History of The All American Dr Grabow
The all American Dr Grabow line of smoking pipes has been hailed as the largest quality pipe manufacturers around today. The famous smoking pipe brand gets its name from the owner Dr Grabow, a general physician who lived in Chicago.
The Dr Grabow pipes first began with Louis B Linkman of the M.Linkman and Co of Chicago. The trademark “Dr Grabow” itself actually begun at about 1932 and had the US patent number 1.896,800. The patent describes a threaded stem joint that consists of a metal extension into the “bore” of the stem pipe and into the pipe bowl. The purpose of this mechanism is to make it easier to scrape the carbon deposits from the inner surface of the bowl. Another trademark you might have heard about Dr Grabow pipes is “Pre-Smoked”. This trademark wasn’t used until 1937.
The birth of the Dr Grabow smoking pipe is simple enough. It started off when Dr Grabow himself and his acquaintance Dr Linkman regularly visited the local pharmacist at Brown’s Drug Store in Lincoln Park Chicago. Dr Linkman was on the lookout for a doctor’s name to Christian an innovative line of pipes in order to mellow out the smoking apparel’s smoggy image. He asked Dr Grabow to allow him to use his name to which he agreed and the name has stuck since then. Linkman continued to manufacture his Dr Grabow pipes until 1953.
The earliest of these exclusive pipes were stamped both with Linkman’s and Dr Grabow. They included a propeller emblem that was white in color at the top of the mouthpiece. Linkman’s pipes are also stamped with their own four digit code. This code indicates their model and shape. For example, the PRE – 1944 model names included the “Special”, “Supreme” and “Deluxe” versions of Dr Grabow’s pipes.
In 1944 the white propeller emblem was replaced with a white spade, a move that heralded the introduction of Linkman’s new Dr Grabow pipes. All of the newer entries included most of the earlier favorites as well as “TRU-GRAIN” and “SELECT”. Later models of Dr Grabow pipes were described as Imported Briar.
To Call a Spade a Spade
After 1953 Grabow pipes were owned and manufactured by Leonard, Henry and Thomas Inc. of Queens New York. This is when they came to be produced in Sparta, North Carolina by Sparta Pipes, Inc. Most of the pipe brands models were the same but now came with an additional threaded metal or push stem joints (associated with HL&T) that are popularly known as “Adjustomatic”. Besides this Dr Grabow pipes also came with the wide spade emblem at the left side of the pipes’ stem that were pointing up.
After 1955, HL&T began replacing the older Dr Grabow pipe models with new ones in 1955. These included the Adjustomatic “El dorado”, “Savoy”, “Regal”, “Starfire” and “Viscount”. Other than that they also included the Duke Filter GRAND DUKE, DUKE and ROYAL DUKE. The earlier Duke Filters came with a blue spade emblem while the earlier push stem pipes featured a yellow spade.
The many Different Models
Dr. Grabow currently has about 14 models available. All models come in both rustic and smooth.
Buy any of these pipes from our huge selection
Don't forget the filters that go with the pipes!
History of Ads
Throughout the years, Grabow had a lot of different ads to promote their wonderful pipes. We tried to put together a few of those ads as we come across them.
1940's Era Ads
These ads all ran during the 1940's era. Each ad emphasizing the pre-smoked, no break in needed. The first ad has the De Luxe, Supreme, Tru-Grain and the Select Grain. These pipes are Ripe 'n' Ready for Smoking Steady. The second ad is showing off the 57 different shapes that were available at the time. As you can see, the monkey's are smoking while the machine is pre-smoking the pipes too. The last ad there shows the De Luxe and the pre-smoking machine. Also notice the Union Made in the bottom right corner.
1940's Ad on 57 Shapes
This 1940's ad tells about the 57 shapes Grabow offered at the time. The Pre-Smoked was a huge deal at the time so all their ads made sure to highlight this. At the time you could get a one of their pipes from $1.50 to $5.00. Also, they had a tag line of "Men, get the smart look; smoke a pipe."
1942 Ripley's Believe it or Not Ad
This ad was published around 1942 showing off the pre-smoked machine. The as was marketing that the machine was so amazing that Ripley's "Believe it or Not" did a feature on how it worked. At the time it was the only on that existed in the US. This machine was used to break in the pipes so the consumer didn't have to. At the time Grabow pipes were going for $1.50 to $3.00.
1944 Hollycourt Ad
This ad tell about how "They're amazingly sweeter from the very first puff because Linkman's exclusive pipe-smoking machine smokes every Dr. Grabow pipe. Yes, They're Pre-Smoked with Edgeworth Tobacco. And so ... no bite, no bitter taste, no breaking in. If your dealer cannot supply you, remember that right now a large percentage of Dr. Grabow Pre-Smoked Pipes go to service men overseas." They are offering the De Luxe for $1.50, Tru-Grain for $3.50 and the Supreme for $2.00.
1946 Pre-Smoked Dr. Grabow Ad
This 1946 ad Show of a man relaxing with his feet in a pale of water talking with his wife. This ad says "There is only one correct way to break in a new pipe...that is to smoke it. Every Dr. Grabow is Pre-Smoked at the factory with fine tobacco (Edgeworth) on Linkman's exclusive pipe smoking machine, duplicating the slow, deliberate puffing of an experienced smoker. All Dr. Grabow's are equipped with aluminum fittings. See your dealer now."
1946 Serving Everywhere on America's Fighting Fronts
Showing a picture of Doughboy's Diary it tells of a man at war. It reads Monday-21 "Today we moved up about 8 kilometers - that's some 5 good old American miles. We've got'em on the run now - the 6th day in succession of advances. Thanks to those new tanks that joined us we're really mowing 'em down. A pipeful and it'll really feel good to the hay." Tuesday-22 "A flock of new dive bombers are working with us now. Its a great feeling to know the folks back home are buying enough war bonds to keep the bombers coming. Anything but quiet tonight - our artillery is blasting away - but my Dr. Grabow pipe is pulling smooth and sweet - makes me feel as if I were back home."
1952 Trade Price List
This price list was pulled from a magazine from around the 1952 time frame. The ad says Dr Grabow pipes are pre-smoked with real tobacco on Linkman's pre-smoking machine. This process lines the bowl of the pipe with carbon just as a smoker does during the period that he is breaking in a new pipe. All. Dr. Grabow Pipes are made of select imported briar and incorporate the famous Dr. Grabow aluminum cleaner with both the nicotine trap and the saliva trap, and they all have an aluminum screw connection. Each pipe is packed in an individual gift box.
1959 Cool, Sweet and Mild Ad
In 1959, Grabow released another ad for the Viscount and other pipes ranging from $1.50 to $10.00. This ad tells about the "Cool, Sweet and mild from the first puff. No breaking-in because they're mechanically pre-smoked.
1961 $5. Viscount
Only Dr. Grabow Pipes are mechanically pre-smoked with fine tobacco. Need no breaking in. Sweet and cool from the first pull. The Viscount was $5 at the time with others goign up to $10. You alow could get a free booklet if you wrote to Gravow.
1969 Grabow Pick of Pipes
Ran in 1969 "Be a living doll..Give him the pick of pipes." Guys love dolls who know how to pick a pipe at gift giving time. So pick the pipe he'd pick himself.... a Dr. Grabow "Pre-Smoked" pipe. The exclusive "Pre-Smoked" process means he gets mellow smoking pleasure from his very first pipeful. And no matter which Dr. Gravow you choose, you can be sure there's no finer pipe at any price. Remember-whether he's husband, father or sweetheart - show your guy your a real doll. Gift him with a Dr. Grabow pipe or gift set. It's a lovely way to say, "I LOVE YOU."
The three pipes listed in this ad are the Starfire, Golden Duke (still offered today), and the Viscount.
1971 Dr. Grabow Christmas Ad Bold Colors
Showing off some new beautiful colors Grabow offered at the time. "The world's finest imported briar. Bold color make these Dr. Grabow Pre-Smoked pipes special gifts! Crafted of finest imported briar. Pre-smoking means complete satisfaction from the very first puff. Also...for the filter pipe smoker the new Color Duke Filter Pipe-$6.95."
As you can see they offered Red, white, green, blue and yellow pipes. Each one continues to have the spade on the stem.