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 The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes

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niles

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Age : 48
Location : Saint Louis
Registration date : 2009-06-15

PostSubject: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:32 am

Ok, well, I have been wondering about something that occurred to me a month or so ago as I was smoking and contemplating the evolution of the "pipe", and how it has come to be known in the form that it exists today, sometimes as a vehicle for tobacco's basic charms, sometimes a collector's crowning aquisition, etc, etc - and what I thought was this: Was the pipe "invented" basically as a way to smoke tobacco (evolved, more likely), or may there be some older use - namely, as a method for transporting FIRE from one place to another over distance (and time) without having to resort to assembling anew at each stop the makings of a fire?

Picture this - a travelling band of mates, a family group, hunters, whatever, a travelling band of humans who need fire at each camp along their journey. One (or more) of the humans figures out a way to keep the fire at hand while on the move...Imagine the brilliant stroke when Ugg (et al) discovers that he can produce, almost at will, a roaring campfire to protect and warm himself and his companions! Genius!

I would like to open a discussion, historical or otherwise speculative, that looks for evidence or anecdote to support my "thought experiment". I realize that as simple and wonderful as it sounds, this idea may actually have some truth behind it and may have already been flogged, maybe even in these pages, however I assure the company that I have not actually ever heard this theory talked about and would relish expansion or historical data to support (or refute) the veracity.

What do you gentlemen think? Has anyone ever heard of something like this as a reason to explain the early origins of the pipe, or do we think the pleasures of the weed and burl purely that - pleasure only??

I hope this may spark some conversation!
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PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:37 am

I watch alot of Discovery shows that show tribes and outdoorsmen that transport or preserve fire (in bad weather), and I've always seen something that they call a cigar.

They basically take tinder wrap it in dried grasses and wrap them in some kind of huge leaf to transport it or keep it going while the rains stop.

If I am recalling some of my history classed correctly, native Americans did not use briar to make their pipes.
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niles

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Age : 48
Location : Saint Louis
Registration date : 2009-06-15

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:38 am

This gentleman has a short list with timeline - very helpful and though no doubt historically accurate it has little to do with the imagination...

BRIEF HISTORY OF PIPEShttp://www.pipe-maker.com/pipe-history.html

I'm still seeing, or imagining, this as a kind of special service, this business of fire-keeper...maybe it would have been undertaken by the elders (or maybe the cook? woman?).

I don't suppose there's any way I can get serious closure on this - I was hoping for a sort of mythic-pragmatic architype...Look, if the world goes to sh*t and we had to transport our own fire, count me in on the Keeper of the Flame gig...that's all I'm sayin'!
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niles

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Age : 48
Location : Saint Louis
Registration date : 2009-06-15

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:40 am

...and by the way - someone with more knowledge than me needs to take a serious stab at improving the Wikipedia entry for the "smoking pipe" page.

It is THIN!
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kilted1
Great Scot!
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Age : 56
Location : North Georgia, USA
Registration date : 2009-01-11

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:35 pm

The anti-smoking crowd keeps hacking it Razz
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the macdonald

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Age : 42
Location : Windsor CT
Registration date : 2008-08-31

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:02 pm

try http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Main_Page good basic information. Wiki is only as good as the last person who added to it.
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Justpipes
The Duke
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Age : 58
Location : Randolph County, NC If you don't know, you wouldn't understand.
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:02 pm

I would like to see Dock weigh in on this.
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Centurian 803
Long Arm O' The Law
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Age : 67
Location : Oak Ridge, TN
Registration date : 2008-09-10

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:37 pm

Don't know about the "keeper of the sacred fire" stuff but I remember reading in one of my pipe books (possibly the one by Alfred Dunhill) that the earliest known pipes were actually small fire pits in the earth. The smokers gathered around it and while lying on the ground inserted hollow reeds into the base to inhale the smoke. I'd try it but with my belly I'd probably rock myself to sleep before I could get up. affraid
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niles

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Location : Saint Louis
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PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:35 am

aaaah - Now that's what I'm taking about...I like this image...and the one of the straws in the fire pit is actually "on topic"! Wink

Seriously, C, I wonder if you could dig that reference up? ...very interesting - I can imagine that an for a creative type this would actually be only one step away from figuring out that if they could only find the right material, i.e. something that could withstand the degradation from the heat...hmm...so the region would be important because the right material is critical - it has to be malleable (somewhat), and impervious (also somewhat) - maybe the log we threw in the fire that didn't quite burn away??

...maybe that same log has a hollow piece of root stem sticking off of it..as I stir the ashes to prepare to break camp the next morning I notice that it contains some glowing ember...?

this is good...
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niles

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Age : 48
Location : Saint Louis
Registration date : 2009-06-15

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:37 am

...I mean - we are still eons away from TOBACCO, but we might be on to something...maybe...
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Al in Canada

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Age : 72
Location : Blenheim, Ontario
Registration date : 2009-04-20

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:54 am

niles wrote:
aaaah - Now that's what I'm taking about...I like this image...and the one of the straws in the fire pit is actually "on topic"! Wink

Seriously, C, I wonder if you could dig that reference up? ...very interesting - I can imagine that an for a creative type this would actually be only one step away from figuring out that if they could only find the right material, i.e. something that could withstand the degradation from the heat...hmm...so the region would be important because the right material is critical - it has to be malleable (somewhat), and impervious (also somewhat) - maybe the log we threw in the fire that didn't quite burn away??

...maybe that same log has a hollow piece of root stem sticking off of it..as I stir the ashes to prepare to break camp the next morning I notice that it contains some glowing ember...?

this is good...

the book is: "The Pipe Book":A guide to nearly every pipe created by the premiername in pipe-making Alfred Dunhill, with a foreword by Richard Dunhill, Gammercy Press(Random House); NY, 2000. [the first edition without the R. Dunhill foreward dates from 1924].
The part of the text you want is Chapter 2 "Makeshift pipes and tobacco".

Now how do you suppose the "fire guardian" moved from blowing on the fire, to get it going, to sucking in the smoke. ["Blow, Ug, blow. Suck is just an expression." lol! lol! lol! ]

Lots of different things thrown on the fire for the invigorating effects of the smoke, in addition to tobacco: sweet grass, hemp, etc. wouldn't have wanted to be the guy that tried smoking poison ivy.

Al (in Canada)
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Al in Canada

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Age : 72
Location : Blenheim, Ontario
Registration date : 2009-04-20

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:56 am

niles wrote:
aaaah - Now that's what I'm taking about...I like this image...and the one of the straws in the fire pit is actually "on topic"! Wink

Seriously, C, I wonder if you could dig that reference up? ...very interesting - I can imagine that an for a creative type this would actually be only one step away from figuring out that if they could only find the right material, i.e. something that could withstand the degradation from the heat...hmm...so the region would be important because the right material is critical - it has to be malleable (somewhat), and impervious (also somewhat) - maybe the log we threw in the fire that didn't quite burn away??

...maybe that same log has a hollow piece of root stem sticking off of it..as I stir the ashes to prepare to break camp the next morning I notice that it contains some glowing ember...?

this is good...

the book is: "The Pipe Book":A guide to nearly every pipe created by the premiername in pipe-making Alfred Dunhill, with a foreword by Richard Dunhill, Gammercy Press(Random House); NY, 2000. [the first edition without the R. Dunhill foreward dates from 1924].
The part of the text you want is Chapter 2 "Makeshift pipes and tobacco".

Now how do you suppose the "fire guardian" moved from blowing on the fire, to get it going, to sucking in the smoke. ["Blow, Ug, blow. Suck is just an expression." lol! lol! lol! ]

Lots of different things thrown on the fire for the invigorating effects of the smoke, in addition to tobacco: sweet grass, hemp, etc. wouldn't have wanted to be the guy that tried smoking poison ivy.affraid

Al (in Canada)
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niles

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Age : 48
Location : Saint Louis
Registration date : 2009-06-15

PostSubject: Re: The Keeper of the Flame - a question on the Origins of Pipes   Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:23 am

haha - Of course, like I said, we're (maybe) eons from tobacco at this point - so far the idea is just to get the fire from one camp to another without a) burning my hands, b) having to restart the damn thing every time.

Now, I am assuming of course that all of this takes place in a pre-metallurgically capable "society" - then it's a no-brainer...

details, details...
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