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Caminetto

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[[Image:Caminetto.jpg|left|thumb]]
Caminetto's history really started in 1959 when '''Guiseppe Ascorti''' (, from Cucciago, and known to his friends as "Peppino" for his friends) from Cucciago , was hired by '''Carlo Scotti''' and his brand to work at '''[[Castello]]''' , located in nearby Cantu. Since it's foundation in 1947 Castello had contributed substantially contributed to re-gained fame of glory for Italian pipemaking. Talent and assiduity soon made Ascorti one of Scotti's most important notable pipemakers. A man he counted on for the future. But Ascorti had his own farreaching far reaching plan: he wanted to work as a self-employed pipemaker! After his wife Paola had taken over her parent's small greengrocery in the early 60s this plan became more concretconcrete. The additional income from the shop enabled him to buy toolery tools 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 succeeded to persuade and wooe away also persuaded the young and highly talented pipemaker '''Luigi [[Radice]]''' (born 1939), who was also his next door neighbor in Cucciago, to join him. Carlo Scotti, whom everyone otherwise knows is known as a perfect gentleman, is reported to have found some drastic expressions for what he thought spoken unreservedly about them..this development.
Ascorti & Radice started to manufacture pipes now under on their own administration. One of the first, who agreed to store market 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 florishing contacts with US pipe wholesalers and traders. He shipped some pipes across the pond for inspection and received proper excellent 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.
[[Image:Caminetto_27.JPG|right|thumb|Impressive old production Business 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 certain whether the distinctive moustache mustache logo on the stem and the Caminetto slogan "La Pipa del Baffo" - "the pipe with the moustachemustache" - was created the same night. In fact, Ascorti and Radice both wore impressing impressively large moustaches mustaches and a pharmacist in the neighborhood had been kidding on them about that. (Davoli, for reasons of corporate identity, later wore a big moustachemustache, 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 Castello pipes were highly sought for after but real hard-to-gets get due to the fact that limited 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 put under contract, with successful nationwide distributordistribution. The success was overwhelming - simply far beyond any expectation. Most popular became , with the rusticated Business linebecoming the most popular.
[[Image:Caminetto_05.jpg|left|thumb]]
Ironically enough, the increasing demand soon drove Ascorti and Radice to the limits of their production soon. The brand had been introduced successfully in Germany , and some pipes could be placed in Italy, tooto some extent. By the end of 1970 further more hands were needed. Even Ascorti's elder son , Roberto (born 1958; and the current owner) helped with the stamping and shipping of the pipes when he was still yet a schoolboy. The most important employee is '''Cesare Vigano''', who has worked for Caminetto / Ascorti for more than thirty years. To bring about a sounder solution more stability and higher production, Davoli invested a considerable amount of money in modern pipemaking machinery , and in doing so he went from distributor to 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 as 3,000, 5,000, and then 7,000 pipes per year were made , placing Caminetto at the top of the US sales in their market segment. The entire thing really went to be a grotesque. The 1974 Tinderbox catalogue 1974 catalog celebrates Gianni Davoli as "master pipe maker and designer" and "the sole creator of the Caminetto"! Not without a single word mentions mention of Ascorti or Radice!
[[Image:Gianni_1.jpg|left|thumb]][[Image:Gianni_2.jpg|right|thumb]]
btw. In addition to Caminitto, Davoli sold a private label brand by Ascorti / Radice named '''Gianni''' for a couple of years in Italy.
Caminetto prospered fine throughout the 70s. Everyone was hard at work, sales went on wellcontinued to increase, but then all of a sudden things started brewing and soon there after, disagreements occurred among the three principles, marking the begin of the end.
The begin First Luigi Radice became increasingly discontent with the factory like production. Pipes were made by standard shape numbers and there was no longer room for his own creative pipemaking and personal development. He was also afraid that the increased production would eventually lead to a reduction in quality. Radice started quarreling with Ascorti about the future course of the endCaminetto, and they were unable to find a solution. Radice, being an employed pipemaker rather than a partner, could not assert himself.
Ascorti shared Radice's concerns about maintaining the quality in the face of the higher production, but Davoli had gained almost total control by this time, and insisted on the higher production.
The next controversy was regarding Roberto. The young man had visited a school of arts and also completed his service in the army. Roberto did not want to attend an university and instead started helping in the workshop with pipe repairs, and making his first few pipes. His father wanted to hire him in as a full----time pipemaker, but Davoli refused, being afraid to loose influence to the potentially strong alliance between father and son.
The situation worsened in 1979. The foreseen quality issues occurred--there were complaints from the US. And there is some indication that Carlo Scotti considered legal actions, asserting that Caminetto had copied some of Castello's successful shapes too exactly. At this point Ascorti wanted to sever ties with Davoli, but Davoli was able to assert himself and maintained control.
First I tre Camini disbanded in December of 1979 when Luigi Radice became more and more discontented with the way of pipe manufacturing which became visibly factory like left, without prospects, knowing not where or how he would continue as production was increased furthermorea pipemaker. Caminetto worked along shape numbers and there was no room for A clear indication that he had very strong feelings as to his own creative pipemaking and personal developement. He was also afraid that the swollen up production could not be conducive for quality in the long run. Radice started quarreling future with Ascorti about the future course of Caminetto. But they weren't able to find a solution and Radice, being an employed pipemaker rather than a partner, could not assert himself.
Ascorti shared Radicevs. Davoli continued for a few more months. The Ascorti family offered to buy the brand, but they couldn's scruples about quality to t afford it at the time. So Guiseppe Ascorti hastily equipped a certain degree new workshop and then he also wanted left company which was essentially his own. But the complete crew whom he had trained in the old Caminetto workshop followed him. And thus they were able to slack off re-start making pipes within a bitfew weeks in 1980. For three months they sold pipes under the name '''Sergio'''. Only 800 to 1, but Davoli had gained almost total control000 Sergio pipes were released. He hied Then Giuseppe Ascorti onand his son Roberto founded a new company under their own last name. "More- For the further history see '''[[Ascorti]]'''!"
The next controversy was about Roberto. The young man had visited a school of arts and meanwhile also ended his service in the army. Roberto didn't want to go to an university. Instead he started helping in the workshop with pipe repairs and making his first few pipes. Now his father wanted to bring him in as a full-employed pipemaker. But Davoli refused strictly as he was afraid to loose influence to a strong alliance between father and son inside the company. Things got worse in 1979. Now the foreseen complaints about descending quality occurred. From the USA off all things. And if some reports are true Carlo Scotti impended to take legal actions because he felt that Caminetto had copied some successful Castello shapes far too exactly. Now Ascorti wanted to get rid of Davoli. But Davoli harshly made plain who was the real boss. I tre Camini disbanded. Luigi Radice had enough in December 1979 and went away. How serious the conflicts were is indicated by the fact that he had no perspective where or how to continue as a pipemaker when he decided to quit. Ascorti vs. Davoli continued for a few more months. The Ascorti family offered to buy the brand, but they couldn't afford it at the time. So Guiseppe Ascorti hastily furnished a new workshop and then he left company which was essentially his own. How bitter! But the complete crew whom he had trained in the old Upon leaving Caminetto workshop followed him. And thus they were able to re-start making pipes within a few weeks in 1980. For merely three months they sold them under the name '''Sergio'''. Only 800 to 1,000 Sergio pipes were released. Then Giuseppe Ascorti and his son Roberto founded a new company under their own last name. - For the further history see '''[[Ascorti]]'''! Luigi Radice went through huge difficulties, but in through the run of 1980 1980s he also managed to establish himself as independent pipemaker. Gianni Davoli, last chimney standing, stayed behind, now owning a pipe workshop without any pipemaker. Strange enough, the old Caminetto workshop caught fire shortly after and burned down to ashes.
Gianni Davoli, last chimney standing, stayed behind, now owning a pipe workshop without any pipemakers. Strange enough, the old Caminetto workshop caught fire shortly afterward and burned down to ashes.
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