Origins of the Aristocob System Pipe

One of the sweetest, coolest smoking pipes available is the classic corn cob pipe. The problem is they tend to make the smoker look like a hillbilly!

Enter the ARISTOCOB. This pipe is an Art Deco style metal pipe (Also known as a "system pipe") which features replaceable corn cob bowl inserts. This combination gives the Aristocob pipe the desirable performance of a corn cob pipe with a look similar to the Porsche Design #908 Pipe.

Invented in 1964, it was sold by the Al Cobb Corp of Grand Haven, Michigan. Later it was sold by Aristocob Inc. of Caledonia Michigan, and finally by the Missouri Meerschaum Company of Washington Missouri. Missouri Meerschaum continued to make corn cob cores until the machine that turned the cobs finally wore out in 1983. If you know more about the history of this pipe, please fill us in!

It was originally packaged in a hinged plastic case containing one pipe, 2 replacement corn cob bowl inserts and instructions for it's use. The hinge on these boxes are most often broken. The final packaging was a simple clear plastic "clam shell".

The top of the veined bowl unscrews to allow for easy replacement of the corn cob bowl insert. An in-line paper Medico filter can be used in the stem. The mouthpiece or bit features an ‘O’ ring, which is used to retain the bit in the stem.

The corn cob inserts were described in the patent as having a ceramic bottom to prevent premature burn-through of the cob. Though I've seen photos of these liners (some are below) I've never owned one with this feature. All inserts I've found are either solid corn cob, but most often they contain a stamped square of sheet metal pressed into the bottom, with a hole stamped in the center. Again, this is an attempt to prevent burn-through.

The folks at Missouri Meerschaum assure me that old stock of the liners which are found on eBay will perform just fine, though I've noted undesirable tastes in inserts that are out of round. I suspect that they must have gotten wet at some point in their storage, so avoid boxes that have water stains.

Looking for new Missouri Meerschaum pipes? Visit our eBay items at this link. We even have some great non-hillbilly versions too!

We have some new information on Al Cobb Corp:

Al-Cobb Corporation, with Joe Zarikta owner, opened at 1829 Doris Street in Grand Haven, MI, a residential address, in 1961. The company manufactured corncob pipes. In 1962 the business was sold to four businessmen from Grand Rapids, and the name was changed to Aristocob, Inc. The firm employed five people while in Grand Haven.

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