Steven Johnson

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John Wanamaker Building, home of E. Wilke pipe shop were Steven Johnson as manager.
Illustration pf the John Wanamaker building from the Daily Graphic, circa 1878, courtesy Doug Valitchka

Steven Johnson made his first pipe at the age of 9, as a friend had accidently dropped his pipe in a stream while fishing. This is according to an article in the Boca Raton News on May 16, 1982. It says further that by the age of 20 he had become a master pipe maker. He worked as the manager of the E. Wilke pipe shop, since 1977 was located in a large department store called John Wanamakers in Philadelphia. For his own pipes he's reported to have produced 3 pipes a day, 6 days a week. His pipes are rare to find and are marked S. JOHNSON.

Richard Esserman, in an article entitled "Pipe Travels", wrote of meeting Steve Johnson in 1978 at Wanamaker's. At the time Johnson made pipes for Wilke's in a small room right in the middle of the department store. The two became friends, and Esserman comments on one pipe going to the Wilke shop in New York City with an asking price of $500.00, a substantial sum in those days for any pipe.

In "Trial By Fire", an article in Pipes and Tobaccos magazine by William Serad and Tad Gage, Mr. Serad speaks of Steve Johnson working as the manager of the satellite store in Philadelphia in the early 1970's, and again offers great compliments to Mr. Johnson's work.

Mr. Johnson is believed to have moved on from the Philadelphia Wilke's shop to working for Zino Davidoff.

Markings: No. 1 BROAD STREET, (J.W), MADE IN ENGLAND (round stamping) made in the 1930's-40's timeframe reportedly by Comoy's for the tobacco shop in the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia, located at No. 1 BROAD STREET. It's stamped with the (J.W) logo and the early 1930's-40's circular MADE IN ENGLAND country of manufacture stamping. Here's some info on the stamping from Trademark history: J.W. On Tuesday, April 18, 1933, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for NO. 1 BROAD STREET by JOHN WANAMAKER PHILADELPHIA, PHILADELPHIA. The USPTO has given the NO. 1 BROAD STREET trademark serial number of 71336921. Made for them by Comoy's. The NO. 1 BROAD STREET trademark is filed in the category of Rubber Products . The description provided to the USPTO for NO. 1 BROAD STREET is SMOKING TOBACCO.