Henry Leonard & Thomas Inc.

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Henry Leonard & Thomas, Inc. (HLT) was founded in Ozone Park, Queens, New York by Henry J. Lavietes and two partners on May 31, 1938. The company patented a stem design for pipes and cigarette holders designed by Henry on March 9, 1943. Henry was the son of David Lavietes, who moved to Sparta, North Carolina in the early 1940s to purchase laurel and rhododendron burl to ship back to his son and HLT. Lavietes decided to stay in Sparta and founded the D&P Pipe Works with his other son Paul, originally as a 15 person operation. David Lavietes was the inventor of the Ajustomatic feature incorporated into Dr. Grabow pipes even today.

1944 Ad, courtesy Doug Valitchka
Royalton Crown Ad, courtesy Doug Valitchka
Courtesy Doug Valitchka
Courtesy Doug Valitchka

In 1944, the trademark for the Royalton filter well was granted to HLT. Soon after, however, Henry Lavietes closed the New York operation with little warning and moved the entire production to Sparta, North Carolina. At this time in addition to the Royalton line, HLT was making many other lines of pipes.

In 1953, HLT acquired all assets and equipment of the Dr. Grabow company of Chicago, Illinois, and began production of Grabow and Hollycourt pipes. At the same time, they acquired the Continental Briar Company, owner of the Royal Duke, Duke of Dundee, and Honeydew pipe brands still evident in the common use of the word "Duke" to name Grabow pipes.

On October 21, 1969, United States Tobacco company, owners of the Mastercraft brand, announced that it had acquired HLT. It still ran as a separate company until 1985, however, when Sparta Pipes, Mastercraft and HLT were merged into Sparta Industries, Inc.

While, even after this time, the HLT brand was sold to Lane, and later, in 2006 to International Pipes & Assessories, the current owners, IPAL continues to make and sell the Royalton pipe with the original HLT logo as part of the Grabow line.