110. Peterson Book Publication Dates & Launch Set

The Peterson Pipe: The Story of Kapp & Peterson has publication dates and a price! Word from Briar Books Press has it that EU orders may ship as early as Christmas through Smokingpipes.eu and Lubinski.it’s various European retailers. You can read about it here and here.

The official book launch and signing is scheduled for the 2019 Chicagoland Pipe & Tobacciana Show, held at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. We’ll be doing a presentation Friday evening, May 4th, but of course we’ll be at the Briar Books Press table both days of the show.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

If you haven’t seen the awesome book trailer our designer made for the Chicago show last year or just want to see it again, click here  and then enter the password “Peterson.”

If you’re a subscriber to Peterson Pipe Notes, come by the Briar Books Press table and check your name off our subscriber’s list for a little thank-you gift. Your enthusiasm, patience and encouragement has been a vital part of the creative process.

90. Peterson Pipe Book Preview Video

I received the go-ahead this weekend to post the The Peterson Pipe book preview video we presented at the Chicagoland pipe show a few weeks ago, and here it is:


If you want to show it at a pipe club meeting, have the president of your club get in touch with me about the possibility of a higher-resolution image.

Our publisher also updated the home page at Briar Books Press with the following information about the book’s publication:

For the past eight-odd years Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg have been chipping away on a manuscript for a book, that when it’s published, will be known as The Peterson Pipe, the Story of Kapp & Peterson. So how far along is the effort? is a question I field regularly from the many “Pete Nuts” in Pipedom. Very far along. In fact, as the book-building process goes, excitingly near the finish line. We can’t smell printer’s ink or feel the smoothness of the text, but using a baseball analogy, the entire work is rounding third base. Editing is somewhere around 90 percent complete. Layout of the fifteen chapters and two appendixes–some 350 pages, gorgeously crafted by Marie Irwin, is completed. What’s left to do? A third and final global edit, a dust-jacket design, and then it’s off to a professional indexer. I hasten to add that owner and CEO of Peterson, Tom Palmer, has written a very heartfelt foreword to introduce the work. And no stranger to the American pipe collector, pipeman and author of several pipe books, Rick Newcombe has penned a prelude that truly portrays why Peterson is such a fine smoking instrument and collectible still after some 150 years of continuous production. An official release and book signing at Chicagoland 2019 is not out of the realm of possibilities. $TBA

And now you know as much as I do. Okay, back to work. . . .

89. Peterson Exhibition at the 2018 Chicagoland Pipe Show.

We had more fun than the law probably allows making our presentation, “What (Most) Pipemen Don’t Know About Peterson” at the 2018 Chicagoland Tobacciana & Pipe Show last weekend. It grew out of thoughts on Peterson’s long brand history after we had written the book, a kind of spontaneous synthesis of everything we’d learned over the course of our research and writing, and at some point I want to make it available to readers.

Our presentation went well, although it was late (9pm) and out at what some were calling “the Secret Smoking Room”—a large upstairs bedroom in what was, once upon a time, the residence of the owner of Pheasant Run Resort. Marie wisely printed out “bread crumbs,” posting directional signs through the maze of corridors.

The resort is the kind of “sacred space” I always find fascinating: it opened in 1965 and was absolutely world-class. Not many changes have actually been made in the resort’s 53-year history, which means it feels like you’ve just stepped into a time machine. If you’ve traveled Route 66, you’ll know the kind of almost other-worldly déjà vu sense of space and space I’m talking about.

Here’s a few photos from the display cases Gary Malmberg, Marie and I put together in the main exhibition hall. You can also see the cases in the first few minutes of a video report on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wkO1klB8SA .

Most of the collection, of course, was Gary’s, and many of the pieces appear in the book. But Gary wanted the display to cover every decade, or at least, every era, of production in Peterson’s long history, and that’s what we did.

Putting up the display cases before the show began on Saturday wasn’t bad, but when we took it down at the end of the show we were swamped with well-wishers and Peterson enthusiasts. Two or three Pete Nuts pulled out their pipes and wanted to know if we could tell them anything about them, and it was a joy to share what we’ve (mostly) had to keep bottled up in the book.

This was my 3rd Chicago show, and like the previous ones it has established itself as one of the high-points in my life as pipeman. When you live your smoking life almost totally in isolation, getting to meet and talk with (and even sometimes buy pipes from) incredible people like Silver Gray, David Iafisco, Sykes Wilford, Ian Walker of Northern Briars, and Pete Prevost and the folks at Briar Works is a bit mind-bending. And being around so many fellow pipers is like being on a long tour of duty to a foreign land where the natives don’t speak your language or understand your culture and then finally, suddenly, coming home.



86. What Most Pipe Smokers Don’t Know About Peterson

You’re Invited!

I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be presenting “What Most Pipe Smokers Don’t Know About Peterson” at the Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show, Friday night, May 4th and 9p.m. in the McCardle Suite, where smoking is permitted!

My co-author Gary Malmberg and our book designer Marie Irwin will be on hand—Gary to answer questions with me after the presentation, and Marie to run our technology (as usual), take photos, and answer any questions you may have about the layout & design. In addition, Gary (our historian) is mounting a Peterson pipe exhibit in the main display cases on the show floor.

I wish I could say Gary Schrier, our publisher, was going to be there, or that Tom or Conor Palmer at Peterson could make it, but Gary is busy at Briar Books Press editing the final part of the book, and Tom and Conor send their best regards.

The presentation grew out of a white paper on Peterson’s brand guideline I wrote at their request while completing the book. None of it is in the book, but all of it came out of the book, reflecting on what we’ve learned over the past seven years. To me the most interesting thing about the paper is that I don’t think many pipe smokers, and even fewer retailers actually know much of this material.*

Most of the photographs and illustrations I’ll be using, however, are in the book. We’ll also be throwing a few of the book layouts up on the screen to give you a glimpse at what you can expect when the book does finally appear, and we have a special treat for those who can stay after the main presentation.

You can get more information about the show at http://www.chicagopipeshow.com/2018-pipe-tobacciana-show-flyer/ . Rooms are still available at the lovely old Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It’s an amazing experience if you’ve never been, and if you have, you don’t need convincing. Hope to see you there!


“‘When Resting the Pipe Down’”: Forgotten Peterson Lore (1896)”
photograph courtesy Charles Mundungus



*That’s not true of you, of course, because you’re a Pete Nut! Still, I hope to “instruct and delight”—as Horace recommends in the Ars Poetica—even the most devout of Pete Freeks.