The (mostly true) History of the Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Pipe Company

The Missouri Meerschaum Company is the world's oldest and largest manufacturer of cool, sweet-smelling corn cob smoking pipes and has been located in picturesque Washington, Missouri since 1869. Douglas MacArthur and George Lincoln Rockwell were perhaps the most famous smokers of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon characters Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.
Corncob pipes remain popular today because they are inexpensive and require no difficult break-in period like briar pipes. For these two reasons, corncob pipes are often recommended as a Beginners pipe, but, their enjoyment is by no means limited to beginners. Corncob pipes are equally valued by both learners and experienced smokers who simply desire a cool, clean smoke. Pipesmokers who wish to sample a wide variety of different tobaccos and blends also might keep a stock of corncobs on hand to permit them to try new flavors without carryover from an already-used pipe. Pipe smoking, in general, is often chosen as a great weaning tool for folks who are looking to quit smoking cigarettes, and corncob pipes are excellent for this type of stop smoking technique.  
The cobs used for these pipes are grown exclusively for use by Missouri Meerschaum, and were developed for them by the University of Missouri! Following the proper curing time, they are transformed by dedicated and skilled craftsmen into genuine Missouri Meerschaums.
It is our honest belief that there is no substitute for quality and excellence. With cheap import pipes now on the market we are especially conscious of that fact, so we chose to partner with the worldwide leader in quality corn cob pipes. We pledge that we will continue to provide you with the finest corn cob pipes, the finest packaging, and our commitment to service. We welcome and value your business.
Want to learn more? Read on...
In 1869 a Dutch immigrant woodworker named Henry first began production of the corn cob pipe. Legend has it that a local farmer whittled a pipe out of corn cob and liked it so much he asked Henry to try turning some on his lathe. The farmer was well-pleased with his pipes so Henry made a few more and put them for sale in his shop. They proved to be such a fast selling item that soon Henry spent more time making pipes for his customers than working with wood. Soon Henry went into full-time production of corn cob pipes. In 1907 Henry’s company became the Missouri Meerschaum Company.
The word Meerschaum is taken from a German word that means sea foam. It is a Turkish clay used in high-grade pipes. Henry likened his light, porous pipes and their cool smoke to that of the more expensive meerschaum pipes and coined the name Missouri Meerschaum for his pipes. Henry and a chemist friend devised an innovative system of applying a plaster-based substance to the outside of the corn cob bowls to make a smoother, more presentable pipe. In 1878, Henry was granted a US patent for this process. You can find this patent for sale in our eBay store.
A nationwide distribution system was established for the sale of his pipes. Other pipe firms also developed; by 1925 there were as many as a dozen corn cob pipe companies in Franklin County, most of them in Washington. Today, Missouri Meerschaum stands alone as the first and only surviving piece of the living history. These gentle pipes are smoked and loved all over the world as well as being used as souvenirs, often imprinted with the name of the city, business or event.
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Getting the most out of your corn cob pipes

We offer the following tips to lengthen the life of your Missouri Meerschaum Corncob Pipe and to enrich your smoking enjoyment.
  • Fill the pipe bowl with layers of tobacco that are not too tightly packed. This will keep your pipe more evenly lit. One old tip is to fill your bowl three ways: First sprinkle the tobacco loosely into the bowl and pack it (or tamp it, as we smokers call it) with a child’s touch. Second, sprinkle a second load into the bowl and tamp it with a woman’s touch. (Sorry ladies) Finally, fill the bowl one last time and tamp it like a man. The goal here is to create enough air space to allow for an easy draw, but without gaps in the tobacco which could cause it to go out prematurely.

  • As you smoke use a tamp to tamp the tobacco down gently to keep the unburned tobacco in contact with the burning embers. (Yes, TAMP is both a noun and a verb.) This little trick improved the duration of my smoking enjoyment immensely, plus it added another neat tool to my smoke kit!

  • Drawing gently, in short puffs will help to prevent tongue bite. Tongue bite is a euphemistic way of saying the tip of your tongue will get BBQ’d! Settle the pipe in the corner of your mouth with your tongue against the mouthpiece, and try to keep your hands off the pipe. The part about the corner of the mouth isn’t so much to improve your smoking experience as much as to keep you from looking like a goofball.

  • After each smoke run a pipe cleaner through the stem to keep it clear of debris and to remove excess moisture from saliva and from the humid smoke generated by properly stored tobacco.

  • Though it looks cool in the movies, never knock your pipe against a hard surface like the sole of your shoe. Knock it, instead, against the palm of your hand while holding the stem firmly in the middle.

  • Switching, or resting your pipes frequently helps to prevent bitterness or what I like to call pipe-funk. This time-out will allow your corn cob pipe to dry out, which will not only reward you with a more pleasurable smoke but will also lengthen its life. We suggest owning several pipes and rotating through them. Many say you should own seven pipes so that you have a fresh one each day of the week. We suggest you should own at least 31 pipes, and not just because we sell them. Honest.

  • It may be an old husband’s tale, but just in case… long-time smokers say to smoke your first bowl of tobacco in a new pipe all the way through without allowing it to go out. They say that if the first bowl goes out, the pipe will tend to go out at that same place each time you smoke it. Sounds like voodoo to me, but just in case I never smoke in the same place twice.  

  • Some say that if you enjoy an especially sweet smoke that you should try coating the inside of your new pipe with a thin layer of honey before your first smoke. This may work with briar pipes, but in the case of cobs, we suggest you save your honey for your biscuits.
Well, that’s about all for now. Please stop by to see our entire line of unique pipes and gifts and to learn more interesting information.



Please be aware that the Missouri Meerschaum Pipe Company is the ONLY U.S. Manufacturer of corn cob pipes. While you may find old/vintage corn cob pipes on eBay from other defunct US brands, all other pipes which are being marketed as new corn cob pipes are manufactured in communist China from poor quality corn cobs. One Chinese brand even has the nerve to call itself “Original Corn Cob Pipes"! 

A few Chinese pipes that you might want to be aware of are being sold under the names: 

"Classic CORN COB tobacco Smoking Pipe with FREE Screens"
.  FYI: Screens are not used for smoking tobacco... 

"Popeye Corn Cob Pipe" 
This one makes me laugh.  The seller even has a YouTube clip from the Robin Williams "POPEYE" movie.  The problem is that Robin's pipes were made for the movie by Missouri Meerschaum!  

“Original Corn Cob Pipes" 
As mentioned above, this pipe comes from a plant in China that didn't even exist a few years ago, while the true ORIGINAL corn cob pipes are made by Missouri Meerschaum in Washington, Missouri USA, and have been since the 1880's! 

Another trend that pipe buyers need to know is that used corn cob pipes are being sold as “estate pipes” and some are being promoted as “refurbished”.  What's really amazing is that many of these used pipes are selling for substantially more than new pipes.  When in doubt if the pipe is new or used, ask the seller before you bid. 

As inexpensive as original American Made Missouri Meerschaum pipes are, there’s no reason to settle for used or cheap imitation pipes. ‘Nuff said. 

Visit for genuine American-made Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipes. 

Well that didn’t take long! We still have some of the polished version of the Christ Morgan designed #MissouriMeerschaum #ReverseCalabash pipes available, but I’m sure they’ll be gone soon too. #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile @morganpipes @missourimeerschaum

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Happy #SmokeRingThursday Trust me, #ItsAThing #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile

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Arrived on a windy Hermosa Beach just in time to catch the sunset while enjoying a smoke in my Devil Anse. Hope you made the best of INternational Pipe Smoking Day. #IPSD #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile #acornCobPipe #HermosaBeach #SunSet #CobTuesday

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#CobLife #Aristocob

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Here’s a end view of our new 6mm balsa wood pipe filters.

They come in a small “slab” and you snap them off as you use them. No, they are not triangular and no, they are not made by Savinelli but they will fit nicely into any pipe that accepts a 6mm paper or balsa filter. And the benefits? You’ll get a few more smokes than with a paper Medico or Dr Grabow filter. Best of all, it tightens up the draw on a pipe that you might otherwise be smoking without a filter. I really think you’ll like them. #Aristocob #CobLife #AristocobApproved #CornCobPipe
Check them out here:

Medico Pipe Filter US Patent

In a recent video on the Aristocob Youtube channel, I talked about recent changes in the venerable Medico pipe filter. Because I just can't stand knowing just a little about something I went on a hunt for information about how the Medico filters came to be. Below is a pic of the first page of the US Patent that was granted to Paul H Minton in 1933 and again in 1934 as well as a couple old Medico ads. (Click pics to Biggie-Size)

1934 US Patent for Medico Pipe Filter

1934 US Patent for Medico Pipe Filter

1952 Medico Ad
1949 Medico Ad

Merry Christmas from Aristocob

OK, just one more and then it’s off to bed with ya. This one is from my favorite daughter @greenwaymom in which she has dubbed #SantaCob. Who can argue with that? #AristocobApproved #Aristocob #CornCobPipe #CobLife #LightUpASmile 

Medico pipe filter change

If you are a Medico pipe filter fan it is not your imagination that they have recently been cheapened by the manufacturer, S.M.Frank. What has changed? As you can see from the photo of a new box of filters (L) and an old-style filter from a NOS Woodie pipe (R), they removed the branding but more concerning is the fact that they seem to have lightened the filter paper. When I get a chance I’ll be sure to record a video on the Aristocob Youtube channel where we’ll conduct an autopsy of each to see if we can confirm these observations. In the meantime we just wanted you to be informed.  Visit

Tobacco Advent 2017, Day 23: 20+ year old Ashton Old Dog

Happy Day 23 of #TobaccoAdvent2017 Today we smoked some 20+ year old cellared Ashton Old Dog. Was it any good? Be sure to check out our daily videos in the #MMBClub YT channel for a chance to win some SWAG! #TobaccoAdvent #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile via Instagram

Tobacco Advent 2017, Day 23: Ole Carolina

Where is this month going? It’s already Day 23 of #TobaccoAdvent2017 Be sure to check out our daily videos in the #MMBClub YT channel for a chance to win some SWAG! #TobaccoAdvent #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile via Instagram

Tobacco Advent 2017, Day 23

Where is this month going? It’s already Day 23 of #TobaccoAdvent2017 Be sure to check out our daily videos in the #MMBClub YT channel for a chance to win some SWAG! #TobaccoAdvent #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile via Instagram

The Grinch enjoying a corn cob pipe from

I’m thrilled by my new @damnpipes painting of the Grinch enjoying a #CornCobPipe after a long night of grinching. #AristocobApproved #CobLife #LightUpASmile via Instagram