Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A Peterson Patent 21½s

I seem to be on a bit of a roll with picking up interesting old Peterson pipes at the moment. The latest addition to the herd is certainly one of the most interesting that I have ever acquired. 

When this pipe first appeared on Ebay there were no clues in the item title or description to indicate its age or type. The one photograph in the listing made it clear that it was a deluxe of some sort and the shape immediately said "3s" to me, or possibly "2s". It's hard to judge size in a photograph without a point of reference.

However, the pipe turned out to be much smaller than a 3s, let alone a 2s and it has the magic words "Peterson Patent" stamped on the shank and band. Checking the 1896 catalogue it looks like a 21½s. The hallmark is K for 1905, so this is now my oldest Pete. It's just 115mm long, the bowl is 35mm high with an bore of 17mm. It will be perfect for ropes and twists.

Once I've cleaned it up I'll get some decent pictures taken, but for now here's the "before" picture.

This page from the above mentioned catalogue shows the 21½s models with the different stems available then. 

Friday, 3 September 2010

A Pair of "Made in Eire" Petersons

The pipe fairy dropped a most welcome parcel on my doormat this morning. Contents: a Peterson System Standard 31, a System Standard 307 and a rather battered Zippo lighter with a Peterson design on the front.

While a 31 and a 307 would normally be nothing out of the ordinary, these are a bit special in that they both have the "Made in Eire", circle format COM marking, meaning that they date from 1938 to 1947. Apart from a lost fill on the 31 both are in good condition and will only need a clean and polish before they enter service. Even the stems are in pretty good nick.

First, the System Standard 31:

And then the System Standard 307, along with the Zippo:


Strangely the Zippo has the standard insert instead of the pipe lighter insert. 
Both pipes and the Zippo set me back just £57. Quite a bargain I reckon, given the apparent rarity of Petersons with those markings.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Samuel Gawith Snuffs in 25g Tins

It seems that someone at Samuel Gawith & Co is actually listening to their customers.

Since the introduction of the 10g plastic "tap boxes" several years ago, users of Samuel Gawith snuffs have been vociferous in their complaints about them. They are far from airtight so snuff dries out all too quickly and often before the snuff has even reached the consumer. While this may not be a major problem for lovers of Irish "D" Light, for those who prefer their snuffs moist and coarsely milled the tap boxes have been an unmitigated disaster. The likes of Scotch Black and London Brown are simply not suited to storage in plastic tap boxes so many snuffers either went without or bought in bulk - the large plastic drums used for bulk snuff are airtight and perfectly suited to the task.

Now, at last, the coarse, moist snuffs are available in 25g vacuum packed metal tins and it seems the hated tap boxes have been discontinued, at least for those coarse, moist snuffs. Just yesterday I received from My Smoking Shop a tin each of Black Rappee and Scotch Black in the new tins and I was delighted to find the contents in perfect condition. A far cry from the "shotgun pellets" that came in the tap boxes the last time I bought these two  excellent snuffs.

So, all credit to Samuel Gawith for getting it right!

Now I hope to see the rest of their snuffs in the 25g tins and with luck the hated tap boxes will disappear for ever.