Wally Frank

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History

exterior view, Wally Frank, 44th St. and Madison Ave., New York City, 1951

Wally Frank, Ltd. was one of America's oldest and most respected names in pipes and tobaccos, beginning in the early 1930’s. Wally Frank operated a chain of tobacco stores in New York City (the flagship store was in Lexington Avenue) and had a vast catalog business for pipes and pipe tobaccos. Their numerous private-label pipes were made by many makers, including Charatan, Sasieni, Weber, and many others. Wally Frank, Ltd. also owned the Pioneer brand of meerschaum pipes, made from both Turkish and African meerschaum. In addition to importing pipes, he had many pipes made in his own name and also employed pipemakers like Peter Stokkebye, Svend Bang, and Ed Burak (who later became the owner of Connoisseur). As a result, each Wally Frank pipe must be individually evaluated on its own merit.

interior view, Wally Frank, 44th St. and Madison Ave., New York City, 1951
exterior view, Wally Frank, 44th St. and Madison Ave., New York City, 1951

Members of Wally Frank's "The Pipe of the Month Club" received a new pipe in the mail once a month.

Courtesy Doug Valitchka
Courtesy Doug Valitchka
Wally Frank pipe shape chart, from the 1943 catalog
Courtesy Doug Valitchka

In 1952, Wally Frank was on a buying trip in Italy and "discovered" pipe maker Carlo Scotti. Frank liked Scotti's pipes, but there was the small problem of Scotti's pipes bearing the same trademark or logo as one of Wally Frank's pipe lines, the White Bar. The two men decided on creating a new logo for pipes sold in the U.S.: a hole drilled in the stem and with a piece of silver foil inserted in the hole and covered with clear Lucite.

Wally Frank (the person) wrote the forward to Georges Herment's 1954 book "The Pipe."



Catalog page for Immortals

Imortals

The Immortals were “Real Old World pipe sculptors carved these pipes with loving care from extra big blocks of specially cured fine imported briar. Extra thick bowl walls not only add flavor, but absorb more heat. Patient hand-polishing brings out all the lustre and exquisite graining of the natural briar. You must act fast, at once, because these rare beauties will be snapped up by collectors who know real value. Only $11.95 each post paid”.




Lines/styles of briar pipes

Wally Frank Bulldog, courtesy Smokingpipes.com
Wally Frank British Irregular (Charatan second) pipe, shape #24 (Canadian Forester)
Wally Frank Cellini, courtesy Doug Valitchka
Cellini detail, courtesy Doug Valitchka
  • Army and Navy
  • British Irregular
  • Canadian Forester
  • Carpathian
  • Cavalier
  • Cellini
  • Chadwick
  • Corsican Warrior
  • De Luxe
  • Dudeen
  • French Master
  • Garrick
  • Huntleigh
  • Immortals (Figural)
  • John Street
  • Larsen
  • Limited
  • London Lightweights
  • London Stub
  • The Macauley
  • Mellow
  • Milady
  • Natural
  • Natural Unvarnished
  • Nugget
  • Paragon
  • Philosopher
  • Quaint
  • Rathskeller
  • Scotland Yard
  • Shipmate
  • Silver King
  • Specimen Grain
  • Straight Grain
  • Streamlined
  • Super Delicious
  • Sweet Root
  • The Bowler
  • White Bar

External links