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.




76. Season’s Greetings – Beannachtaí an tSéasúir!

Season’s Greetings – Beannachtaí an tSéasúir (in Irish Gaelic) – to all. I hope that, like Father Christmas, this has been a joyful time for you to share your love with those around you. As the Celtic saying goes, “Heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.” May this day find you in such a place.

Father Christmas, A Thin Place in Ireland, c. 1912
(is that a Patent Pipe I see sticking out of his bag?)

I have four blog notes in the pipeline, but December has been a busy month for the Peterson book, as we’re laboring to complete the third and final part by the new year. Don’t know yet if we’ll make it, but we’re getting close. After that, some minor appendices, the preface and the index. . . and it’s done.

We fully expect the book to be released in 2018, so much so that I’m presenting an illustrated lecture, “What Pipemen Don’t Know About Peterson,” at the Chicagoland Show on Friday night, May 4, in the McCardle Suite. Craig Cobine tells me it’s a smoking room, so if you can make it, bring your Pete. My co-author Gary Malmberg will be there for questions & answers afterwards, and our layout & design artist will be there to take care of the digital end of things so you can see some of the visual goodies she’s put together for the book.

To each of the blogs readers in the 119 countries across the globe – Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Buon Natale

Feliz Navidad

Joyeux Noel

Gesëebende Kersfees

Een Plesierige Kerfees

Gezur Krislinjden


I’d milad said oua sana saida

Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Feliz Navidad Y felices año Nuevo

Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand

Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun

Selamat Hari Natal

Heughliche Winachten un ‘n moi Nijaar

Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!

Shuvo Naba Barsha

Vesele Vanoce

Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo

Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat

Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo

Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!

Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito

Feliz Navidad

Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan

Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun

Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo

Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth

Pace e salute

Rot Yikji Dol La Roo

Mitho Makosi Kesikansi

Sretan Bozic

Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok

Glædelig Jul

Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak

Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova


Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!

Gajan Kristnaskon

Ruumsaid juulup|hi

Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar

Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad

Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar

Maligayan Pasko

Hyvaa joulua

Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn

Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!

Bo Nada

Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhat ùr!

Nadolig Llawen

Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu

Kala Christouyenna!

Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!

Mele Kalikimaka

Shub Naya Baras

Mithag Crithagsigathmithags

Selamat Hari Natal

Nollaig Shona Dhuit, o Nodlaig mhaith chugnat

Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut, Ojenyunyat osrasay

Gledileg Jol

Buon Natale o Buone feste natalizie e Buon Anno nuovo

Natale hilare et Annum Faustum

Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu!

Linksmu Kaledu

Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto

Sreken Bozhik

Selamat Hari Natal

LL Milied Lt-tajjeb

Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa

Meri Kirihimete

Shub Naya Varsh

Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok

Merry Keshmish

God Jul o Gledelik Jul

Pulit nadal e bona annado

Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast

Bon Pasco

Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu

Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha

En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!

Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie

Boas Festas e Feliz Natal

Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua

Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn

Sarbatori vesele

Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom

Hristos se rodi

Buorrit Juovllat

La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou

Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou

Nollaig chridheil huibh

Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa

Vesele Vianoce o Sretan Bozic. A stastlivy Novy Rok

Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto

God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År

Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon

Sawadee Pee Mai

Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal

Froehliche Weihnachten

Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech

Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun

Srozhdestvom Kristovym

Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

Naya Saal Mubarak Ho

Chung Mung Giang Sinh

E ku odun, e ku iye ‘dun

Cestitamo Bozic

From 100 Years Ago:
The Irish Times, December 8, 1917