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 What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?

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larrysson



Location : Cornwall, England
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Thu May 14, 2009 8:33 am

Change comes to all things. I have only been in this hobby for ten years. That isnít a long time in the play of life. Yet I have seen a lot of changes. The anti-tobacco movement is here to stay; smokers are being taxed, segregated and slandered. Favorite pipe tobaccos and pipe brands are slowly beginning to disappear. We have lost numerous B&M shops. We have lost great publications like the Ephemeris, great blogs like A Passion for Pipes, and we almost lost the Smokers Forums. For a niche hobby as small as ours, every little loss ripples through the community, leaving a giant empty hole behind. Sometimes it seems like the hobby is dying. Other times, however, I see a renewed interest in pipes and tobaccos all over the place. Pipe shows continue to be successful. Forum memberships continue to rise. P&T Magazine has a growing number of subscribers. Pipe related blogs are springing up all over the Internet. There has also been a great influx of new pipe carvers, both hobby and professional. I donít think our hobby is dying - it is only changing. Our negative or positive outlook is what can make it seem like it is dying or thriving.

The biggest change for our hobby has been the Internet. Before the Internet, the only way to look at, research or buy a pipe was at the local B&M, pipe shows, or mail order catalogs. To acquire information about a specific pipe or tobacco required dedication, research and physical footwork. These days, all one has to do is boot up the computer for an endless supply of research tools, blogs, commentaries, pipe makers, retailers, forums and so on and so forth. What makes this the golden age of pipes? Information at our fingertips! Many talented artisans all over the world are creating amazing new pipe shapes and sculptures. New sophisticated blends are being created as old ones pass away. The news of a new pipe maker or tobacco blend travels through cyberspace with mind-boggling speed. It is one thing to create, and quite another to show the world the creation. Traveling to the pipe shows is not an option for many artisans. Without the Internet, their pipes would go unnoticed and unsold. The craft would slowly suffocate from a lack of knowledge of their wares.

We live in an interconnected, computerized world that is based on getting information fast. We want faster broadband speeds, blackberries, mobiles, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, PayPal and on and on the list could go. It has changed the way we live life. Once we grow accustomed to this now normal pace and way of life, can we ever go back? For those with broadband, would you ever be willing to go back to dial-up? Do any of us really want to stand in line at (fill in the blank) if we could do the same thing in the comfort of our own home? I must admit that I am an Internet junkie. It has made me a hermit. I do all my communicating, purchasing, selling, banking and much more online. I even sold my car since it was so rarely needed. Yes, the Internet and communication technology has certainly changed the way we live our life. Can our hobby survive without it?
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Mister Moo

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Location : Lizard Lick, NC
Registration date : 2009-05-13

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Thu May 14, 2009 10:24 am

All what you said, plus virginia tobaccos have probably never been better. Smile

Wow. Well written, Lar'son.
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Bub

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Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Thu May 14, 2009 11:39 am

Larryson wrote "We live in an interconnected, computerized world
that is based on getting information fast. We want faster broadband
speeds, blackberries, mobiles, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, PayPal and on
and on the list could go. It has changed the way we live life. Once we
grow accustomed to this now normal pace and way of life, can we ever go
back?"

Disregarding pipes for the moment and for the purpose of a discussion...is this the "golden age" or the "gilded age"? I agree with what Larryson said about the internet. While it make life easier and their is more information at your fingertips, it also consumes you. I certainly don't want to go back, but do many people smoke their pipe while surfing the web?

In regards to pipes, we have smoking instruments and works of art. Have their been any advances in the construction of a good smoking pipe? Neil wrote about this in his blog, but the information is no longer available. Pipes really look great today, and everyone wants a Nanna designed pipe. The internet introduced us to both Nanna and her pipe.

The same is also true for Larry's son and his pipes.

Bub
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BrAnt



Age : 32
Location : NJ
Registration date : 2009-04-28

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Thu May 14, 2009 1:17 pm

But at the end of the day, after all the speed of the internet, our cars, work, et cetera we all come back to a relaxing briar with our favorite tobacco. That is what makes our hobby so great.

Nice post.
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Eulenburg

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Location : New York City
Registration date : 2009-08-15

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Very well put, Larrysson.
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PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:15 pm

Still, given a time-machine choice, my Golden Age would be 1965. Balkan Sobranie Virginian Nr. 10, high grade (a relative term) Peterson 80Ss, and hold my calls.

For others it would be the earlier 1950s with Barling YOW/TVFs or Dunhills & Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture in its original incarnation.

Today, with the Danish, Italian, American and other makers turning out what they are and GLP weedages to smoke in them, I'd say we're more in a Renaissance than a Golden Age.

Diff'rent strokes and all that.

What a Face
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babysinister

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Age : 70
Registration date : 2009-05-09

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:36 pm

Well, I smoke about 8-9 bowls a day and most of them, if not all sometimes, while on the computer. It helps that I live alone and no one complains that I smoke at home. When they start banning smoking in your own apartment in Florida, I'll just buy a smoke neutralizing device. The threat to this new Golden Age of the Pipe will not come from a lack of interest, but from current and future initiatives to restrict, impede, and ultimately ban all smoking. If those initiatives succeed, then all other considerations involving the popularity and prosperity of this hobby will be rendered moot.
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PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:00 pm

I too am an Internet junkie. But I think the Internet is good for pipes. I grew up thinking Peterson pipes were the best pipes in the world. I still like them, but do I like them because they are good or because they were the best that my local shop carried?

If I were to be just starting with pipes, I would be limited to Nording, BC, and Stanwell, which is what my local shop carries now. The Internet educates us and allows us to make our own decisions about what to smoke rather than what whoever orders inventory decides we should smoke.

In terms of tobacco choices, the shop only carried Peterson tobacco as well. Now, they carry NO tin tobacco because it interferes with their house blends (which I cannot stand). I, for one, welcome the Internet age of the pipe.
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Eulenburg

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Location : New York City
Registration date : 2009-08-15

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:07 pm

Larrysson was talking about pipes and pipe-carving, not so much about tobacco blends available.

There are about a thousand more blends available today than when I first started smoking. I've had both Balkan Sobranies and, my favourite, the Original Sobranie Flake. Love it as I might, there are better flakes around today. Or just as good.

There's never been anything more fun than going out there and trying the 10,000 blends that are available now. It's just amazing, take it from me. No need to regret two or three blends from the past, good as they were.
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:35 pm

Do you watch Mad Men? To me, that was the golden age of pipe smoking, and I missed it all. Neutral
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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:34 pm

Call this period what you will. I'm just thankful that we have all the wonderful "successor" pipe carvers and tobacco blenders who have so handily taken over from the "old guard." My sincere thanks to you all!! FTRPLT

BTW... I just noticed this marks my 1,000th rely. Thanks for having me!!
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: What makes today "the golden age" of pipes?   Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:28 pm

ftrplt wrote:
...we have all the wonderful "successor" pipe carvers and tobacco blenders who have so handily taken over from the "old guard."

Today we have great blenders and pipe makers, no doubt. My comment doesn't mean to be a comparison between those now and those before. It's a statement about the fact that smoking a pipe used to be commonplace, like chewing gum, whereas now it is a much limited activity, even ostracized at times. I'm a pipe smoker, not a pipe collector, and I feel severely constrained in that, even when comparing how things are now vs. to only 10 years ago. I see the day when smoking a pipe will no longer be feasible for me due to increasingly restrictive laws and societal pressure. Maybe I'm too pessimistic?... Crying or Very sad
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