variable is the length of the stem, the longer the cooler, and heat can be a problem with pipes. Pipes are inconvenient if one travels all day long, because of the necessary equipment. Pipe tools can be interesting, but I made do with a pocket knife I would have had anyway.

05-10-2014, 01:16 PM
All the above is fine but make sure showing you know all about the details of pipe-smoking adds something to the story.

05-10-2014, 01:42 PM
I sometimes smoke a pipe (and have a couple of dozen of the things). I can tell you whatever you need to know, I think. Send me a private message and we can talk.

The world of pipe smoking is full of pipes of all makes and shapes, hundreds of tobaccos, gadgets, special ashtrays, ways of polishing and taking care of the bowl, etc.

This website might help you: http://www.milantobacco.com/ I used to order from the company regularly.

05-10-2014, 06:42 PM
A comment from a non-smoker - I dislike the smell of cigarettes, but always loved the fragrant smell of my father's pipe - smoked on a Sunday afternoon usually or the occasional evening - Gold Block Tobacco. I used to be given the old tins to keep things in and they remained fragrant for years.

I think he lit with matches on occasion - but I mostly remember him having a jar of multi-coloured spills on the mantlepiece. He was a fan of log fires too and he'd light the spill in the fire and light the pipe from the spill before settling down in his armchair by the fire. Half burnt spills went back in the jar. To me pipes are synonymous with relaxation.

05-11-2014, 03:10 AM
My father used to smoke meerschaum pipes. Some he bought new, others were antiques from his grandfather.


When they're new they are white, but as they are handled and smoked, they turn a lovely golden color.

05-11-2014, 02:33 PM
I smoke a pipe as well as my father and grandfather. Most has been covered here, but you might want to check this site for additional info: http://www.pipesandcigars.com/

Pipes and tobaccos run from cheap to expensive. As mentioned the hand carved meerschaum pipes from Turkey are some of the best.

I was raised in a rather poor family and remember my Dad would smoke cigars down as far as he could, and put them out. He would insert the cigar butts into his pipe and smoke the rest that way.;)

Pipes are difficult to light in the wind, even if you have a "pipe lighter." The link I posted has pipe lighters in various styles.

If you have a mustache or beard, it will become stained from smoking a pipe and old hydrogen peroxide and baking soda will remove the stains.

Ask any questions you have and I can probably answer them.

05-11-2014, 02:45 PM
Smoking a pipe in the wind can result in flying ashes burning your clothes. If you have an upscale character, don't forget a smoking jacket.:)

05-11-2014, 03:50 PM
For what it is worth, many years ago I visited an elderly gentleman who used to take Rajahs out on hunts in India. He had black and white pictures to prove it - elephants were the mode of transport.

He's dead now, bless him, but I found this fascinating character sitting in an armchair on a white tiger rug in front of the fire and constantly relighting his pipe, flicking spent Swan Vestas matches towards the hearth.

The tiger rug was spattered with scorch marks where most of the matches had fallen short. He seemed quite unconcerned as he spoke to me during our meeting, still flicking matches - and missing.

I'm amazed he didn't set the whole place on fire.