Pipes used for smoking are made from a variety of materials, including glass, metal, corncob, and certain types of wood. However, ask anyone who is a regular smoker and they will probably tell you that pipes made of glass are the only ones worth buying.
Glass tubes come in different types and shapes. Each type works best with a specific type and quantity of product. Each has unique advantages and benefits.
A Brief History of Glass Tubes
Pipes have been around for thousands of years in one form or another and are usually smoked for longer periods of time. Various ancient cultures inhaled some form of smoke for a variety of reasons, usually religious/spiritual, but sometimes social, or even to promote health.
Smoking a variety of substances using what we know today as a pipe is closely associated with early North American indigenous cultures. Today’s pipelines were originally modeled on these, although they have evolved a lot over the centuries. Native American pipes were usually made of wood, clay, corncob, or animal antlers (elk, deer).
When pipes became popular in European society as a form of recreation, the materials used to make them became more diverse, but were still mostly made of wood. Over the centuries, as technology improved and new resources became available, pipe makers began to use other materials to make pipes. Corn lollipops were popular in the 1800s because corn was cheap and relatively plentiful, and corn on the cob was otherwise scrap.
While corncob pipes still exist, they have fallen out of favor in the mainstream for pipes made from more modern materials such as metal because they can withstand higher temperatures. The problem with metal pipes, however, is that while they can absorb heat without damage, they often get too hot to touch. This limits their usefulness, especially when it comes to anything more exotic than regular tobacco.
into the glass tube. It is difficult to determine the exact origin of the glass tube. Rather than being attributed to a particular individual or company, it is more likely that glass tubes simply developed with the development of glassmaking techniques and the art of glassblowing. Early glass pipes were both smoking devices and works of art (perhaps more). They were produced at a time when glassblowing techniques were honed and perfected, mostly in the past 50 years. Glassblowers make glass tubes as another form of their art.
sherlock glass tube
It didn’t take long for the glass pipe to catch the attention of smokers. They initially attracted smokers for their artistic value, but smokers soon realized that smoking a glass pipe produced a taste unmatched by any other material. In fact, it’s not the taste that attracts smokers, it’s the lack of it. Pipes made from other materials provide some type of subtle flavor to the product or substance being smoked, while glass pipes produce a pure, clean flavor without any added flavor from the pipe itself.
To illustrate this, think of drinking un-oaked wine versus the more common oak-aged wine. Oak-aged wines have unique flavors that are not found in un-oaked wines. A more precise description is the difference between bottled beer and canned beer. Glass bottled beer does not taste the same as beer sealed in aluminum cans.
Still hand-blown, contemporary glass tubes are both works of art and functional. Their designs range from simple to complex, abstract to concrete, or to mimic animals or other objects. They look beautiful and are great to use.