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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #103 - May 10, 1993

		   Pipes Digest #103 - May 10, 1993

Welcome to new members:

	Evina Makri 		(??????????????????????????????)
	Bob Green		(????????????????????????)
	Tony Basoglu		(???????????????)

And, please excuse your moderator's long lapse, as we peruse a
Thackerian ditty on the history of pipes in the former CCCP, and a
note on a New Exalted Status for Yours Truly!

~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U

From: Bill Thacker (?????????????????)
Subject: The Peoples' Pipes

Hynek Med  writes:
> I'm planning a trip to Ukraine, so I'd like to ask if anybody knows
> anything about pipes there ?

Oh, the former USSR has a rich history when it comes to pipe smoking!  I'm
glad for the opportunity to expound a bit!

Of course, the pipe was invented in Russia, in 1554.  They didn't become
popular, however, for over 100 years (when tobacco began to arrive from the
British colonies of North America).

For decades, only the wealthy could afford to smoke the imported Virginia
leaf, but in 1768 farmers in southern Russia began to successfully
cultivate the plant.  It soon became widely grown through the regions we
know as Azerbaijan, Soviet Georgia, and Soviet Tennessee.  Pipe smoking
became a national hobby, and it was considered nekulturny to have tea
without a smoke.

This affluence attracted the interest of Russia's neighbors.  In 1812, a
jealous Napoleon sent his armies into Russia to plunder tobacco stores.  At
the Tsar's orders, a "scorched earth" policy was implemented; the Russians
would send their tobacco up in smoke rather than allow it to be taken by
the French!  Sadly, the furnace-like tobacco fires spread, destroying
millions of acres of farmland and villages.  (It is said that the odor of
gunpowder and Perique are still noticeable at the Borodino memorial.)

The Pyrrhic victory sent the Russian smoking industry into a virtual dark
age.  Domestic production had all but ceased with the loss of the 1812
crop, and the high cost of imported tobacco led to unrest among the
peasants.  The situation was kept in check only by the harshest repressive
measures, until finally, in 1917, the dam burst.

The new Communist government quickly implented a five-year plan which
called for huge increases in tobacco production and established "Peoples 
Pipe Works" at key points around the nation.  The most important were 
located at Bryaransk (sometimes nicknamed "Pipograd") and Merzhomsk. 
Typical of a planned economy, only a limited selection of rather 
unimaginative designs were available.  For example, in 1937 the Red October
Pipe Works in Bryaransk introduced the "V.I.Lenin,Hero of the Soviet People
Commemorative Pipe No.17."  The "Sporty 17", as it was known, weighed over
14 ounces empty, and held over an ounce of tobacco.  Constructed of oak, it
was rough-hewn and unfinished, and could not be disassembled for cleaning.
It was, however, remarkably durable, and could be filled with charcoal for
outdoor cooking.  

During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviets attempted to convert pipe
production to less strategically-valuable materials.  Experiments with
alternatives, including steel, cement, and unseasoned pine led to repeated
failures (and no few fatalities).  Pipes from this era are extremely
valuable; should you come into possession of one, do not smoke it, leave it
in its factory cosmoline coating!

In 1943, however, the Kalabashnikov Design Bureau in Leningrad succeeded in
creating a new pipe, which could be rapidly fired and was auto-loading.  
The pipe could be produced in almost any machine shop using mild steel 
stampings and leftover sawdust.  It was a major factor in preserving morale
during the seige of that heroic city, and its production soon spread across
the USSR. By the end of the war, over 70 million "Aromat Kalabashnikova
M.1943", or AK-43's, had been produced.  

Pipes played a vital role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Hitler, you may be
aware, was a vehement anti-smoker, having vowed to annex the USSR for 
"breathensraum."   The turning point of the war, the German defeat at 
Stalingrad, can be traced to Hitler's order that his troops hold their 
ground to allow time for the destruction of the vital meerschaum mines 

After the war, the Soviet tobacco industry continued to grow.  By the 
1950's, the USSR was ready for a tobacco war with the United States,
embargoing the import of our crops.  The USA responded, naturally enough,
with a blockade of Cuban cigars, which to this day cannot be imported.    
The "Cold War" (so called because of the many empty pipe bowls which
resulted) continued for decades, until the SALT (Strategic Aromatics and
Latakia Treaty) accords became the first step toward international

As you can see, pipes are an integral part of Russian history.  They should
be treated reverently, like a religous icon or a bottle of vodka.  And
remember the old Byelorussian proverb: "No man is a stranger who has once
smoked your pipe or painted your ox-cart."

Well, it loses something in translation.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bill Thacker             AT&T Network Systems       attmail!att!cbemf!wbt
Quality Engineer            Columbus, Ohio              ?????????????????
           A pipe gives a thinking man time to think and 
              a fool something to stick in his mouth.

[ And don't forget that Joseph Stalin, famous world-class heavyweight
despotic tyrant and trendsetter in '70s mustache styles, was also a
pipe devotee!  And so was Alger Hiss, famous State Department spy, so
named for his trademark heavy buildup of goo and subsequent
sussurating noises!  AND Robert Oppenheimer, atom-bomb genius deposed
by HUAC (the House Un-Aromatic Censors, led by the infamous
Representative Joe "the only GOOD Comoy is a DEAD Comoy" McCarthy!)
And Nixon was a pipe smoker, too - I bet he was in on it, somewhere!
Coincidence...  or conspiracy?

On second thought, _do_ forget Stalin... -S. ]

~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U

From: Steve Masticola (???????????????????????)
Subject: Lifestyle changes and Sherlockiana

Well, your moderator finally did it.

That's the reason this Digest is so late.

On Friday, April 16, between the hours of 2:00 PM and 4:30 PM, Yours
Truly was subjected to intense scrutiny by a select panel of five
inquisitioners. The object was to justify whether the last four years
of his life had resulted in anything meaningful.

Well, I dunno, still. But the practical results were that I get to
tack three letters and two punctuation marks after my last name, and
have become a Luxury Property in the employment market.

In other words, I defended my thesis. I graduated. I GOT OUT! YAY!!!!

And It's "Doctor Masticola" now. For purposes of our discussion here,
I look upon it as following in the steps of Dr. Grabow.

To celebrate, I went out and bought myself a "Baskerville" from
Peterson's "Sherlock Holmes" series. (Found it at John David;
bargained the owner down to $130.) Still haven't smoked it yet;
that'll wait until I have my own place, which will definitely be an
antismoker-free environment. :-)

Thanks to all on the Pipes Mailgroup for your support, encouragement,
and friendship. My status as moderator won't change, at least not
immediately, but my mailing address may have to move at some point.
I'll keep you posted.

For now, join me in lighting a professorial pipe, and until next time,

					Smoke in peace,

					~\U Steve.

 U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ | ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U
 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
(				       *   *				 (
 U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ | ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U

Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #103 - May 10, 1993
  2. Subject: The Peoples' Pipes
  3. Subject: Lifestyle changes and Sherlockiana
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