Probably the most distinctive thing about tobacco pipes made in the USA is the wide variety of materials and styles that have been utilized through the years. From the very earliest influences of the Native American pipes that were made to be smoked in communal ritual to all the immigrant influences, the variety of American made pipes is staggering. Dr Grabow and Missouri Meerschaum are two of the most well known.
There are many quality artisan shops that import quality briar wood from Europe to create beautiful hand carved pipes that can rival their European forefathers. Virginia and the most immediate surrounding states have some of the most dedicated pipe makers in this tradition in the entire country. Some of these pipe makers have been perfecting their craft for years and will pass the tradition on to future generations interested in keeping the passion burning.
Clay Pipe manufacturers have had a strong presence for centuries in the United States and many still have a strong market presence today. Clay pipes are relatively inexpensive and considered disposable rather than a fine collectable quality pipe. The area of Pamplin, Virgina is well known for its distinctive red clay that was fired into cheap pipes with large bowls and long stems. The long stem that is characteristic in clay pipes gives the smoke a chance to cool a little bit before it reaches the mouth of the smoker for a more comfortable smoke.
Another distinctive American made pipe is the proto pipe. It is made of brass and has a swivel top that covers the bowl. Because germs and bacteria cannot live on the brass surface of this pipe for long, it has been a popular choice among people that are concerned with contaminates building up on the wooden surfaces of some pipes. It is still necessary to clean these pipes for the ultimate smoking experience though and because these pipes completely disassemble, this process is easy to do.
There is really no distinctive style of American made tobacco pipe. Pipe makers in this country have the advantage of being able to import pipe making materials from all over the world to craft some of the finest pipes made today. They incorporate methods from all corners of the world that have been learned from the diverse population that make up this country. It is this variety that is the hallmark of American made products where it is not uncommon to find different materials and styles combined into a single pipe.