The Missouri Meerschaum Company is the world's oldest and largest manufacturer of cool, sweet-smelling corn cob smoking pipes and has been located in picturesque Washington, Missouri since 1869. Douglas MacArthur and George Lincoln Rockwell were perhaps the most famous smokers of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon characters Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.
Corncob pipes remain popular today because they are inexpensive and require no difficult break-in period like briar pipes. For these two reasons, corncob pipes are often recommended as a Beginners pipe, but, their enjoyment is by no means limited to beginners. Corncob pipes are equally valued by both learners, and experienced smokers who simply desire a cool, clean smoke. Pipesmokers who wish to sample a wide variety of different tobaccos and blends also might keep a stock of corncobs on hand to permit them to try new flavors without carryover from an already-used pipe. Pipe smoking in general is often chosen as a great weaning tool for folks who are looking to quite smoking cigarettes, and corncob pipes are excellent for this type of stop smoking technique. Learn more about the enjoyment of The Cob in our eBay Guide titled Getting the most out of your Corncob Pipe.
The cobs used for these pipes are grown exclusively for use by Missouri Meerschaum, and were developed for them by the University of Missouri! Following the proper curing time, they are transformed by dedicated and skilled craftsmen into genuine Missouri Meerschaums.
It is our honest belief that there is no substitute for quality and excellence. With cheap import pipes now on the market we are especially conscious of that fact, so we chose to partner with the world wide leader in quality corn cob pipes. We pledge that we will continue to provide you with the finest corn cob pipes, the finest packaging, and our commitment to service. We welcome and value your business.
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In 1869 a Dutch immigrant woodworker named Henry first began production of the corn cob pipe. Legend has it that a local farmer whittled a pipe out of corn cob and liked it so much he asked Henry to try turning some on his lathe. The farmer was well-pleased with his pipes so Henry made a few more and put them for sale in his shop. They proved to be such a fast selling item that soon Henry spent more time making pipes for his customers than working with wood. Soon Henry went into full time production of corn cob pipes. In 1907 Henry’s company became the Missouri Meerschaum Company.
The word Meerschaum is taken from a German word that means sea foam. It is a Turkish clay used in high grade pipes. Henry likened his light, porous pipes and their cool smoke to that of the more expensive meerschaum pipes and coined the name Missouri Meerschaum for his pipes. Henry and a chemist friend devised an innovative system of applying a plaster-based substance to the outside of the corn cob bowls to make a smoother, more presentable pipe. In 1878, Henry was granted a US patent for this process. You can find this patent for sale in our eBay store.
A nationwide distribution system was established for the sale of his pipes. Other pipe firms also developed; by 1925 there were as many as a dozen corn cob pipe companies in Franklin County, most of them in Washington. Today, Missouri Meerschaum stands alone as the first and only surviving piece of the living history. These gentle pipes are smoked and loved all over the world as well as being used as souvenirs, often imprinted with the name of the city, business or event.
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Visit our eBay Store and click on the Missouri Meerschaum Pipe Story link for even more of our nerd-level knowledge of Missouri Meerschaum pipes, and don’t forget our eBay Guide on Getting the most out of your Corncob Pipe.