Tobacco pipes have a long and vivid history, dating back to times where the idea of the existence of tobacco pipes is amazing to speculate. However, the first tobacco pipes of its kind were found belonging to the Egyptians in 2000 BC, as scientists discovered tobacco leaves and pipes found in Egyptian mummies, a fact that has not yet been explained by science.
The ancient use of tobacco pipes has been documented in history at many different occasions. Herodotus, Greek historian has been recorded describing the Scythians inhaling fumes of burning leaves in 500 BC, as Romans and Greeks had already adopted pipes from their neighbors in the east, and hence these tobacco pipes were also smoked by many Germanic, Celtic and Nordic tribes.
Tobacco was not a plant available to the Old World (Africa, Europe, and Asia) until the advent of the 16th century, hence the pipes outside the America’s were usually used to smoke hashish, a substance which was rare and expensive outside the Middle East and Asia, where it was produced.
However, Native Americans have been using tobacco pipes since 1500 BC for ceremonial purposes. The tobacco pipe has also long been a symbol of reconciliation amongst Native Americans. The tobacco pipe has also been used by Hypocrites, the Greek doctor who is associated with the foundation of medicine, for smoking herbs as a remedy for certain female diseases, back in 300 AD.
The use of tobacco pipes was documented by Christopher Columbus when he discovered America, back in 1492, and it took 27 years for the tobacco plant to reach Europe, after which Europeans started discovering the tobacco pipe. In 1559, the tobacco plant was first used as a multi-remedy by Jean Nicot, which bought about the tobacco pipe to France.
Chalk pipes were amongst the first kind of tobacco pipes which were mass produced, which were mostly smoked by mariners, which were followed by iron pipes in 1600 launched first in Norway. The first material which gained universal approval for the construction of pipes was Meerschaum, which became the standard for all tobacco pipes worldwide in 1720.
However Meerschaum was soon replaced by briarwood in 1840, as it was quickly discovered that briar gains make better materials for pipes, and soon many worldwide pipe manufacturers switched from Meerschaum to Briar, which is still the kind of wood most top tobacco pipe manufacturers use today for their quality pipes.