Woolsey

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Handmade pipes. Lettering and numbers were accomplished with single impact tool for each. Thus are consistently slightly out of alignment. First two numbers indicate year of manufacture, following numbers indicate some sequential numbering of the pipes he had made during that year. The horn interface between bowl and stem is an identifying feature of which Woolsey was quite proud. Doesn't break. Doesn't wear out. He’d carefully observe potential customers while they were handling his pipes displayed on a counter and making a selection. His interest was in identifying the specific characteristics his customers were looking for or expected in a pipe. He took notes concerning customer discussion of features or missing preferences.

Woolsey was, as I recall, a fireman living and working in the Los Angeles area in the 1960’s and 70’s. He started making pipes as a spare-time hobby, then gradually expanded his output without ever going into the business full time. Was very much an artistic and technologically competent craftsman. During his annual vacation period he’d travel north and bring along about sixty pipes, then display and sell them in Tacoma and Seattle pipe shops. Woolsey was his real last name, don’t recall the first. His pipes smoke well, have adequate mass to preclude overheating, and physically endure. The one I bought directly from him is horizontally numbered 7550 with the number 65 written immediately below, both remaining above the vertical lettering WOOLSEY.