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'''The following are reviews written of THE CUSTOM-BILT PIPE STORY:'' The reviews provide an excellent history of Custom-Bilt, but we highly recommend Bill Unger's excellent book' (see the end of the page)''
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''These reviews originally appeared in The Pipe Collector, the official newsletter of the American Pipe Collectors Society [http://naspc.org (NASPC)] and used by permission. It's a great organization--consider joining.''
   
[[File:CustomBiltBox06.jpg|thumb|400px|Courtesy Doug Valitchka]]
 
[[File:CustomBiltBox06.jpg|thumb|400px|Courtesy Doug Valitchka]]
 
== A REVIEW BY RICHARD ESSERMAN ==
 
== A REVIEW BY RICHARD ESSERMAN ==
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Bill ends the book by writing, "It would be interesting to know how much the various pipe carvers at the various American pipe companies were aware of each other or communicated with each other (in the 1940s and 1950s) when pipe making was a booming industry in the United States." I suspect there was a lot of communication and a lot of sharing (buying) of bowls among the factories. If you look closely at certain stamps on some of the major brands of that day, they are identical.
 
Bill ends the book by writing, "It would be interesting to know how much the various pipe carvers at the various American pipe companies were aware of each other or communicated with each other (in the 1940s and 1950s) when pipe making was a booming industry in the United States." I suspect there was a lot of communication and a lot of sharing (buying) of bowls among the factories. If you look closely at certain stamps on some of the major brands of that day, they are identical.
 
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<center><gallery widths=200>
 
File:Custombilt07.jpg
 
File:Custombilt07.jpg
 
File:CustomBilt07a.jpg
 
File:CustomBilt07a.jpg
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Bill did a great job and I highly recommend it. It is a must for the serious pipe collector.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Bill did a great job and I highly recommend it. It is a must for the serious pipe collector.
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== Custom-Bilt ORIGINAL ==
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[[File:Custombilt13.jpg|thumb|Custombilt ORIGINAL Ad]]Ad copy from the Custombilt period of pipes marked ORIGINAL: ''"The year 1940 gave birth to a new and unique idea in pipemaking and pipe designing... The Custom-Bilt pipes. Rare large briar blocks were carefully selected for lightness and turned into big, bold shapes of exceptional balance.''
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''Skilled hand craftsmen then carved the unique Custombilt design on those bowls deemed fully grained and distinctive. The steps of sanding and polishing followed to create a finish unmatcdhed for its feel, appearance, or luster.''
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''HOLLCO proudly re-introduces the Custombilt Original with justifiable pride. The Custombilt Original of today is turned from rare blocks of Grecian briar and each exacting detail of yesteryear has been duplicated by our master pipe makers. No two Custombilt Original pipes are carved alike, they are "as individual as a thumbprint." All Custombilt shapes are oversized."''
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<gallery widths=250 heights=185 caption="Custom-bilt ORIGINAL example and detail, courtesy Doug Valitchka">
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File:Custombilt01.jpg
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File:Custombilt-0-07.jpg
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File:Custombilt08.jpg
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</gallery>
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'''The following are reviews written of THE CUSTOM-BILT PIPE STORY:'' The reviews provide an excellent history of Custom-Bilt, but we highly recommend Bill Unger's excellent book' (see the end of the page)''
 +
 +
''These reviews originally appeared in The Pipe Collector, the official newsletter of the American Pipe Collectors Society [http://naspc.org (NASPC)] and used by permission. It's a great organization--consider joining.''
    
== A REVIEW BY TONY SODERMAN ==
 
== A REVIEW BY TONY SODERMAN ==

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