Dr. Paul E. Grabow was a general physician in Chicago, located at 2348 N. Seminary Ave. Some doors north at No. 2400 was the drug store owned by Mr. Brown, a personal friend of Dr. Grabow. Grabow and Brown, both fond of fly-fishing, would often sit together in the early evening hours in a back room of the drug shop talking to one another and enjoying their pipes. Before long, they were joined by Mr. Linkman, owner of M. Linkman & Co., a large pipe factory located one block west on W. Fullerton Ave., at the corner of Racine Ave. These three gentlemen shared common interests and became fast friends.The Legend of Dr. Grabow). Also interesting of note are the various instances where Dr. Paul Grabow stated that he developed, or helped develop, the Dr. Grabow brand of pipes. This was a tactic used to convince people that a pipe developed, endorsed, and used by a medical physician would be 'more healthful' than a pipe that was not developed by someone in the medical community.
Dr. Paul E. Grabow passed away in 1965 at 97. The pipes that bear his name became one of the most popular, and one of the most well-known, pipe brands in North America.
In 1952, the 80 year old Linkman retired as president of M. Linkman & Co. and until 1955 the company was purchased and owned by Henry Leonard & Thomas Inc., P.O. box 375, Greensboro, North Carolina. Five series were offered: Dr. Grabow Standard, De Luxe, Supreme, Tru’ Grain, Select.
1969 it was Dr. Grabow Pre Smoked Pipes, P.O. box 21888, Greensboro, NC 27420. The program had been enlarged: Lark, Duke, Grand Duke, Riviera, Crown Duke, Savoy, Royal Duke, Viking, Regal, Silver Duke, Golden Duke, Starfire, Viscount, Commodore, Eldorado. (Prices margin in the given order 1.50 - 10.00 $.)
In 1969, United States Tobacco acquired Henry, Leonard & Thomas Inc., which manufactured Dr. Grabow Pre-Smoked pipes.(2)
On Jan. 26th 2006 Nick Bumbacco, president of Lane Limited in Tucker, Georgia, announced the sale of the Sparta, North Carolina Dr. Grabow pipe factory - International Pipes & Accessories LLC. Lane Limited (a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc.) said it wanted to concentrate on its core business as manufacturers and distributors of tobacco goods as a reason for the $ 4.3 million deal, which also included Dr. Grabow Pipe Filters and Dill's Pipe Cleaners.
As of April 2011, Dr. Grabow offered the Big Pipe, Cardinal, Duke, Freehand, Golden Duke, Grand Duke, Lark, Omega, Riviera, Royal Duke, Royalton, and Savoy tobacco pipes. These pipes are offered in both a smooth and rustic finish. Here are pictures of the different Dr Grabow tobacco pipes. (3)
(1) It was a very common use to name pipes "Doctor X's" throughout the 1920's and 1930's worldwide! Uncounted "systems" and filter types were invented suggesting to smoke not only very pleasantly but even more in a very sophisticated i.e. healthy way. (At least some hindered the pipe from gargling...) As many others did also Linkman / Grabow went as far as assuring the pipe had been developed by the Doctor himself.
Dr. Grabow pipes are commonly available at Drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid, and forego any expensive and/or fancy packaging; pipes are sold in a plastic blister pack. Pipes can also be purchased directly from the manufacturer, and customers are invited to take a tour of their factory in Sparta, Ashe County, North Carolina, and purchase pipes directly from the factory. The Sparta, North Carolina factory produces over 200,000 - 350,000 pipes annually, making it the largest manufacturer of pipes under one roof, and it employs 62 people as Sparta's single largest employer.
On Site Links
- Dr. Grabow Pipe History Timeline, by Russell McKay
- Dr. Grabow Models (Series,Line) Names Through the Years, by Russell McKay
- The Legend of Dr. Grabow, by Paul W. Grabow (Dr. Grabow's grandson), courtesy Russell McKay
- The Briar Used in Dr. Grabow pipes, by Russell McKay
- RJR Grabow information, courtesy Russell McKay
- Four Digit Shape Chart
- M. Linkman & Co.
Off Site Links
- (2) Read more: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/36/UST-Inc.html#ixzz0mbeYrGT8
- (3) See pictures at: http://tobaccopipes.com/Dr-Grabow-Tobacco-Pipes/
- Dedicated site by Russell McKay: http://drgrabow-pipe-info.com/
- Dr. Grabow Collector Forum: http://drgrabows.myfreeforum.org/index.php?sid=c13a84f8440dc5de0af48b4afec89e6c