Every type of pipe has its own manufacturing techniques. The production of clay tobacco pipes is the first to be published. Already in 1770 its technique is fully described by a man called Duhamel du Monceau. The famous encyclopaedia of Diderot is based on this book and also afterwards his illustrations are copied in various publications.
The picture of a clay pipe workshop with a large kiln in the centre is in fact completely fantasy. It is part of a print book showing different arts and crafts, the texts fully set to rime. It is more the romantic impression of the craft than the technical knowledge that counts.
After the invention of photography more objective illustrations of the production of tobacco pipes come available. The pride of the manufacturer speaks from the series of photographs being made to emphasise the size and activity in his factory. These photographs could be printed in the product catalogue.
In the French town of Saint-Claude (Jura) picture postcards illustrating factories of briar pipes were offered for sale. The local pipe industry was of such a great importance that the tourist could impossibly neglect it.
From 1900 onwards, illustrated magazines published on the production of tobacco pipes in whatever way. Usually these kinds of illustrations are more educational, although the technical details are not always correct. Again, the text is full with glamour of the manufacturer, the numbers of labourers and the production ciphers are usually strongly exaggerated.
Illustrations on this page from the collections of Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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