The history of clay pipes dates to at least the 16th century, with some scholarly sources indicating they were produced in England around 1558, shortly after the introduction of tobacco from North America.
When were clay tobacco pipes used?
Clay smoking pipes were first used in Britain in the 16th century following the importation of tobacco from the Americas. Early pipes tend to have small bowls as tobacco was relatively expensive at the period. Stems have a larger diameter than with Victorian clay pipes. had a stem nearly a metre in length.
How long does a clay tobacco pipe last?
The lifespan of clay pipes was relatively short throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, lasting only one to two years until they were discarded. (Hume, 1969). However, even after they broke and could no longer be used for tobacco consumption, there were alternative uses for pieces of clay pipe stems.
What are clay pipes?
Vitrified clay pipe (VCP) is pipe made from a blend of clay and shale that has been subjected to high temperature to achieve vitrification, which results in a hard, inert ceramic.