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Caminetto

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Based on an article courtesy of '''[http://www.italianpipemakers.com/inglese/Frameset-1gb.htm italianpipemakers.com''']
[[Image:Caminetto.jpg|left|thumb]][[Image:Caminetto Pipe01.jpg|right|thumb]]Caminetto's history really started in 1959 when '''Guiseppe Ascorti''' ("Peppino" for his friends) from Cucciago was hired by '''Carlo Scotti''' and his brand '''[[Castello]]''' in nearby Cantu. Since it's foundation in 1947 Castello had substantially contributed to re-gained fame of Italian pipemaking. Talent and assiduity soon made Ascorti one of Scotti's most important pipemakers. A man he counted on for the future. But Ascorti had his own farreaching plan: he wanted to work as a self-employed pipemaker! After he had married in the early 60s this plan became more concret. His wife Paola had taken over her parent's small greengrocery and the additional income from the shop enabled him to buy toolery and machines little by little to furnish his own workshop. By the end of 1968 he was ready to go and he left Castello without a prolonged farewell. Furthermore Ascorti had wooed succeeded to persuade and wooe away young and highly talented pipemaker '''Luigi [[Radice]]''', who was his next door neighbor in Cucciago, to join him. Carlo Scotti, whom everyone otherwise knows as a perfect gentleman, is reported to have found some very drastic expressions for what he thought about thatthem...
Ascorti & Radice started to manufacture pipes now under their own administration. One of the first, who agreed to store their pipes was '''Gianni Davoli''', proprietor of a tobacco shop in Milan. The situation was perfect: two pipemakers in search of a distributor and a pipe merchant in search of a mainstay brand to market. Davoli - via friends and relations in the States - had made upgradable contacts with US pipe wholesalers and traders. He shipped some pipes across the pond for inspection and received proper feedback for the very high quality of the pipes. So he shortly after offered to be the sole distributor worldwide and Ascorti & Radice happily accepted.
The [[Image:Caminetto_27.JPG|right|thumb|Impressive old production Caminetto with hoof]]Then came the legendary evening Ascorti, Radice and Davoli gathered around the fireplace after a hard day's work enjoying their pipes, a glass of wine and humorous conversation. Davoli is said to be the one who associated the pipes with the fireplace or chimney which is "camino" in Italian. Hence "Caminetto", the diminutive (smaller) singular version of camino, was coined as the brand's name . And Ascorti, Radice and Davoli later became famous as "I tre Camini" - the three chimneys. Maybe, they had more than one glass of wine each, but it'''s not finally secured whether the distinctive moustache logo on the stem and the Caminetto, la pipa slogan "La Pipa del Baffo'''" - "the pipe with the moustache" - was decided during a created the same night with friends. In fact, Ascorti and Radice both wore impressing large moustaches and a pharmacist in front the neighborhood had been kidding on them about that. (Davoli, for reasons of corporate identity, later wore a fireplace big moustache, too.) Now Davoli concentrated on marketing the Caminetto brand in the United States. His strategy was as simple as brilliant. There was a remarkable Castello hype at that time. The pipes were highly sought for but real hard-to-gets due to the fact that production never matched demand. Davoli filled the gap promoting the Caminetto to be absolutely equal to the Castello in terms of quality, but asking only half the price. And best of all: the Caminettos were consignable! The Tinder Box International was contracted as a most potent and nationwide distributor. The success was overwhelming - simply far beyond any expectation. Most popular became the rusticated Business line. [[Image:Caminetto_05.jpg|left|thumb]]Ironically enough, the increasing demand drove Ascorti and a glass Radice to the limits of their production soon. The brand had been introduced successfully in Germany, too. By the end of good wine1970 further hands were needed. Peppino The most important is working alone'''Cesare Vigano''', his sons are who has worked for Caminetto / Ascorti for more than thirty years. Even Ascorti's elder son Roberto (current owner) helped with the stamping and shipping of the pipes when he was still too young a schoolboy. To bring about a sounder solution Davoli invested a considerable amount of money in modern pipemaking machinery and so he asks help went from his friends distributor to arrange become co-owner of Caminetto. By 1973 he held the vast majority of the company's capital. The boom, especially in the USA, continued strongly. Production increasing steadily 3,000, 5,000, 7,000 pipes per year were made placing Caminetto at the workshop top of the US sales in their market segment. The entire thing really went to be a grotesque. The Tinderbox catalogue 1974 celebrates Gianni Davoli as "master pipe maker and designer" and some useful machinery."the sole creator of the Caminetto"! Not a single word mentions Ascorti or Radice!
[[Image:Gianni_1.jpg|left|thumb]][[Image:Gianni_2.jpg|right|thumb]]
The manufacture was of very high quality and after btw. In addition Davoli sold a few months private label brand by Ascorti / Radice named '''Gianni Davoli, an important Milanese businessman, offers to be the sole distributor. The two partners accept and Davoli, as ''' for a good businessman takes the small production couple of Caminetto to a top level, not only years in Italy, but also in Germany and the United States. Orders increase, market consents are more and more exciting, and Davoli goes from distributor to become the third partner of "Caminetto". During the 70/80's the name of Caminetto is placed at the top of the sales of high grade handmade pipes.[[Image:Caminetto Pipe02.jpg|left|thumb]] ----  
Unfortunately, in 1980 the three partners find difficulty agreeing on certain points; Peppino, the founder, wants his son, Roberto, working with him; the other partners are afraid of a too strong alliance inside the company. So the dream comes to an end and the partnership is dissolved: the glorious name is torn between Ascorti and Davoli. Both would like total control, the first from love and passion, the second for prestige. Davoli knows that without Ascorti as creator, the name would lose the lustre in a very short time.
[[Image:Caminetto Pipe03.jpg|right|thumb]]
Peppino supports his sons, Roberto and Pierangelo, in founding a new factory under the name of the family, ASCORTI, and he takes with him all the precious artisans whom he trained in the Caminetto workshop.
In 1984 the early passing of Peppino rouses in Roberto and Pierangelo the desire to take to the top again the factory that made famous their father, and that was a perfect school of work and life. All the tradition and the respect had already passed to the younger Ascorti.
[[Image:Caminetto Pipe04.jpg|left|thumb]]
After lengthy negotiations, Davoli, perfectly aware that only Peppino's sons could resurrect Caminetto, lets it go and sells his rights in the Caminetto partnership to Roberto and Pierangelo. Both, moved by the passion for the pipe and by the love for this world that their father transmitted since they were children, decide to affiliate the glorious Caminetto to the already consolidated Ascorti. They have been able to take it back to the top of the sales with a mundial(?) recognition from nostalgic collectors and others.
 
<gallery>
Image:Caminetto Pipe01.jpg|New production Caminettos
Image:Caminetto Pipe02.jpg|Pictures by Frank
Image:Caminetto Pipe03.jpg
Image:Caminetto Pipe04.jpg
</gallery>
The tradition continues through news and revivals which honor Peppino's work, carried on by Roberto with his wife Silvana and already transmitted to their sons, Maddalena and Tommaso. Both follow the passion of their father, even while still studying.

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