On a recent trip to Finland, I saw the all-American corn cob pipe for sale in Sokos Department Store.
Using a corn cob pipe is a very old-fashioned way of smoking tobacco in America. The original and largest maker of corn cob pipes is Missouri Meerschaum. In Finland the brand was selling for just €3.45 & €9.95! The Finns really know a good pipe at a good bargain.
Located in Washington, Missouri, Missouri Meerschaum has been manufacturing corn cob pipes since 1869. Famous Americans such as General Douglas MacArthur and Mark Twain were perhaps the most famous smokers of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon characters such as Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.
Made from corn cobs, the pipes are crafted in a meticulous and traditional way. First, the cobs are dried for two years and then they are hollowed to make a bowl which holds the tobacco. Pine shanks are inserted into the bowls for reinforcement and the bowls are finally dipped into a plaster-based mixture and lacquered with a clear varnish on the outside.
Judging from some of the warm temperatures the U.S. has been having, perhaps Frosty has to go to Finland, the land of snow & frost, to get his pipes?!
Further Reading, Etc.:
- A Complete Guide to Collecting Antique Pipes (A Schiffer Book for Collectors)
- Pipesmoking: A 21st Century Guide
- Rare Smoke: The Ultimate Guide To Pipe Collecting
- Tipilake’s You Tube Channel