Wednesday, 1 September 2010

'Genesis'- Charles Peterson.

'Genesis' - Charles Peterson.

The Nurnberg brothers Friedrich and Heinrich Kapp, whose elegant Dublin tobacconist first opened for business in 1865 on Grafton Street, Dublin could scarcely have dreamt that they would participate in the birth of a legend.
Friedrich & Heinrich, who christened their shop simply 'Kapp Brothers', soon made a name for themselves making and selling quality Meerschaum and Briar Root pipes.
It was not long before Charles Peterson, a large young Latvian immigrant from Riga, walked into Kapp Brothers Grafton Street premises with a revolutionary pipe and ambitious plans for the future.declaring that he could make better pipes than they could.Armed with an imaginative flair for pipes and a craftsman's background. There and then, Peterson suggested that the brothers go into partnership with him to turn his pipe dream into the world's dream pipe. They agreed and Peterson not only proved himself correct, but became the third partner in the fledgling firm.The company was renamed Kapp & Peterson.
Kapp and Peterson went on to become Dublin's most fashionable and respected manufacturer and purveyors of fine smoking products. Pipe and cigar smokers would stroll down to the elegant premises for professional advice on the subtle nuances that determine a good handmade cigar or pipe. The Peterson brand was embraced by politicians, business leaders, sportsmen, artists and writers.
Thereafter not much more background information is known about Charles,how his business progressed,his family life if any,when did he retire,where and when did he die?
There are few if any historical references, other than the famous quote he wrote on his favourite pipe.The original pipe is on display in the Peterson Museum in Dublin and the silver band is engraved with the message: “When stolen, please return to 55, Grafton Street. C. Peterson”. He obviously had a great sense of humour.
Shown here is Peterson’s own pipe. This is a well-used pipe, and it is obvious that Charles valued it very much. It is a large thick-walled pipe, with a bowl that tapers internally.
Charles was a big man, with proportionately large hands, so this pipe would have fitted them well.

My great friend Six Dollar Dave has just completed some very interesting genealogical background research on Charles and his family.This has been most helpful, in filling in some of the historical, blank missing pieces.Thank you for a job well done Dave,it is much appreciated.
I do however realise that this is still work in progress and that David will continue to research Charles Peterson's family history.We will update any information that is relevant to the project.

Dave writes:-
For the year 1901, I"ve found a Charles Peterson living at 126 Rock Road in Dublin. His birth place is listed as Russia. His age is listed as 47(?). He's a widower and lists his occupation as pipe maker. I'm guessing this is our Mr. Peterson. Also a woman by the name of Mary O'Regan, who is listed as married and his landlady, lives at this address. She will show up again, later.”

Jump to 1911. I find a Charles Peterson living at 144 Leinster Road, Dublin. His age is 60 years, birth place is listed as Riga. Again his occupation is listed as pipe maker. But now he is married, it looks like to Annie Peterson, age 34. They have been married for 9 years and have two living children. I believe their children are a son, Conrad Peterson, age 7, and a daughter, Isolde Peterson, age 2 months. One other child was born to them but has died. The year of birth and death are not given. Again I find Mary O'Regan listed as living in the household, but as his sister-in-law. Her sister is married to Charles. No mention is made of her husband although she is listed as married and head of household. I also find a John Peterson, age 45, whose birth place is Riga, living with them. He is listed as a lodger and his occupation is pipe maker, and he is single. Possibly a brother to Charles, or at least a close relative. Also in the house is another Conrad Peterson, age 21, whose birth place is also Riga. He is listed as a student and a visitor in the house. A young woman by the name of Agnes Geoghean is listed as a children's nurse and Kathleen Dornt is listed a as general servant, both single and both living in the house”.

It is also interesting to note that the family members included a children's nurse and a general servant living with them.This would appear to indicate that Charles's business was doing well financially.
As yet we have no information on where and when Charles died.


  1. Thank you for your kind words, Jim. You are doing a fantastic job with this site...please keep up the good work.

  2. Jim
    Hello, Great Blog. Been reading for a while now and wanted to introduce myself. Name is Mike and I live in Ohio. I have been an occasional pipe smoker for about 20 years. Recently I purchased my first Peterson- a full bent Aran. I love it. Also been enjoying some Peterson blends namely Sunset Breeze and Old Dublin. Not sure which I like better. Always been a fan of aromatics but the Latakia blend is really growing on me.

    Any way I wanted to comment on this particular post. I love history and a good story and look forward to reading more of your and $6 Dave's work.


  3. Thanks guys for your kind comments.
    Welcome aboard Mike.


  4. Great post Jim. Thank you, and Dave, for a look into the life of the maker of my (Our) favorite pipe. As a Va smoker, I have not had good luck with internally tapered bowls but I really like that pipe pictured as C. Peterson's.
    Keep up the good work,

  5. Thanks Dave for the look into Mr. Peterson's life. Interesting reading for certian.

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