Beginning in the late 16th century, clay pipe making has been a long tradition in England, passed on from generation to generation. From the 17th century onwards, pipe makers used iron molds in order to produce their clay pipes. Historians were not exactly sure how the earliest clay pipes were produced in the late 16th century until Mudlark Alan Place miraculously found the earliest known clay pipe mold in the River Thames in Based on the size and shape of the pipe carved into the mold, the Museum of London has dated it to AD — Surviving over years in the waterlogged conditions of the Thames foreshore, this wooden mold is the only known example in Britain which still exists. Because of the rising popularity of smoking, there were over 1, clay pipe makers in London by the end of the 17th century.
The Art and Archaeology of Clay Pipes
Kaolin Clay Tobacco Pipe
Before the establishment of the railways in the mid-nineteenth century most pipes were produced in small family run workshops and generally only traded around miles from their place of manufacture. Further lists and details of individual pipemakers are scattered through the pipe literature for each county and a list of the full holdings available by visiting the NPA itself and can be found in the full bibliography. They are sorted by surname initial first, then Christian name initial and finally by date oldest first where the same set of initials occurs. It is important to be aware of this order if you have a full name mark or are trying to look up details of a known maker, since their full name may not appear in a list in the normally expected place. The date of the pipe will often narrow the search period see bowl form typologies as can the style of the mark.
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The clay tobacco pipe is an exceptional tool for dating archaeological sites from the historic period because it has undergone a series of stylistic changes over its history of production. The importance of these stylistic changes becomes apparent when one considers that the fragile nature and inexpensive cost of clay pipes resulted in their being smoked, broken and discarded all within the period of a year or two. A large part of the research on clay pipes has dealt with the identification of marks with which makers identified their product.
Desert Archaeology paleoethnobotanist Dr. Michael Diehl joins up with historical archaeologist Homer Thiel to discuss Nicotiana sp. In the years since, public health campaigns have helped reduce the number of people who use tobacco products. But how was tobacco used in the past?