History of Meerschaum


meerschaum pipe smoking pipes tobacco pipes briar pipes
antique meerschaum

The use of briar wood, beginning in the early 1820s, greatly reduced demand for clay pipes and, to a lesser degree, meerschaum pipes. The qualities of meerschaum were combined with those of briar pipes by lining briar pipes with meerschaum bowls. Some smokers[who?] believe that meerschaum-lined briar pipes give the porosity and sweet-smoking qualities of meerschaum along with the heat-absorbing qualities and durability of briar. However, meerschaum must be cool before a pipe can be cleaned, and briar must be rested after a few days of smoking, so the combination comes with some of the drawbacks of both materials. The thinness of the lining can affect how long a pipe lasts and some smokers do not clean out their pipes, causing the meerschaum to crack.