Literature on pipes and tobacco

Since tobacco reached Europe it has inspired a lot of writers. In the tobacco literature different phases can be recognised. From the first period it is mainly the reports of the discovery of the weed, the appearance of the plant and the unusual habit of the Indians to smoke the leaves of this sacred plant.

In the seventeenth century the first publications on the use and abuse of tobacco, starting the discussions pro- or contra smoking. The most remarkable writing certainly is by King James I of England. With his "A Counterblaste to tobaccco" he brought out the most known vigorous anti smoking publication ever done.

In the eighteenth century the subject of tobacco and smoking did not really bring up particular publications. The best known are the series of encyclopaedias in which the subject tobacco preparation and pipe producing is published. The most extend word is done by Duamel du Monceau, and his work was copied many times by encyclopaedians from that time on.

In the nineteenth century a big stream of publications starts. Among them we find many almanacs for smokers, containing all sorts of curious information. They are the inspiration for writers to do more research each time again. The book by Fairholt titled "Tobacco its history and associations" is the best example. Going through the different handbooks from that period we learn that all the authors found their inspiration by previous publications, hence we see a repetition in knowledge and in mistakes as well. Remarkable however is that the French publications have little influence in the English literature, as it is the other way round. Apparently, they were not very well aware of each other’s work, the English proved not to be able to read the foreign language.

In the twentieth century the stream of publications on pipes and tobacco grows considerably. Many special fields of research are developed and especially after the year 1970 more and more monographs appeared.

For those who have an interest in the nice prints, special editions and remarkable illustrations the tobacco literature offers lots of valuable and interesting books. On this page some of them are shown, giving an idea of what has been published. Certainly, it is only a fraction of the over 4,000 titles that can be found in the library of the Pijpenkabinet Foundation in Amsterdam.

the first standardwork on tobacco by Neander, Lyon, 1626 at first side an anti smoke pamflet it concerns regulations for fire prevention, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1723
one of the many reprints against the use of tobacco by James I, London, 1884 bibliophilic edtion of A Counterblaste to Tobacco, London, 1954
guide for smokers with anecdotes, short stories and history, Parijs, 1859 the most popular publication on smoking  pipes and cigars by Barthélemy, Paris, edition 1844
title page and contents of the book on the right, Paris, c. 1840 a small book with dozens of stories and anecdotes on tabacco and smoking, Paris, c. 1840
almanach for the smoker full of news on smoking, Paris, c. 1845
knowledgeable information and anecdotes for smokers on smoking, Paris, 1856
frontispice of the book on the right with anecdotes on smoking and smokers types from Paris, Paris, 1856
almanach for the smoker inspired on the previous works, Paris, 1868
title page of an almanach for the smoker with illustrations by smokers, Paris, 1868
guide with a suitable binding showing a smoker meant for the gentlemen's smoke room, London, 1876
the oldest Dutch publication on pipes that completely lost its value, Dr. R. Westerhoff, Groningen, 1860 the title page of the oldest Dutch book on pipes by Westerhoff with a title of 26 words, Groningen, 1860
collected poems in a special binding, New York, 1907
another volume with poems and proze on smoking by various authors, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1923
leather binding of the remarkable book by Robert T. Pritchett, Ye Smokiana, London, 1890
small sized textbook with poems and prose for the smoke room, London, 1889
a beautiful series of booklets for the smoke room, edited by the tobacco firm Cope's, Liverpool, 1889-1894 the covers on the back show gay scenes of smokers and snuff takers, Liverpool, 1890 one of the monographs of the series written by Thomas Carlyle, Liverpool, 1890
back of a Smoke Room Booklet by Cope's with a gay scene, Liverpool, 1889 three volumes of the series are filled with short stories, Liverpool, 1889 one of the rarest volumes of Cope's series dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh and the history of the tobacco use, Liverpool, 1894
one of the many volumes in which tobacco songs are collected, New York, 1896 again a tome with poems, songs and proze in a beautiful suède binding, New York,1909
standardwork on the history of tobacco in the United States by Robert Heimann, New York, 1960
a revolution in the research of the clay tobacco pipe is this monograph by Frits Friederich, ten years later outdated by the handbook of Duco, Voorschoten, the Netherlands, 1975 a beautiful and finely illustrated monograph by Georg Brongers, dedicated to the use of tobacco and the pipe, Amersfoort, the Netherlands, 1978
for the Pijpenkabinet Foundation the most remarkable publication of this century, after more than twenty years of study this handbook was published with all the information on the Gouda pipemakers' marks, Amsterdam, 2003 this flashing cover hides a serious study on the manufacturers' catalogue with several hundreds of illustrations, Amsterdam, 2004
Illustrations on this page from the collections of Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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