Monday, 30 August 2010

The Peterson Patent Era.


If I was asked if there was one single reason that motivates me to collect Peterson pipes, I would most probably respond that it was their evocative and marvellous design history.Which to my mind,as a self confessed old romantic! opens a portal to more elegant times past and established Peterson as one of the forerunners of the classic pipe designs of today.

In 1865 Charles Peterson opened a small tobacco shop in Dublin. Ten years later in 1875, Peterson approached the Kapp brothers, with a completely new innovative pipe design and with this, a very long-lived partnership was formed, Kapp & Peterson. Their new pipe design resulted in the now famous Peterson Patented System Smoking Pipe. By the 1890's , Kapp & Peterson were one of the most respected pipe and tobacco manufacturers in Europe and America. In 1898 another of Peterson's innovative pipe inventions became available, the Peterson-Lip (P-Lip) mouthpiece, designed to offset the ihaled smoke to the roof of the mouth,thus avoiding tongue bite.

On May 1, 1894, U.S. Patent 519,135 was issued to Charles Peterson for his unique construction of a pipe and mouthpiece, described as a “certain new and useful Improvement in Tobacco-Pipes,” that’s come to be known as the Peterson System pipe; the text states that the original patent was issued in Great Britain and Ireland on Aug. 8, 1890, and in France on Jan. 22, 1891.

The Patent Era appears to have been from the issue of the original patent in 1890, until the expiration of the patent; through to approximately 1915. The late Mike Leverette extended this period to 1922.
There are various schools of thought on this cross-over period.Personally I am not convinced that the pipes produced after 1915 are truly 'Patents',there has been great debate among collectors over the years, as to whether pipes issued during that seven year period 1915-1922 ,could have been given old patent silver ferrules,stems and markings.I am sure that the debate will continue for years to come.
 Peterson pipes made during the majority of this period had no "Country of Manufacture" (COM) stamped on them. However, later in this period, say around 1915/16, they began stamping their pipes "Made in Ireland" in a block format.

I must admit I am really into this period of Petersons pipe production.When I go through the old catalogues, it is like being a big kid all over again,drooling over illustrations and line drawings of pipes which I long to hold and admire.I know ,go see a phsychologist and get help,however I do not want help, I want my 'fine madness' to continue.

Here is a little beauty of mine, a 1913 Full bent deluxe.

Another of mine, it is a 1901 unsmoked Deluxe in pristine condition..

My oldest patent pipe, a 1900 straight rustic system.

A beautiful elegant, pristine, 1910 large full bent Deluxe.
Patent 1910 Large full bent Deluxe.


  1. I'm quite taken by your 1913 Full bent deluxe. Beautiful photos, Jim.

  2. Thanks for your kind comments Dave.The 1913 was won on e-bay for a pittance(around $25),it was what I am always hoping for, a real sleeper that no one else has spotted.

  3. Nice article on the Patent Era Pets. I really like that 1913 full bent.

  4. As usual, Jim. Extremely fascinating! Thanks very much for sharing!

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  6. Gorgeous examples Jim! I'm particularly taken with the 1910 & 1913 full bents. I love their graceful, flowing lines and wish Peterson offered a modern version.

    I've recently acquired a 1902 Patent in excellent restored condition that should be arriving any day now. It's spurred me on to search for more!

  7. Lovely Pipes and great blog!

    may I ask a question?

    I recently got a Patent Pipe grad 0, wich has a silver collar wich I can date by Hallmarks to 1881, but, as I know from your articles, earliest Patent is 1890. It has no patent number on the collar. Because of the Stem, wich is a P-lip Stem with a very light imprint says peterson's Patent on it, It might be at earliest 1898- if it isn't a replacement Stem. How would you date this pipe.