By Richard Carleton Hacker
Ben Wade one of the great names in English pipe making. The company started in the 1860's in Leeds, Yorkshire, where it was located for over a century. The pipes were considered high grade and a major competitor to Charatan. Like many British pipe companies, it has had a checkered history. In 1965 the company was sold to Charatan and was used to market their seconds. At one time it was used to market some of the more traditional Preben Holm pipes. In 1978 Charatan was absorbed by Dunhill group and the brand was allowed to languish and discontinued in 1988.
In 1998 it was resurrected and taken over by Duncan Briars, another great British pipe family. They have been making pipes since 1899. John Duncan, the grandson of the founder John Louis Duncan, turned over the company to his brother-in-law Peter Wilson, and so it remains , very much a family business.
The drilling and finishing of these hand made pipes would put many far more expensive pipes to shame. The bowls are carved at the world famous 32 St. Andrews Road, Walthamstowe pipe factory, in London, England. The same factory where Dunhills are made.
Every pipe is drilled spot on and exhibits a good blast and all have high quality German Vulcanite mouthpieces. Every pipe is stamped "Ben Wade, Made in London, England". "The craftsmanship and smokability have always been superb".
Pipes obtainable from pipes2smoke.com