Dr. Grabow Pipe History Timeline

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The following chronology is the work of Russell McKay, and is from his website DrGrabow-pipe-info.com. It appears on Pipedia by kind permission of the author.

Dr. Grabow Pipe History Timeline: I am adding at this point a sort of simple, condensed "timeline" of significant events in the Linkman/Dr. Grabow pipe history. A lot of this is not necessarily "etched in stone", and is basically a "working copy" of notes Mr. Bridges and I have put together highlighting things that we have found, observed or speculated on. Hopefully this will prove to be of interest and at the least, will be a good starting point for further research, comments and feedback:

Chronology, as of 09-17-2006.

  • 1892 Louis B. Linkman (22 years old?) founds M. Linkman & Co. (for comparison, Dr. Grabow would have been about 24). (DRB)
  • 1914, July 21st. Linkman’s first(?) Patent (No. 1104203) for an aluminum reinforced push-stem. (RJM)
  • 1922 Linkman builds 3-story factory at corner of Fullerton and Racine, Chicago.
  • 1924, March 25th. Linkman’s Patent No. 1487867 for a first “tool” type stinger/nicotine collector. (RJM)
  • 1930 Linkman (59 years old?) begins using Dr Grabow (62 years old) name (DRB) (or in 1931?)
  • 1932, April 13th, Linkman applies for his spoon/tool/nicotine-saliva trap stinger, Patent #1896800.
  • 1932 Paul H Minton applied for paper pipe filter in 1932. Improved it and applied for a 2nd patent 1,967,585 04-12-1933. (DRB)
  • 1933, February 7th, Linkman (62 years old) receives patent #1896800 for threaded stem (Stinger Type L1 & L2) (DRB)
  • 1933, November 18th. Albert L. Vogel files for “Hollycourt” patent, Patent 2073663 (Stinger Type H1), registered March 16th, 1937. (DRB)
  • 1937 Linkman begins calling his pipes “Pre-Smoked” (DRB) (date of DRB’s catalog?)
  • 1938, May 31st. HL&T incorporates in Queens, NY (DRB)
  • 1941, October 13th “C” cut stinger (Stinger Type III?) and PLAIN BLOCK style printed logo as supported in LIFE ad. (RJM)
  • 1942 (or 1943) Yellow and orange “plastic” bands and non-metallic stingers (1943 steel penny era) as shown in ads. (RJM)
  • 1942, December 5th First time I know of that “Ripley’s ‘Believe it or not’” appears in ad. (RJM)
  • 1943 David P. Lavietes moves his D&P Pipe Co. to Boone, NC in 1943 for the mountain laurel. (DRB)
  • 1943, October First BLOCK LETTERING for names on pipes w/o Linkman’s, except for Select Grain based on appearance in ads? (RJM)
  • 1943, October First SHIELD emblem on DeLuxe shows in ad – last time I see it in ad is 1946, although ads don’t always show DeLuxe. (RJM)
  • 1943 Two-digit postal zones begin in larger cities. (RJM)
  • 1944, late- “Slanted Blocks” printed logo first appears in ads. (RJM)
  • 1944 Postal Zone “14” appears in both Linkman’s and Dr. Grabow Pipe addresses given in ads. (RJM)
  • 1944, late- Name change to “Dr. Grabow Pipe Co.” appears in ad. (RJM)
  • 1944, late- Perhaps in concert with name and logo change, SPADE emblem first appears in ad that I can tell. (RJM)
  • 1945 Linkman now about 74 years old. (DRB)
  • 1945 Van Roy ad shows it was AJUSTO that year.
  • 1946, January 25th. David P. Lavietes files for AJUSTOMATIC patent stem to shank threading system, later Patent #2461905. (DRB)
  • 1946, December 16th. Address still shown as 1150 Fullerton in Chicago per an actual invoice with that date. (RJM)
  • 1947 M. Linkman & Co. registers “Dr Grabow” as trademark (DRB)
  • 1947 M. Linkman & Co. registers “Pre-Smoked” as trademark (DRB)
  • 1947, October 11th First appearance of “Slanted Block and Oval” printed logo in ads? Is this what trade mark was registered? (RJM)
  • 1947 Mastercraft Pipes incorporates in Queens, NY (DRB)
  • 1948 Dr. Grabow was registered as a trademark by the M. Linkman & Co.
  • 1949, May 28th Dr. Grabow UNIONIZES as shown in ads up to November 12th, 1949 – May be only for a few months. (RJM)
  • 1949 RTDA Almanac lists Dr. Grabow pipes as Dr. Grabow of Chicago product (DRB)
  • 1949, January 7th. Sparta Industries incorporates from previous Sparta Pipes Inc., in NC (DRB)
  • 1949, February 15th. David P. Lavietes gets patent for AJUSTOMATIC stem to shank threading system, Patent #2461905 (DRB)
  • 1949 Van Roy pipes still selling as AJUSTOS, then, before Dr. Grabow becomes exclusive pipe w/Ajustomatic.
  • 1950s Sparta begins making Dr. Grabow Filter pipes? (DRB)
  • 1952, February 7th. HL&T (relocates?) incorporates in NC (DRB)
  • 1952 Linkman (82 years old?) retires as president of M. Linkman & Co., or maybe in 1953-54? (DRB)
  • - Dr. Grabow relocates to North Carolina - (DRB)
  • 1954, March 16th. Early non-finned Viking US Patent No. D171,694 by Jerome Gevirman.
  • 1954, September POPULAR MECHANICS ad shows a STANDARD -- . 1st year STANDARD name appears? Ad from Mike Leverette.
  • 1955 RTDA Almanac lists Dr. Grabow pipes as HL&T of North Carolina product. (DRB)
  • 1956, June 12th. Later multi finned Viking US patent No. D177,972 by Jerome Gevirman.
  • 1957, January 14th. Linkman (Aged 86 years) dies in Evanston, IL (DRB)
  • 1957 “Westbrook” introduced by HL&T (DRB)
  • 1965 Trademark for “Westbrook” filed by HL&T. (DRB)
  • 1965 Dr. Paul E. Grabow dies in 1965 at age 97 from natural causes.
  • 1967 “Sculptura” introduced, HL&T registered it in 1972. (DRB)
  • 1969 RTDA Almanac lists Dr. Grabow pipes as Dr. Grabow of North Carolina product (DRB)
  • 1974, July 29th. Mastercraft Pipes incorporates in NC (DRB)
  • 1976 Dr. Grabow Pacer (Bent Viking) introduced based on ad in RTDA Almanac. (RJM)
  • 1976, February 23rd. HL&T changes address. (DRB)
  • 1984, December 27th, Lane (New York) Limited incorporates in North Carolina. Annual reports available to 2007 BUT all after 2004 same. (RJM)
  • 1985, July 19th. HL&T and Mastercraft Pipes merge with Sparta Pipes in NC as Sparta Industries (DRB)
  • 1987 Dr. Grabow trademark being assigned by Henry Leonard & Thomas, Inc. to Sparta Industries, when they merged.
  • 1995 Sparta Industries making both Mastercraft and Dr. Grabows as late as this date? (DRB)
  • 1997 Sparta Industries, Inc. merges with Lane Ltd., Annual reports for former available from 1991 to 1997. (DRB)
  • 1999 Lane merges with RJ Reynolds Tobacco, Annual reports available for former from 1992 to 2004. (DRB)
  • 2006, January 26th. International Pipes & Accessories buys Dr. Grabow and Sparta Industries (DRB)
  • Revised as of May 19, 2008 by RJM.

We hope that you find the above information helpful or interesting and would enjoy hearing from you if, in fact, it has been or if you can offer corrections, additions or leads. I especially need copies of Dr. Grabow information from the RTDA Almanacs (copies or scans are fine!) for all years available!!!

Most recent news I have found regarding sale of the Dr. Grabow line of pipes and accessories to International Pipes & Accessories, LLC. An additional news article can be found at New Owner takes Over Pipe Factory.

And speaking of recent news -- and for delightful reading of the experiences of a typical Dr. Grabow pipe smoker, take a moment to read TOM MARTIN's great article at: Diagnosing Dr. Grabow: It's Elementary My Dear Watson.