Yup, that’s the General. #CobLife #Aristocob #LightUpASmile #CornCobPipe #MissouriMeerschaum

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Wow, it’s cold enough for a jacket AND a Freehand! #CobLife #LightUpASmile #Aristocob #MissouriMeerschaum #CornCobPipe #Lane1Q

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Loading up another bowl. #Aristocob #CobLife #LightUpASmile

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Mark Twain is loaded and ready for action. #Aristocob #PatentedAristocobTamper #CobLife #LightUpASmile

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Your vote counts! Visit www.Cobfoolery.com to vote for your favorite Professional class modded Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe! #CobfooleryContest #Cobfoolery2017 #CobLife #Cobfoolery #MissouriMeerschaum #LightUpASmile

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It's time to VOTE for the winner of the 2017 Cobfoolery Professional Entries!

It's time to cast your vote for the Cobfoolery Pro Class entries. We are thrilled to have so many amazing pipes entered this year by some truly talented pipe makers! While we have a team of pipe professionals judging the amateur entries but YOU are a judge of the Pro class.

Here's a playlist of all of the 2017 Cobfoolery Pro Classic entries

Here's a playlist of all of the 2017 Cobfoolery Pro Freehand entries

After previewing the video entries click the link below and vote for your choice of winner in both the Classic & Freehand shape categories.

Voting will end at midnight EST Friday May 13th, 2017 and winners will be announced on Sunday, May 7th.

Patent Nerd strikes again: Motorized Tobacco Pipe Filler from 1953 (granted in 1956)

Automatic car pipe fillerThe other night I was looking for an old article about a tablesaw when I stumbled across this short article about a new patent that was granted in 1956 for an "Automatic Smoking Pipe Filler" or as the article deemed it a "Motorized Pouch to Fill Pipe".  The photo shows a dapper gent behind the wheel with a pipe in his right hand either descending upon or being removed from a device that is mounted to the car's dashboard.  The text states that "With this reloading device on his dashboard, a pipe-smoking driver could fill his briar (corn cob!) without taking his eyes off the road. Inserting a pipe in the base would energize the unit causing it to discharge and tamp a bowlful of tobacco."

How cool would that be? I mean, if it really worked why aren't these in ALL cars?  This thing really captured my imagination as I thought about what sort of mechanism would be required to accomplish this feat.

I had to know, so off I went to the USPTO.gov site to see what I could learn.  Here's a pic of the second page of the patent granted to Alphonse J. Marquis that best shows what is going on inside the pipe filler.  There's a bit of a paddle behind the spout that when pressed with the pipe bowl triggers a micro-switch on the right hand side of the unit.  That causes a small, but low-geared motor to cycle and lift and then lower a plunger though a bin containing the tobacco. This plunger appears to not only push the tobacco forward and out through the bottom of the container, but this comes to rest at the bottom and acts as a stopper to prevent tobacco for flowing out between uses.   Brilliant!

Now I wonder if this ever went into production and if so, where can I see one? Please let me know if you have any information about this.  

Is "Lunting" really a word, or just hipster speak?

Recently on the forum of the site www.ThisPipeLife.com I posted this photo showing a letter and a sticker that I received from the International Lunting Society upon my membership.  https://www.lunting.org

One of the well-established members of the forum chimed in and after first stating his credentials as a "retired journalist/photographer and magazine editor" (aka: word nerd) he mentioned that none of his dictionaries defined lunting as anything beyond smoking or smoking a pipe and he conjectured that defining lunting as smoking a pipe while walking was probably just made up recently by a hipster.

Unfortunately, in my laziness, I quoted the Urban Dictionary in my initial post.  To remedy that I spent some time Googling (verb) and found a couple early references to Lunting as "Walking & Smoking".

The oldest document found on Google Books is from The Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia which simply states: "Lunting - Walking and smoking a pipe".  Looks like an open and shut case, but I dug on.

From there I wound up finding a definition of lunting in The English Dialect DictionaryYou'll have to slide down to the bottom of point #4 I, b., but there it is again.

So, I'm not saying that this was an exhaustive search, but it did put my mind at rest. Now I'm going to stick my new ILS sticker on my van and go for a ride and a smoke. In other words; "Vanting".

P.S. Get your own cool-smoking corn cob pipes from www.Aristocob.com and enjoy happy lunting!

An excellent video about a pipe smoker coming to terms with his cob snobbery

I had the pleasure of meeting "Handlebar Mike" at the 2017 TAPS Pipe & Tobacco Expo last week and apparently a conversation we had stuck in his craw.


Been playing around with the Aristocob Youtube channel

Years ago I gave up on adding a title and bumper music to my Youtube videos. Not only was it time consuming to add the edit to what was otherwise a quick iPhone upload, but I realized how much I hated waiting through other people's intros so why would I put others through the same treatment if I didn't have to? 
On the other hand I recently got fed-up with the limited choice that Youtube was giving me for thumbnails so I started playing around with adding "better" ones myself.  I mean, hit the pause button at any moment in a video and odds are it will not look appealing in the least. 

So here's one of the new thumbnails. What do you think? 

By the way, you can get your own Dagner Cob from Aristocob

Google Voice transcription has a long way to go.

I received a voice message via Google Voice, and while the message came through just fine I had to laugh at the transcription:

Hi Scott, My name is Grain, Staples, I'm down in south city ordered a couple of a diplomat, Thank you for or wherever. Not that general put the shore We're all going to call from you to see if that would be maybe call my be a weaker to go and I got a movie and i was like and I'm a little bit and get them with you, and one of them and a pretty large trial out of, well, actually. One large on one medium shock out of the you worry m of the pie. And a little bit of a I don't know what happened to it. But softened got a hold of it and The Chelsea ordering. Not necessarily a crack all the way through. The Rambo crack on top of the room for sure. And so I was curious. If you could do something about that for me gimme a call back. I need to talk to you a picture this thing. I can't. It's (601) xxx-xxxx  And I don't like. As soon as the for me. Just wanted to get after, but since I've given you and it looks like it might be something I need to ask you about. So, gimme a buzz (601) xxx-xxxx . I'd appreciate it, bye bye.

Like I said, once I listened to the message I was good to go, but the translation wasn't even close.  It is an amazing thing that Google is able to translate voice to text, but I look forward to this feature getting better.  

Tigtening Loose Missouri Meerschaum Pipe Stems (Bits)

Loose bits/stems in Missouri Meerschaum pipes.
If you've purchased a MM cob recently you may have noticed that the bit (as they call them) was loose.
Recently made MM pipes with the loose bits and ferrules have a wooden stem that MM is getting from a new vendor in Maine. Since they have about 150,000 of the new wood stems in stock they have attempted to come up with a way at the factory to “swell them up”. As experienced cob smokers know, the wood stem swells up some after they are smoked, so normally within a few smokes they fit snugly.
Personally I have had this issue with a half dozen pipes in my 35 years of smoking and I have three proven methods of dealing with them (and one that I've retired):
1.) Smoke it. As I said above, this usually does the trick after just a few bowls.
2.) If the bit is too loose to even get a few bowls smoked I wrap a single wrap of Teflon tape around the tenon. Since the stem will swell quickly enough I now use this option instead of modifying the stem or tenon and once things tighten-up I remove the tape. No Teflon tape on hand? Use any tape you have on hand but understand that you'll have to use a solvent to remove the sticky adhesive residue.
3.) Use the "hot water method" to heat the tenon and once soft gently press the end of a pen into the tenon to cause it to swell slightly. I no longer use this method as my first line of defense because once the wooden stem swells the bit will be crazy-tight.
4.) Glue a strip of paper or a shaving from a hand plane inside the stem. I even did a video on this several years ago.
I haven't done #4 in years, but if 1-3 don't work this is what I've done in the past. If you purchased your pipe from us and it doesn't tighten-up, we'll replace the pipe.

Here are a couple old vids on the topic:

A size comparison between the new Missouri Meerschaum Mark Twain and the 5th Ave

Someone on the PipeSmokersForum asked for a size comparison between the new Missouri Meerschaum Mark Twain and the 5th Ave (Kolonel), so here they are together.
Get yours at www.aristocob.com

Meet the Shortstop pipe from Aristocob and Missouri Meerschaum

We have been dealing with some outrageous time-suckers in our lives for the past few weeks and haven't been able to get several new pipes posted on Aristocob.com including the new Shortstop. There has been a lot of talk on the pipe smoking forums about the new Mark Twain, the Tom Sawyer and the Huck Finn, and from what I can tell you at this moment they won't be available until July 4th.  The good news is that we have the new Shortstop pipe in stock and hope to have it ready for purchase before the end of Memorial Day.  The Shortstop is as small of a corn cob pipe as I have ever seen, yet it immediately earned a place in my pipe bag.  Have you ever wished you had a small pipe for tasting samples of new tobaccos?  Have you ever wished you had a pipe small enough to join your coworkers during a cigarette break?  The Shortstop is the pipe for you.

As you can see in the photo the Shortstop is available with either a black or amber bit and despite its small bowl it is the perfect length.  Here it is shown in the foreground with the Pony Express and the Legend in the background. 

Watch for the Shortstop corn cob pipe at Aristocob.com

It's November, so it's International Corn Cob Pipe Month at Aristocob.com!

It's hard to believe that it's actually been 5 years since we deemed November as "International Corn Cob Pipe Month", but that looks to be the case.

I was in such a rush when I recorded the announcement video below that I forgot to mention the other goodies that come with the celebration of ICCPM.  Place a corn cob pipe order during the month of November 2013 and you'll receive one free "Patented Aristocob Pipe Tamper" and a free replacement bit for each pipe on your order.  That's not too shabby, especially if you are purchasing a Freehand pipe with the Vulcanized rubber bit, which is a $8 value!

As if that wasn't enough, how would you like to shave some money too?  OK, when you get to the check-out enter the coupon code "ICCPM2013" and we'll deduct 10% off the price of your merchandise. 

Do yourself a favor and watch this video and get in on our video contest, and there's a good chance that you'll earn yourself a $20 shopping spree of MORE! 

"A Gentleman's Weekend"

We received a neat email and photo today that I thought I'd share with you.  If I haven't mentioned this lately, we have the best customers in the world!  Scott

You may remember several years back you helped me put together a starter kit for about 12 of my close friends. Well it was the start to a great tradition. We've all upgraded within your line of Missouri Meershaum corncobs over time, from those first Missouri Pride pipes. But your corncob pipes are now an enduring part of seeing off each man as he heads off toward marriage.
This past weekend we celebrated the upcoming marriage of our 8th man, and as we have done with each before him, we gathered for a gentleman's weekend of camping, fishing, and sharing of stories - of course we brought along our cobs.
I just wanted to thank you for your help in starting this great tradition among friends - while it is a rare indulgence for some of us, its one we look forward to whenever the occasion calls.



Upgrading the Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman

If you've watched any of my videos over the years you may have noticed that the Country Gentleman corn cob pipe from Missouri Meerschaum has always been one of my favorite pipes.  Unfortunately the Gent has never featured the hardwood plug in the bottom that's found on the more "premium" cobs, so it's possible that they might burn-through the bottom over time.

I've never personally had a burn-through, but seeing that the Country Gentleman pipe is the same price as the cobs that do have the plug, I've been bugging the folks at MM to add that as an improvement to the Gent for quite some time.

I am so happy to report that as of a few weeks ago the Country Gentleman now features a wooden plug!  (Pause for applause) 

On an interesting side note; last year as we were dealing with the "Incredible Shrinking Cobs of 2012" I pulled from our inventory what has got to be the smallest Country Gentleman ever made.  Fast forward to today as I was looking for an old Gent to picture next to a new one in order to show you the difference in the bottom and I fount that puny pipe.  Lick on the pic above to Biggie-Size it to see what the new plug looks like, and to give thanks that we haven't been seeing any small cobs like that recently.

Condensation in a new Amber Danish pipe bit

I just swapped-out several of my cob's bits (stems, mouthpieces) with the new Amber Danish bit and I really love the look and feel of them.  After smoking a bowl from a newly opened tin of McClelland Christmas Cheer 2012 I was surprised to see the water-works that were going on in the semi-transparent bit!  Man, that's some moist tobacco. (Click the pic to Biggie-Size it)

The new Missouri Meerschaum Amber Danish bit is available as a replacement from Aristocob.com for any of the filtered MM pipes.  That includes the Diplomat, the General. the Country Gentleman, the 5th Avenue (That we call the Kolonel), all of the "Woodie" of maple pipes and even the smaller pipes like the Legend, the Washington, the Ozark Mountain and the Missouri Pride.

The coolest thing about these amber bits is the wonderfully dark patina that they gain after a few dozen smokes.  The photo at right shows a bit that I've had in rotation for a few months against the brand new one that was just put into service.  Isn't that top bit gorgeous? 


Smoking pipe sends radio transitions to CIA operatives!

OK, now this is just cool.  This pipe is from an online collection on the CIA's website.  It's a sub-miniature radio receiver that is concealed in a modified pipe.  The user hears the sound via "bone conduction" from the jaw to the ear canal.  How cool is that?

Here's the link to this pipe, and be sure to click around the entire collection.  https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/cia-museum/experience-the-collection/index.html#!/artifact/131