The Junior Rusticated line, already appearing at some internet vendors, will drop at SPC on Tuesday the 14th at 6pm EDT, with eight new shapes in the offering.
“I’m a fan of lightweight classic shapes,” K&P’s Glen Whelan told me, “and having a series like this is really exciting for me. It’s a tip of the hat to what is probably a forgotten era of pipe manufacturing, when smaller, lightweight, classic pipes were en vogue.”
The chamber on the Pear, one of the largest bowls, is 19 wide by 32 mm deep, while most are around 17-17.5 wide by 32-34 mm deep. Most are about 140 mm long (5.5 in) and their weight comes in on average at 28 gr, or just at 1 ounce. The genuine fishtail button in glorious, easy-to-clench vulcanite makes the felt weight seem nothing at all.
I asked Josh Burgess whether these might not be from vintage stummels found when the factory was moved out of Dun Laoghaire to Deansgrange. “No,” he said, “I’d have loved it if they were—they’re just bowls we’ve been wanting to use for a special project.” Ever suspicious, I had to ask him whether this had anything to do with the fact that so many people at Laudisi seem to prefer small pipes, including Sykes Wilford, Shane Ireland and Adam Davidson. “I think part of that,” said Josh, “is just the shared culture of pipes at Laudisi. We interact a lot, so we’re bound to rub off on each other. My other theory is that because we’re able to smoke at work, our pipe habits look a whole lot more like a bygone-era when pipes tended to be smaller. Pipes that are suited for working are just different in size than pipes suited for sitting down and reading, relaxing, or watching the tube.”
I thought about that. As an undergraduate I worked as a janitor & deliveryman for a year and a half at posh furniture store. When the weather was nice, my boss George, my associate Pete and myself would go out on the loading dock for a afternoon smoke break. George, who looked and talked like an older George Raft out of They Drive by Night, would smoke a an unfiltered Camel or two while Pete would talk about best brownie recipes to mix marijuana in or debate with George whether Busch or Budweiser was the best beer. For myself, I would smoke Troost or whatever I had in a very small-bowled clay. Had I seen a Peterson Junior at Ted’s, I might have acquired one just for the purpose. Many’s the time, in fact, when I wish I’d had a small, serviceable pipe to sneak out at staff development breaks or lunch for a 10 minute smoke.
The new Junior release includes ten shapes (or eight if you discount the canted/straight duplication on the billiard and apple), some with seriously retro vibes, like the Squat Rhodesian, Pear and Acorn. And three huzzahs for the very Irish canted stems on the Billiard and Apple! The line is itself more than a little retro, dating back in the K&P ephemera to 1945’s Red Catalog, about which more below.
Like the other Specialty shapes in K&P’s historical catalog, the new Junior Rusticated bears no line or shape number stamp.* It does, however, sport a handsome polished nickel band with the Peterson logo script over DUBLIN. And I think that, if I were still a working man, I’d rather have the Junior rusticated as this new line is than a smooth, in keeping with what would be for me a knockabout shirt-pocket pipe for those irksome trials when I find myself needing to slip out of doors at a relative’s who detests the heavenly cense of pipe tobacco indoors.
It’s always great to see a true straight Rhodesian in the catalog. The last, if I remember correctly, was for the Molly Malone collection back in 2011. I so wish the full-size Rhodesian from that set were part of the standard catalog! I know there’s lots of PGs who’d also love to see a Squat Rhodesian like the one below–which graced the catalog back in the 1920s and 30s.
Wait! There’s more:
..but wait, there’s still more!
THE NEW “A CHAT WITH THE SMOKER” PIPE BOX BROCHURE
K&P is also rolling out a new “Chat with the Smoker” traditional pipe box brochure with this release, the first since 1983, if we discount the POY “Chat” brochures—I say “rolling out” because only half the samples boxes I looked at contained one. The title derives from Charles Peterson’s briar pipe instructional text in the 1906 catalog. That narrative was first reproduced in a horizontally folded pipe-box leaflet dating c. 1925 (adorning the opening pages of the Peterson book), then assumed its more familiar tri-fold style for the remainder of the twentieth century. So far, brochures dating have been documented for 1937, 1953 (for Rogers Imports), 1955, 1955 (for GT&C), 1975 and 1983. The new “Chat” measures 4.25″ x 6.50″, 12 panels.
A K&P CATALOG HISTORY
OF THE JUNIOR / LIGHTWEIGHT LINE
Pipemen (and -women, Barbara J.!) are sometimes disappointed when they learn that dating Petes by their appearance in printed catalog ephemera means there’s some give and take when actually dating a pipe. Most commonly a shape or line may has appeared a few years before the catalog and the catalog is playing catch-up. Then there’s the shapes or lines that seem to disappear almost before the ink in the catalog was dry. And we won’t talk about lines that never, ever appear in the catalogs or that have adornments that never made a catalog appearance, like Bill Auld’s brass-band Connemara smooth P-Lips!
Before a review of what the printed ephemera can tell us about the history of the Junior/Lightweight line, above are a few NOS Juniors that have appeared on eBay this week, all bearing the LONDON MADE over ENGLAND stamp, including the classic tapered bulldog, a saddle bulldog and straight billiard seen above.
1945 and 1950 catalog page
When I was writing this post I noticed for the first time that, on the Junior line’s first appearance c. 1945, there were actually two lines being depicted here, depending on the stem: the Lightweight featured a F/T and the Junior a P-Lip. Makes sense when you think about the fan-shape of the F/T that it would feel a bit lighter between the teeth.
1947 Distributor’s Catalog page
The 1948 distributor’s catalog shows what was probably the complete line of the Junior/Lightweights available, eight shapes in all. Notice it’s just “Juniors.”
1955 Dublin & London catalog
The 1955 European catalog reverts to the twin line name for the same eight shapes.
1965 Green catalog
A decade later, K&P nearly the identical artwork and layout for the Specialty Line, replacing only the Junior/Lightweight illustration.
1975 Orange catalog
In 1975, the Junior lineup was reduced to five shapes (as illustrated), all with P-Lip and now in rustic as well. And that’s the last we see of the Junior line in the ephemera for 46 years! And here, to for a bow, is the full-size Junior Series e-strutcard:
Electronic Strut Card for the Junior Rusticated Line
Many thanks to Glen Whelan & Josh Burgess at Peterson & Andy Wike at Laudisi
THE PETE GEEK CHARLES PETERSON T-SHIRT
by Larry Gosser
Sometimes, as in the old cliché, when it rains it pours. Hard on the heels of Gary Hamilton’s CPG Tamper event and the Zippo CPG event here’s one more opportunity to let your inner Geek out. When Larry Gosser and I collaborated on Of Pipes & Men, one of the great pipemen I wanted to include was Charles Peterson. I’m sure a number of non-Pete smokers scratched their heads over that, but for me it was a must. I didn’t intend for it to happen right after the two previous events, but when Larry Gosser says jump (as in, “do you guys want to do a Charles Peterson tee-shirt or what?”) I say how high.
Fast forward to last Christmas, when I asked Larry if he’d consider doing a t-shirt for the Pete Geeks. He’s been on overload for a while, but recently asked if we might still want a shirt. I know I want two of them (I’m hard on my clothes).
This is Larry’s enterprise and he will handle production, billing and shipping. The shirts will be made by Gilden, black with white print only, in L, XL and XXL and XXXL. They will also have PETE GEEK across one sleeve and the Gosser signature below the artwork. As always, super classy work from Larry.
We have to have a minimum order of 12. Larry thinks the price will be around $25-30.
If you’re interested, please fill out Mel Bud’s great Google Form, which I’m forwarding to Larry: Pete Geek Charles Peterson TEE SHIRT.
The photograph of Charles Peterson seen in the inset above—which Larry used for the book—dates to about the time CP assumed management of the Kapp Bros. in 1891. His moustache, I know, will be the envy of many of you!
PETE GEEK ZIPPO ORDER UPDATE
We exceeded our minimum and ordered 50 lighters on 3/3. These will be shipping in time to mail them out before the end of the month. If you didn’t get one, there may be two or three left over, so drop me a line.
*From the Identification Guide Update:
Specialty Briars (1945 –) Term used to describe following lines:
- Lightweight (1945–80) F/T lip; smooth finish; from 1981 known as Light;
- Junior (1945 –80, 2023) P-Lip; also F/T starting in 1978; smooth finish, rustic starting in 1975; rustic F/T debut in 2023
- Churchwarden (1945 –) Long pipe with various smaller bowl shapes in F/T; smooth finish, rustic starting in 1969;
- Barrel (1945 –) P-Lip or F/T; smooth or rustic, sandblast offered in 1970;
- Tankard (1945 –) P-Lip or F/T; smooth or rustic finish, sandblast offered in 1970;
- Calabash (1945 –) P-Lip, F/T added 1975; smooth or rustic, sandblast offered in 1970;
- Belgique (1945 –) P-Lip, F/T added 1975; smooth or rustic, sandblast offered in 1970;
- Giant (1969–81) Smooth, sandblast or rustic; P-Lip or F/T.