Peterson System Day is coming Monday, September 3rd. It may not be as important as International Bacon Day (September 1st) or National Pie Day (which isn’t until January 23rd), and I imagine it could be at least partially eclipsed by everyone’s Labor Day festivities, which falls on the same day this year.
Nevertheless, in these wonder-days of artisan pipes and boutique tobaccos, let’s pause and fire up our Systems in honor of a carver who understood and studied pipe-engineering to the extent that he took out three patents on his own design from 1890 to 1898: the Latvian immigrant to Ireland, Charles Peterson. His third and final patent, completing the System, was dated September 3rd, 120 years ago.
Aside from bona fide Pete Geeks, few pipemen these days understand what the System does or even how it works, much less what a wonderful pipe it is when properly made and smoked. All this is explained in chapter 12 of The Peterson Pipe: The Story of Kapp & Peterson, but while waiting for the book launch next May at the Chicago show, we can still review the basics of this wonderful invention, swap a few System stories and let other smokers know there’s a reason—three, actually (or is it five?)—that the Thinking Man smokes a Peterson pipe.
Here’s a couple of “educational” tools for your pipe club, forum or personal use to download and pass along. Just right-click on the .jpeg above to download, or click on the PDF link below to print a tobacco drying paper version:
And let me hear from you. What was your first System? Your favorite? Your best System story? Mine concerns an 11S De Luxe, hallmarked 1979, seen below. I was 21 and working nights full-time as a radio dispatcher for Oklahoma Natural Gas company to put myself through college. Around midnight a few weeks before Christmas my bride of just over a year came into the studio and was so excited by her shopping that I couldn’t hear Jay out on the trouble truck. When I finally finished with “KKL503 clear,” she said with all the starry-eyed pout a 21-year old can manage that she wasn’t going to wait around until Christmas and I’d just better open my present right then and there or suffer the consequences. I opened it.