Thursday, 8 April 2010

A Peterson Patent 181 B (Short)

This Peterson Patent 181 B (Short) is my latest Peterson acquisition and quite a gem it is. It dates from 1908, judging by the Dublin hallmark on the silver band and the screw in amber(oid) stem fits and lines up perfectly. The bowl looks like it has hardly been smoked. All that for just £45. Definitely my lucky day!

Having had a look through the various Peterson catalogues available online, I have concluded that the model is almost certainly a 181 B (Short), as shown on page 69 of the 1896 catalogue, though that only mentions vulcanite stems. I guess stem possibilities changed between 1896 and 1908. "B" refers to the style of the stem and "Short" also refers to the stem, which has a screw thread rather than a push fit. I'm not sure how to determine whether the stem is amber or ambroid. Maybe someone can suggest a way to tell the difference between them?

While the shape is similar to the Sherlock Holmes Milverton and the Kinsale XL24, the 181 is a much smaller pipe. Maximum length is 11.5cm (4.5"), bowl height is 48mm (1 7/8"), bowl diameter is 30mm (1 3/8"). Internally, chamber depth is 42mm (1 5/8") and the bore is 19mm (3/4"). Not quite a nose-warmer but definitely a pipe designed for use outside the home.

The rigid leather case isn't in bad condition for its age and it appears to have done a great job of protecting the pipe over the years.

Note: I have found a definition of amberoid. It is "a synthetic form of amber made by heating and compressing valueless small pieces of amber with other resins." Peterson's catalogues seem to use the variant spelling "ambroid".

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