A train that smokes
As early as the nineteenth century, clay pipe manufacturers produced pipes as a curiosity, e.g. with a bowl in the shape of a train locomotive, fitted with a stem to draw in the smoke. This wooden pipe may well be inspired by that. However, it is a product from the briar industry and fits in a series of similar curiosities. The cylindrical pipe bowl has a metal lid on the front to prevent ash and tobacco crumbs from falling out. At the bottom two shafts hold rotating metal wheels, so that the pipe can drive over the table and suddenly becomes a piece of children's toys. The stem is a less logical part, it is purely functional, made of hard rubber. If you do not draw from the pipe for a moment, a plume of smoke will come from the chimney of the locomotive, which is of course highly amusing. Apparently the maker was proud of his creation, on the side of the locomotive he stamped his factory mark, doubled with gold to make it visible. We read the name Regad, pipe maker in Saint-Claude and active from 1875 until the First World War. Taking a closer look at the pipe, it is disappointing that mastic has been used in so many places, the briar wood has been riddled with holes. For Regad it did not stop with this curiosity. In 1905 he launched the Peugeot Bébé, a much more elegant and successful design in the form of a luxury passenger car. Both creations are now very sought after by the collectors of briar pipes, but also by enthusiasts of miniature trains and cars.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.195Permalink