Ferdinando Rossi is the man behind what was one of the largest smoking pipe manufacturers in the world in its heyday. In the late 1800’s he was a tobacco wholesaler from Milan who saw much of Italy’s prized briarwood being exported for the manufacture of beautiful hand carved pipes that were being sold the world over. He had a dream that the briar could remain in Italy and be crafted into pipes that could compete with some of the finest pipes that were being made.
The difference between Ferdinando Rossi and the rest of the pipe makers of his time was his vision for creating modern factories where pipes could be made in large numbers, at a high standard of quality, as opposed to the painstaking method of handcrafting every piece and putting them together manually in an inefficient manner that prohibited mass production.
Rossi had to piece together the machinery as well as the expertise to begin the pipe making industry in Italy. Because none existed there at the time of his interest in this pursuit, he had no model to go by or supplier for the machines and equipment he would need. He was somewhat of a renaissance man in that he developed hydroelectric power systems to supply the electricity his factory needed to operate at the rate that it did as well as other innovations that changed the way pipes were being made.
His operation grew at a steady and profitable rate and his enterprise began exporting the pipes in the early 1890’s. By the early years of the twentieth century, his was one of the ten largest pipe makers in the entire world. With his sons on board with what became the family business, the factory grew and expanded to include a power plant, its own sawmill and separate departments to manufacture each part of the pipes. There were also extensive briar storage barns to keep up with the demand for the quantity of pipes the factory was turning ate the height of production when they churned out 50,000 pipes a day.
Rossi pipes are still made with the high standard of quality they were when Ferdinando began his operation in Varese, Italy back in the 1800’s. There are numerous types of pipes that are made by Rossi and the materials are as varied as the styles. Savinelli now manufactures the Rossi brand to ensure its high quality and beautiful looks!