Missouri Meerschaum have been producing Corn Cob pipes in Washington around 1869. The story goes Henry Tibbee a woodworker was once asked by a local farmer if he could turn a corn cob into a pipe. A crude hand carved version of the corn cob pipe was already used by many farmers throughout the America. Henry gave it a go and was amazed by how well the pipes smoked much like Clay and Meerschaum, the porous properties makes for a dry and cool smoke. Word soon spread and quickly Henry stopped working with wood and worked full time making Cob pipes.
By 1878 Henry and close friend of his perfected a plaster based coating for the pipes, which was granted a patent in the same year. This coating allowed the pipes to sanded smooth, resulting in a harder wearing pipe. Much like the corn cob it self, this plaster, sealant is also porous and does not take away from the pipes absorbency.
Not all corn is suitable for the production of pipes and after decades of selective breading and experimentation, the perfect variety of corn is produced exclusively for Missouri Meerschaum. In 1907 Tebbin renamed his company Missouri Meerschaum and they are now the oldest and largest corn cob manufacture in the world.
After the corn cobs have been dried for over 2 years and graded, they are made in Natural or Polished finish, with either a natural colour or the addition of stain. Once the pipes have been shaped and drilled, the base is filled with either a special “Pipe Makers Cement” or a hardwood plug. A wooden shank is drilled and glued into the pipes and a basic plastic mouthpiece is added.
Our extensive Missouri Meerschaum range can be broken down into the following categories and available* here at GQTobaccos.com. These pipes have a cheap and semi disposable and almost novelty preconceptions. This is unfounded, if looked after like a clay or meerschaum these pipes will last years and will also give a neutral taste to every smoke.
At under £5 the Natural and Legend cobs are ideal for sampling new tobaccos, without ruining your favourite briar with the ghosted flavours of 10+ different tobaccos. We use them to give all our tobaccos a full smoke during development.
The basic cobs are not coated like the smooth models. The rough texture gives a truly rustic feel and red tinges really give these pipes a old world feel. These pipes are not sealed or given a varnished finish, they are a little more brittle and more care should be taken with them. Fitted with a Pipe Smokers Cement plug on the base. One of the driest smoking pipes on the market.
These are the most common Corn Cob around; these pipes are sealed with plaster and varnished in drums. The Varnish gives the pipes the distinct yellow hue and usually fitted with a amber coloured, PVC mouthpiece.
These pipes are sealed and either turned on lathes or cut in various machines to obtain the wide range of shapes. Whereas the Legend cobs are varnished, these are hand sprayed with lacquer and often finished off with a black stem. Most of the polished cobs are finished with a hardwood plug, resulting in a long lasting pipe. The Patriot and Country Gentlemen pipes are given a two tone finish with black stain.
Most of the Missouri Meerschaum range is made for every day use, small, rugged and ideal to carry around all day. One of the company’s most famous customers was American war hero General MacArthur. The MacArhur cob was made to his specific instructions, with a very large bowl and long churchwarden stem. These pipes are still produced to this day, in honour of the strategic military leader.
To accompany the MacArthur, a large Danish style free hand, is hand turned with a rough, faux plateaux rim. These freehand’s are given a Vulcanite stem, compared to the standard PVC. With exception of the MacArthur, the freehand has the largest chamber size in the range.