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'the guitar player' by David Rijckaert III
By 1615 in England, the first consignments of Virginia tobacco for pipe
smoking had arrived and some 7,000 shops in London sold tobacco .
Women and Pipes
By Beth Maxwell Boyle
Women Pipe smokers are rare today but female smoking was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Respectable women were commonly seen smoking pipes in public. Many famous paintings exist of noble women of the period drinking in the smoke from a clay pipe. The middle classes were eager to enjoy this new pastime as well. In the Elizabethan times clays were quite delicate with graceful thin bowls and long stems. The Dutch redesigned these clays by enlarging the bowl and lengthened the stem.
Dutch, French and English women all enjoyed the "Indian Weed". For centuries the favorite way of enjoying tobacco was to smoke it in clay pipes. As early as about 1575 pipes were being made in England, but by the 17th century Holland had become the dominant center for the manufacture of clay pipes. Clays were made in many other European countries at this time, as well. Such pipes were usually white, with small bowls and long stems. They were extremely fragile and did not last long. However, by the 1850s, when pipe smoking in general became associated with the working class, female smoking began to decline, at least in public. The acceptance of female smokers seemed to vary between regions at this time. It is believed that many women kept their old habits. It is more than likely it was done in secret while they outwardly treated the act as a disgrace.'
Marquise de Pompadour, the favorite mistress of Louis XV, was a passionate smoker and owned more than three hundred pipes!
In rural areas such as the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland the women smoked without shame. Women in the Hebrides smoked well into the 1930s due to the cultural isolation just as Appalachian women in the US did. It was seen as a very crude and backwards habit by most of polite society but little changes in any society without contact with urban centers. Today a women smoking a pipe draws immediate notice and sometimes ridicule.
THE CLAY PIPE
The 17th Century clay pipe had a very small bowl as Tobacco at that time was a luxury item as tea was when first introduced at almost the same time to Europe and the colonies. In the Elizabethan times clays were quite delicate with graceful thin bowls and long stems. The Dutch redesigned these clays by enlarging the bowl and lengthened the stem. These new pipes came to be known as the Alderman and were introduced by William II around 1700. The Alderman was hastily adopted by the English. This style was graced with a curve to the stem and called "Yard of Clay" or "Churchwarden" as it is still known to this day. By the 18th Century these pipes with larger bowls, the classic long stemmed Alderman or "Tavern Pipes" were among the most common style being made. The working classes, however often preferred a shorter clay.
"When temperately used, there is not in all the world a medicine comparable totobacco. All of tobacco is wholesome."
William Barclay: Nepenthes; or, The Virtues of Tobacco, 1614
With time, both the style and the material of pipes changed. In the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, clay pipes dominated the scene. Meerschaum, a form of mined clay made of hydrated magnesium silicate, was introduced from Asia Minor, but this material was very fragile and used by only the very wealthiest of smokers.
It was not until the 1850’s, with the influence of Spanish cigars and a sturdier briar pipe that the clay pipe’s popularity began to wan a bit. By this point, the clay pipe was considered appropriate only for the working class. This was by no means the end of the manufacture of clay pipes but now they began to see competition for the first time. A fancy pipe of Briar maybe even with fittings of sterling silver or gold could show ones stature just as a gold pocket watch could. Elaborate cases and other detailing made the personal pipe a treasure. Victorian tastes made a more sophisticated looking pipe a must.
By the 19th Century, Scotland and Ireland were the primary exporters of clay pipes from the UK. During the time of the great famine when waves of Irish and Scots were immigrating to the new world, these pipes had already acquired nicknames. They were often thought to always have a dhudeen, or short-stemmed clay pipe, in their mouths. Also, the Scottish/Irish styles were very recognizable. Dublins and Derries were two common shapes. African-Americans were often seen smoking white clay pipes later dubbed “Negro Pipes" or worse "Nigger Pipes”!
The 19th Century saw hundreds of designs manufactured. Pipes with figures, animals, and all sorts of emblems became common. Delightful and imaginative pipes of every description were being made from molds in Germany, Holland, and the USA as well as the UK the pipe making center of the 19th Century. To some extent racial stereotyping helped the clay pipe fall from favor despite the fact that a cool smoking clay is a superior smoke to almost any expensive briar or even some Meerschaum pipes. Cruel cartoons of Irish drunks and monkey-faced Black people appeared in periodicals like Harpers, and the London Daily News depicting the lowest classes as tobacco fiends and boozers.
First Lady Pipe smoker, Rachel Jackson had accompanied General Jackson to Washington in 1824-25 when the Presidency was decided in the House of Representatives. Rumors about Rachel preceded her arrival in Washington, and the question arose as to whether the other ladies would accept her. Ultimately, they did call upon her. But she did not want to go to Washington in 1828, fearing that her inelegance at conversation, her pipe smoking, and general lack of refinement would reflect poorly on her husband, the new President. However, she did acquiesce to the urging of her friends and made plans to go. She went on a shopping trip and bought clothes appropriate for the occasion only to become ill and die on
December 22, 1828
Mrs. Rachel Hamilton
copyright 2004 The Glasgow Story
Mrs Rachel Hamilton (nee Johnston), nicknamed "Big Rachel", was originally from Ireland but lived in Partick. She was 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed around 17 stone. She worked as a laborer in Tod & MacGregor shipyards, as a forewoman navvy at the Jordanhill Brickworks and latterly as a farm worker at Anniesland. Big Rachel was sworn in as a special constable during the Partick Riots in August 1875.
For more fantastic history from Scotland!
Ahhhhhhhh a good clay and a good fire
I am a casual pipe smoker but find both a cup of tea and a drink of tobacco from a clay pipe most relaxing. I am a reenactor and collect antique pipes as a hobby. I do like Briars and Meerschaums but still find the clay pipe the best for a cool smoke. The bowls are just the right size for a lady. A 1964 study once showed that pipe smokers on average lived longer than the general population, but that study failed to control for social factors and did not include an adequate representation of pipe smokers to be considered sound. However, it should be noted that there are no studies that show how dangerous pipe smoking may be. I advocate moderation in allthings.
-Beth Maxwell Boyle
References from Judy Anne Sproles on Women pipe smokers in modern times.
"OLD NEWS" IS A LISTING OF PAST NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE ARTICLES,AND BOOK REFERENCES. MANY BUT NOT ALL OF THE STORIES LISTED MAY BE FOUND ON MICROFILM AT A WELL STOCKED PUBLIC OR COLLEGE REFERENCE LIBRARY!
1.) "BRIAR FOR WOMEN'S PIPES ARRIVE HERE FROM ITALY" NOVEMBER 18, 1944, NEW YORK TIMES
2.) "WOMEN TURN TO PIPES" DECEMBER 10, 1944, NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE
3.) "MORE WOMEN TURN TO SMOKING PIPES" DECEMBER 30, 1944, NEW YORK TIMES.
THE FOLLOWING IS OUT OF THE PAGES OF "PIPELOVERS" MAGAZINE PUBLISHED AFTER WORLD WAR TWO UNTIL 1950.
4.) "PIPELOVERS" APRIL 1947 "PIPELINES" LETTERS TO THE EDITOR BY WALTER J. ALLADIO CALLING FOR A BOYCOTT OF ANY PIPE MANUFACTURER WHO MADE SMALLER PIPES FOR SPECIFICALLY FOR WOMEN,
5.) "PIPELOVERS" JULY 1948 PAGE 207 "PIPES AND THE FAIR SEX" Women Pipe Smokers are Shy on The Subject, But They Have Their Preferences the Same as We Men. By Carl Ackerman Quotes from pipe smoking actresses Veronica Lake and Elizabeth Paine.
6.) "PIPELOVERS" JUNE 1949, PAGE 166 BLOWING SMOKE RINGS WITH THE EDITOR. INTEREST IN FORMING LADIES PIPE CLUB ORGANIZATION BUILDS AMONG WOMEN PIPE SMOKERS. PIPELOVERS MAGAZINE ACTS AS A MAIL FORWARDING SERVICE FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO FORM THEIR OWN PIPE ORGANIZATION.
7.) "PIPELOVERS" JULY 1949, LETTER TO THE EDITOR. COMPLAINT BY H. S. EGGLES OF HERSHEY PENN ON LETTING "WOMEN COME ALONG AND STEAL OUR LAST FRONTIER."
8.) "PIPELOVERS" JULY 1949 PAGE 214 "HOW TO SMOKE A WATER PIPE IS DEMONSTRATED AT CLUB BANQUET" DEMONSTRATION BY "TOBY" AND TALK ABOUT HER FAMOUS COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE PIPES. QUOTE FORM ARTICLE "TOBY IS ONE OF THE FEW WOMEN PIPE COLLECTORS IN THE COUNTRY AND IS REPORTED TO HAVE A LARGE PIPE COLLECTION. DURING THE WAR SHE EXHIBITED HER MANY PIECES TO SERVICE MEN IN THE U.S.O., CAMPS, HOSPITALS, AND ELSEWHERE"
9.) "PIPELOVERS" AUGUST 1949, MORE MALE SARCASM IN THE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SECTION OF "PIPELOVERS"
10.) "PIPELOVERS" SEPTEMBER 1949, PAGE 279, "THE FAIR SEX SPEAKS" PROFILE OF A 22 YEAR OLD LADY PIPE SMOKER. GRADUATE STUDENT OF GEOLOGY. QUOTE "I FIRST TRIED A PIPE IN 1942 AND THE FOLLOWING YEAR I BEGAN SMOKING REGULARLY. AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF EXPERIMENTATION, I STILL L
IKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH NEW TOBACCOS IN THE HOPES OF FINDING MY IDEAL TOBACCO."
11.) "PIPELOVERS" NOVEMBER 1949 PAGE 376 "PIPES OF ALL KINDS" THIS WOMAN COLLECTOR PROVES MEN DO NOT HAVE A MONOPOLY WHEN IT COMES TO A KNOWLEDGE OF PIPES" BY B.D. DARROW PROFILE OF PIPE COLLECTOR MRS. CLAYTON, OWNER AND HEAD LADY IN CHARGE OF THE LAWRANCE PIPE SHOP IN
SANTA ANA CALIFORNIA.
12.) "PIPELOVERS" DECEMBER 1949 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR " HERE TO STAY" BY MRS. HUGO GNAM JR. JEFFERSON VALLEY N.Y. QUOTE " WOMEN IN 1980 WILL BE CHUCKLING OVER THE EFFORTS OF MAN IN 1950- TRYING TO KEEP WOMEN FROM ENJOYING THEIR PIPE SMOKING. FOR MR. HOUGHTON'S INFORMATION, WOMEN ENJOY THE FUN OF RELAXING WITH PIPES AND FIND JUST AS MUCH PLEASURE IN COLLECTING THEM AS MEN DO. "WOMEN ARE HERE TO STAY"
13.) "PIPELOVERS" JANUARY 1950 PAGE 22, "PIPE CLUBS NEW NATION-WIDE CLUB OF LADY PIPE SMOKERS ANNOUNCES FIVE CHAPTERS FROM COAST TO COAST." QUOTE "THE TOBY PIPE SMOKING CLUB WHICH WAS FIRST ANNOUNCE IN THE OCTOBER ISSUE NOW HAS FIVE CHAPTERS, WITH NEW ONES BEING ADDED DAILY" CHAPTERS INCLUDE TOLEDO OHIO, BEVERLY HILLS, MIAMI FLORIDA, NEW YORK, WASHINGTON DC.
14.) "PIPESMOKERS ADMIT WOMEN, NEW YORK TIMES, SUNDAY, OCTOBER, 29 1950 (AP) MONTREAL, THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PIPE SMOKERS CLUBS AT ITS SECOND ANNUAL CONVENTION TODAY ADMITTED WOMEN TO MEMBERSHIP. FOUR WOMEN DELEGATES REPRESENTED SIXTEEN WOMEN'S
""TOBEY" CLUBS IN THE UNITED STATES NAMED AFTER A WOMAN AUTHORITY ON PIPE MANUFACTURE AND HISTORY.
15.) "BRIARS ON THE DISTAFF SIDE" BUSINESS WEEK JULY 24, 1954
16.) "SMOKE IN HER EYES" NEWSWEEK AUGUST 16, 1954
17.) "I LOVE A GIRL WHO SMOKES A PIPE" NEW YORK SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE AUGUST 8, 1954. PAGE 13
18.) "RIDING THE TREND TO PIPES" PROFITABLE HOBBIES JANUARY 1955 PAGE 18
19.) "ALL ABOUT PIPES", MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED, DECEMBER, 1957
20.) "SWITCHING TO PIPES AND CIGARS" SMOKING AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST, PAGES 100-102. BOOK PUBLISHED BY CONSUMERS UNION (CONSUMER REPORTS) AT THE TIME OF THE FIRST SURGEON GENERAL'S REPORT.
21.) "THE EX-INHALERS" BUSINESS WEEK FEBRUARY 8, 1964
22.) "CIGARS: THE FEMALE PUFFER" NEWSWEEK MARCH 23, 1964
23.) "WOMEN AND CIGARS OR: WE'VE ALWAYS LIKED TOBACCO BROWN" VOGUE MAGAZINE MAY, 1964
24.) "PIPE THIS, PIPE AND CIGAR SMOKING WOMEN" SATURDAY EVENING POST MAY 30, 1964
25.) "THE POLITE AMERICANS" A WIDE-ANGLE VIEW OF OUR MORE OR LESS GOOD MANNERS OVER 300 YEARS. BY GERALD CARSON, PAGE 282, 1966 WILLIAM MORROW AND COMPANY.
26.) "SHE DESIGNS, CARVES, SELLS (AND SMOKES) PIPES" A PROFILE OF ANNE JULIE RASSMUSSEN. NEW YORK TIMES OCTOBER 10, 1968 . LINKS TO HER WEBSITE A WWW. PIPES. ORG
27.) "MAKING CIGARS SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE" BUSINESS WEEK DECEMBER 14, 1968.
28.) "WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS" PARADE MAGAZINE JANUARY 26, 1969
29.) "UP IN SMOKE" BY JOAN BUCK NEW YORK MAGAZINE, JULY 21, 1969
30.) "THE LADY SMOKES AND MAKES PIPES" CHICAGO SUN TIMES APRIL 23, 1972
31.) "REAL PIPE DREAM IN QUEENS" NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 10, 1972
32.) "SMOKERS ARE LIKE THEIR PIPES-VARIED BUT WITH SOME SIMILARITIES" NEW YORK TIMES MONDAY OCTOBER 6, 1975 SECTION L FAMILY/STYLE PAGE 24.
33.) "PIPELINE TO THE RIGHT PIPE" MONEY MAGAZINE JUNE, 1977 PAGE 76-78
34.) "WOMEN PIPE SMOKERS OWN UP" SMOKESHOP MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 1977
35.) "WOMAN PIPE SMOKERS WINS TINDERBOX CONTEST" SMOKESHOP MAGAZINE JANUARY 1978
36.) "IN PURSUIT OF PIPE DREAMS" BY PHIL SMITH SMITHSONIAN JULY 1981
37.) "WOMEN ARE PIPING UP" OAKLAND TRIBUNE AUGUST, 10, 1982
38.) "JOAN HACKETT" PHOTO EXAMINER DECEMBER 1982
39.) "FROM A WOMAN PIPE SMOKER" LETTER BY PAULINE BECHTOLD TO THE GENTLEMEN IN THE PIPE TOBACCO INDUSTRY. SMOKESHOP MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 1983
40.) "PIPING UP" THE CINCINNATI INQUIRER NOVEMBER, 5, 1983
41.) ACTRESS "ELKE SOMMER" PHOTO DER SPIEGEL NOVEMBER 26, 1984 ISSUE #48 PAGE 53
42.) "WOMEN PIPE SMOKERS" PIPE SMOKER MAGAZINE PIPE SMOKER MAGAZINE FALL 1986
43.) "FOR WOMEN, PIPES MAY BE THE ULTIMATE SMOKE" SMOKESHOP MAGAZINE APRIL-MAY 1988 PAGE 22
44.) "WOMEN CIGAR SMOKERS" SMOKESHOP MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 1990 PAGE 10
45.) "CIGAR POWER" FORBES AUGUST 1, 1994 PAGE 100
46.) "A REKINDLED PASSION FOR PIPE SMOKING TAKES HOLD" USA TODAY TUESDAY DECEMBER 10, 1996 PAGE 6D
47.) "WHY I LOVE MY CIGAR" BY MELINA GEROSA GLAMOUR FEBRUARY 1997 PAGE 100
48.) "A MASCULINE DOMAIN?" PIPE MAGAZINE VOLUME 8 SECOND SEMESTER 1998
49.) "IRRESISTIBLE IRINA" PIPE SMOKE MAGAZINE WINTER 1998-1999 COVER STORY. AVAILABLE ON-LINE AT WWW.PIPESMOKEMAG.COM
50.) "CAN SMOKING A PIPE CHANGE YOUR LIFE" BY CAROL K. STOUFFER PAGE 10 "PIPE FREINDLY" MAGAZINE FEBUARY 2001.
51.) "SMOKING PIPES SHOULDN'T BE LEFT ONLY TO MEN" PAGE 124 SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 EDITION "EUROPEAN CIGAR CULT JOURNAL"
Learn more about pipes and tobacco by going to the
copyright 2002 , Jim & Beth Boyle, All Rights Reserved
No part of this website may be used for any purpose ( including using images )
without written consent from The Rams Horn
This page is dedicated to my friend Tom who holds both lady smokers
and pipe smoking in highest regard