History of Pipes

Pipes, specifically water Pipes (bongs), unearthed in Africa over the years have helped historians to confidently predate the smoking of Cannabis or other Herbs to tobacco.

Through the study of Pipes styles, and the differing styles of Pipes from the materials used in their production and by radiocarbon dating, it is estimated that pipes have been used as far back as the 13th century. This is significantly earlier than the journey to the New World.

It is thought that cannabis was smoked in water Pipes in eastern and southern Africa well  before the introduction of tobacco, Cannabis almost always appears to have been smoked exclusively in Water Pipes (bongs) and Tobacco in Traditional pipes.

The Cannabis Water pipes in particularly in China were generally made of metal however often Earth Pipes have been found which were temporarily dug or moulded from the Ground.

Pipes,Hookas,Bongs,Water Pipes over the centuries have taken numerous shapes and have been forged,constructed from a myri
ad of materials ..Early pipes and water pipes have been found to be made from Metal,Animal Horns,Earthenware,Gourds,Bamboo and Wood.

Today Modern pipes including Water Pipes can be purchased in many different materials, even Plastic (water pipes,Bongs)

What about tobacco and Pipes?

As far back as 2000BC Tobacco leaves and Pipes have been found buried with Egyptian Mummies, Ancient NorthernIndians as early as 1500BC smoked the “Peace Pipe”, what the contents of the pipe were is a matter of conjecture! the pipe smoking was a traditional ceremony of peace and reconciliation.

Hypocrites the Greek Physician used the Smoking of Herbs as a cure or comfort for certain female conditions.

Upon discovering America, Columbus also uncovered Tobacco…around 1519 Tobacco finds its way to Europe and around 1560 the french utilized tobacco as a remedy.

Between 1560 and the year 1600..chalk pipes are mass produced, Switzerland bans Tobacco smoking and Norway introduces Iron pipes.

In 1604 the very first anti tobacco campaign was launched in England.

from 1600 to to 1650, in Europe The smoking of Pipes gains mass recognition and a huge surge in Pipe smoking occurs, meanwhile in or around 1630… China Russia and Turkey introduce the Death Penalty for smoking pipes and in Denmark the smoking of pipes on Ships was punished by Keel-Hauling.

It is said once the powers in charge recognize the massive tax advantages in particular… Tobacco for Pipe smoking generated…..the Death Penalty for smoking pipes was Reconsidered!….Funny that….Just like the massive Pharmaceutical taxes Governments draw, whilst outlawing Medical Marijuana?

Meerschaum also known as Sepiolite is a soft white mineral (often found floating on the black sea) was discover around 1720 and was highly regarded for the use of manufacture of Pipes, the mineral is soft and can be easily carved into ornate Pipes.

While the Cigar was taking over in popularity over Pipes in Western Europe in the early 1800’s The French Briar Pipe (Briar is a type of timber)was in fashion as time goes on bigger and longer and more ornate Pipes became the trend.

Who Loved their Pipes in History..here is a list of Pipe Smoking history makers, some real, some fictional:

Albert Einstein was known for his pipe smoking was quoted as saying: “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs”

Earl Bertrand Russell Smoked pipes and lived to a ripe old age of 98

Sherlock Holmes is explicitly described as a Pipe Smoker as was Santa Clause or St Nicholas all fictional of course but they did love their Pipes

Joseph Stalin with a Pipe was a common image in fact most images have him smoking pipes whether he was posing or liaising with Comrades

J.R.R Tolkien loved smoking Pipes and his most Famous Stories The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have many detailed scenes describing the smoking of pipes, We often wonder what “Strain” of Tobacco Gandalf was enjoying before many adventures!

Sandro Pertini President of the Italian Replublic between 1978-85 lived to the age of 93 and enjoyed the smoking of Pipes

Thanks for reading our brief history of Pipes..we will be adding new historical recordings on the use of pipes for Tobacco, Cannabis and Herbs in History and would love to hear any of your own information,Knowledge