Tobacco Pipe, a bowl and connecting tube made of baked clay, stone, wood, or other material, and used in smoking tobacco. Clay pipes, with slender stems of six inches to a foot or more in length, have been largely supplied to commerce from potteries devoted to this manufacture in England, the clay, which is a peculiarly white and adhesive variety, being obtained at Purbeck in Dorsetshire, and at Newton Abbot in Devonshire. They are also largely manufactured in Holland, and of a finer quality in France. The manner of making a clay pipe is briefly as follows. The clay being worked and tempered by the proper admixture of water, a child rolls from a ball a slender cylinder with his hands and a spatula, for the stem; a small lump is attached to one end of this for the bowl. The whole is then placed in a folding iron or brass mould, and a wire is laid in the centre of the stem. A plug forms the hollow of the bowl. After being subjected to pressure and allowed to remain long enough to set, the moulded pipe is removed, dressed, and baked in a kiln, which is usually of a capacity to fire about 50 gross in from 8 to 12 hours. - On the American continent pipes, have been in use from very remote periods.
They are found in the ancient mounds of the west, elaborately carved in stone into fanciful shapes, often resembling various animals of the country. In northern New York and in Cayuga co. they are frequently discovered in ploughing. Some are of soapstone and others of baked clay. On the summit of the dividing ridge between the St. Peter's and the Missouri rivers, called the Coteau des Prairies, and in the latitude of St. Anthony's falls, the Indians have long procured a peculiar variety of red steatite or soapstone, of which all the red stone pipes of that region are made. Catlin was shown the spot at the base of a long vertical wall of quartz, which lay in horizontal strata, the pipestone layers spreading under the adjoining prairie land of the ridge, whence it was obtained by digging a few feet in depth. Ho judged from the great extent of the excavations, and from the graves and ancient fortifications, that the place must have been frequented by different tribes of Indians for many centuries. The pipes made of this stone are heavy, and usually rather plain, decorated by bands and ornaments of lead, which appear to have been run into depressions and then smoothed down.
The stems are long and curiously carved sticks of hard wood, sometimes flat, frequently ornamented with gayly-colored feathers of birds and horse hair dyed scarlet. - The most elaborate pipes are those of the Asiatics, especially the Persians and Turks. (See Meerschaum.) The bowls are large and heavy, not intended to be held in the hand or carried about, and the stems are several feet long, sometimes made in part of spiral wire covered with a thin impervious coating of leather or other substance, so that this portion is very flexible. The mouthpiece is of ivory, silver, or amber, the last being preferred and much the most expensive. The principal portion of the amber product of Prussia is applied to this use, and some of the mouthpieces command very large prices. The eastern hookah is a pipe of extraordinary size, and an instrument of such importance in the courts of the princes that a special officer is appointed to take care of it, and present the mouthpiece to his master for smoking. The large bowl of this pipe is set upon an air-tight vessel containing water, and a small tube from the pipe passes down into the water. The smoking tube is inserted into the side of this vessel, and communicates through a long flexible tube with the mouthpiece.
By exhausting the air through this the smoke is forced down under the water, and entering the space above it passes into the stem, freed by its contact with the water from some of the most acrid properties of the tobacco. - The German pipes are of great variety, as well of material as of form. Those of porcelain are sometimes beautifully painted in the style of fine chinaware painting. Iron tobacco pipes are used in Thibet and Mongolia. Pipes are now very extensively carved from the roots of briers (called brierwood pipes) and other roots, and cheaper ones from various kinds of wood. The stem is of cherry, horn, or other material, connected with the bowl by a perforated piece of cork.
See Pipe, Tobacco.