Smoking tobacco from a pipe is a pastime that most associate with luxury, a good time, and sometimes even fuzzy slippers. While smoking and collecting pipes has become a hobby for some, it didn’t start out that way. Check out a few of these crazy facts about smoking pipe tobacco; they just might make you enjoy that next puff a little bit more!
- Smoking a pipe first began as part of religious ceremonies. As part of many American Indian rituals, the shamans, priests, and medicine men all used to smoke pipes. It was thought that the smoke that emerged from the tobacco was holy. In many cases, it was used to cure illnesses or drive away evil spirits and curses.
- During the 16thcentury in England, it was thought that smoking pipe tobacco was extremely beneficial to one’s health. This was based on the four humors theory by Galen. He suggested that the body was composed of hot, cold, wet, and dry humors. Smoking a pipe was considered a dry humor because it heated the body, dried it, and left it in a state of happiness or vigor.
- In 1500 BC, North American Indians began using the pipe for other ceremonial purposes—reconciliation. During this ceremony, everyone would sit in a circle and take a puff from the same pipe as a symbol of unity and peace.
- In 1580, the first pipe was mass-produced. It was a chalk pipe and was mainly used by sailors.
- Pipe smoking became more and more popular during the Thirty Years’ War in Europe during the years of 1618–1648. Before this time, it was considered treasonous in many countries for anyone but aristocrats and royals to smoke.
- Switzerland actually put a ban on smoking pipes. In 1586, it was included in the revised Ten Commandments and considered illegal to smoke. The punishment for smoking was extremely severe.
- Tobacco became famous in Europe after Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. Once he saw that the Native American people were using it for medicinal purposes and to smoke out of pipes, he took it back to Spain with him. The tobacco plant later reached Europe in 1519 by way of Ramon Pane, a monk who accompanied Columbus on his voyage.
- Pipes have been made out of different types of material. Iron pipes were popular in Norway for a time, while clay pipes were the most popular among the natives in the Americas. Later, Meerschaum was discovered and used to create the smoking device. Then in 1840, briar pipes became popular and still remain one of the most popular types of pipes.
- The term “smoking” was coined in the 17th Before then, smoking was called “dry drunkenness” or “puffing.”
- In the mid-16th century, many European countries thought that smoking pipe tobacco could cure syphilis.
No matter what type of pipe you enjoy smoking, there is a rich history behind this flavorful pastime. While it may not cure the diseases that many thought it did centuries ago, smoking is still an enjoyable hobby for many. And, like the Native Americans found, smoking the best tobacco pipes in Westminster, Colorado, is a great way to bring people together.