Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Vintage Pipe Ad (1940s): Kirsten Pipes

click to enlarge

Read this entire ad and see if you don't get sick of the word "scientific." Kirsten is perhaps the king of all gimmick pipes, but I must say they are pretty good pipes. In my humble opinion, of course.

Not every metal-stemmed pipe is a Kirsten. I've seen a few such non-Kirstens that were about as solid as an aluminum soda can. The Kirsten stem is made from machined aircraft aluminum. It is solid and all the parts lock up tight.

The bit has an aluminum rod that sticks into the center space of the stem. The bit is also sealed in with a rubber o-ring. The cap on the opposite end from the bit is also sealed with an o-ring, and is designed so that a slight twist seals the bowl off from the stem so none of the condensed punk can leak back into the bowl before you have a chance to clean it. The bowl has an aluminum fitment on the bottom so that it screws on and off--all Kirsten bowls are interchangeable. You can change bowl size, finish, or even material--since Kirsten also provides meerschaum bowls--in seconds.

The Kirsten is a snap to field clean. Take it all apart and use a piece of tissue paper or a napkin or whatever to wipe off the condenser rod, and run a pipe cleaner through the bit. Then use a piece of tissue to ram through the stem using the rod as your cleaning rod. Wipe out the cap with some tissue and the bowl with a pipe cleaner (or just knock it out, blow it out, and keep going). Then reload and relight. Or you can "rest" your bowl by simply screwing in a different one.

I have one Kirsten, and I like it. It is one of the very few pipes I have that I bought new. I don't smoke it often, but it serves its purpose. Because of all that metal, it doesn't ever get seasoned in the way a briar pipe does, and I use it mostly to try out new tobaccos so I can get an accurate gauge of the flavor.

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