Dr. Grabow in Sparta N.C. 1953+

Timeline created by Tiki Vegas
In History
  • HLT / Grabow moves to Sparta

    HLT / Grabow moves to Sparta
    HL&T moved from NY to Sparta (1953) and acquired the Dr. Grabow line from Chicago, they merged or took over a couple of other New York pipe manufacturing companies.
  • Viking

    Viking
  • Coupon pipes begin

    Coupon pipes begin
    Westbrook was one of several pipes (Berwyck, Belvedere, Emperor, and Sculptura) that were made by Grabow and distributed by R. J. Reynolds as coupon pipes. A coupon was placed into bags of Carter Hall and George Washington tobacco that was redeemable for these Grabow pipes. Westbrook was about 5 coupons and $3.00 for part of its life. This offer started in the mid-50's and ended in the late 80's. It was the longest running redemption offer in history.
  • Grabow adds Contnental design pipes

    Grabow adds Contnental design pipes
  • 1964 Surgeon Generals issues warning on cigarette smoking.

    1964 Surgeon Generals issues warning on cigarette smoking.
  • Production reaches 3.6 million pipes per year

    Production reaches 3.6 million pipes per year
    Production is 3.6 million pipes per year making it the largest pipe operation under one roof
  • Dr. Paul E. Grabow dies at age 97 from natural causes.

    Dr. Paul E. Grabow dies at age 97 from natural causes.
    "..It was during one of their nightly sessions that Mr. Linkman mentioned that he was coming out with a new pipe containing some innovated improvements and was looking for a name for it. He thought if it contained a Doctor's name it would probably sell better so he asked my Father if he would mind if he could use the Dr. Grabow name as he liked the sound of it. My Father liked the idea and was flattered to have a pipe named after him...." Milford Grabow
  • Price list 1967

    Eldorado - $10.00
    Commodore - $7.95
    Viscount - $5.95
    Viscount rustic - $5.95
    Starfire - $4.95
    Starfire rustic - $4.95
    Golden Duke - $4.95
    Silver Duke - $3.95
    Regal - $3.50
    Viking Deluxe - $2.95
    Royal Duke - $2.95
    Crown Duke - $2.50
    Savoy - $2.50
    Grand Duke - $1.95
    Riviera - $1.95
    Lark - $1.50
  • UST buys Grabow from HLT

    UST buys Grabow from HLT
  • Meer lined pipes

    Meer lined pipes
    The manufacturer of these meer lined in Italy did not have a spade insertion machine. The stems are stamped Italy underneath, and those which do have a spade are an outline only. Once Sparta learned how to insert the meer cups, they began to make them...though not for long. Sparta-made meer lined are known by their trademarked stem and Sparta made shapes.
  • New Sparta facility built

    New Sparta facility built
    This is the "new" plant, and Dr. Grabow pipes are made here, in the USA by dedicated employees that average 30 years experience.
  • CDL is introduced

    CDL is introduced
    Comments were.. Coolest smoke I ever had.
                                 Dryest smoke I ever had.
                                 Lightest pipe I ever owned.
  • FREEHANDS are introduced

    FREEHANDS are introduced
    Freehand was a copy of an Israeli pipe called Masterson. Masterson was a manmade freehand used by Brown & Wiliamson as a coupon pipe in Sir Walter Raliegh tobacco. Mastercraft had an Anderson that was the same as the Masterson. Dr. Grabow Freehand came from these. 1974-76 This shape continues to this day in about 6 shapes, rustic and smooth.
  • "Color" Duke / Viscount / Viking added

    "Color" Duke / Viscount / Viking added
  • Viking Pacer added, ended 2011

    Viking Pacer added, ended 2011
    The Viking, Viking Pacer and CDL were great ways to use up briar that was too small for a regular pipe.
  • Grabow runs ads during Monday Night Football featuring actress Erin Gray

    Grabow runs ads during Monday Night Football featuring actress Erin Gray
  • Dr. Grabow Corn Cob pipes are available

    Dr. Grabow Corn Cob pipes are available
    The cob pipes were not manufactured "in house" and many were sold until late 1980's. Grabow tried growing their own corn with the help of the state university ag department but wasn't economical.
  • Stems switch to ABS plastic

    Because the florescent lights or sunlight oxidized the vulcanite stems, Grabow switched to ABS plastic to increase the shelf life of their pipes as they hung on display boards or hung on pegs.
  • Shape stamping ends

    Shape stamping ends
    in the early eighties, all shape stamps where ended on almost all pipes.
  • End of RJR copon pipes offer.

    End of RJR copon pipes offer.
    R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company had two other pipe tobaccos which were George Washington and Carter Hall that shared a good hunk of the pipe tobacco market left over from Prince Albert and Sir Walter Raleigh. Thus sets the stage for a coupon to be placed in each package or can of these tobacco products. The pipes presented to the American public were the very finest mass produced pipes ever created by man, or in all probability will ever be created by man.
  • UST sells Grabow to Lane

    UST sells Grabow to Lane
    This was a welcome buy-out for Sparta. Lane provided much needed cash to expand the business.
  • BIG PIPE

    BIG PIPE
    About 600 Big Pipes are created to use some existing large briar blocks in inventory. Straight, bent, smooth, rustic and even some blonde. Made late 1992- early 1994.
  • IP&A buy Grabow

    IP&A buy Grabow
    International Pipes & Accessories LLC. At this time Sparta plant produces 300,000 pipes per year.
  • Period: to

    Viking

  • Period: to

    Westbrook

    Westbrook was one of several pipes (Berwyck, Belvedere, Emperor, and Sculptura) that were made by Grabow and distributed by R. J. Reynolds as coupon pipes. A coupon was placed into bags of Carter Hall and George Washington tobacco that was redeemable for these Grabow pipes. Westbrook was about 5 coupons and $3.00 for part of its life. This offer started in the mid-50's and ended in the late 80's. It was the longest running redemption offer in history.
  • Period: to

    Berwyck

    55-69 or later.Another RJR pipe, a filter pipe and later addition.
  • Period: to

    Eldorado/Emperor, Viscount, Regal & Starfire

    Viscount made 1956 1992.  White Viscount started 1969.  Color Viscount started 1970
    The Emperor and the early Eldorado are the same pipe --just different stamping. The Eldorado was the top of the line in the regular retail production. The Emperor was top of the line in the coupon pipe line up. Fills can be found in both lines--usually quite small and usually only one or two. Production ended in '89, some sold into early 90's.
  • Period: to

    Savoy & Riviera

    SAVOY (c1956) -- First appears in a magazine ad for $2.00 as early as October 1956.
    RIVIERA (c1956-57) -- First appears in a magazine ad for $1.50 as early as March 1957.
  • Period: to

    Belvedere

    It was one of the first (maybe THE FIRST) wire carved pipes ever. Check the carving on a Starfire or Viscount.... and the a Belvedere. There is a difference. Pre- 1964 and the Surgeon Generals report... Belvedere was made from the very best briar available in our universe..
  • Period: to

    Silver, Crown Duke & Commodore

    Silver Duke was made from late 50's or early 60's until 1992.
    As far as I know all Silver Dukes were "banded", used an aluminum extension on the shank.
    Mostly ajusto filter style but some push stem filter style were made.
    Commodore First appears in a magazine ad for $7.95 as early as 1964. Like the Sculptura, later models were sandblasted in a "big" blast circa 1967-69 (See "Sculptura" for details.)
  • Period: to

    The Continentals

    In the late 50's Grabow salesmen and managers bought every "fancy" pipe they could find and sent them all to Sparta. In 1958/59 Gracen Lucas and Jimmy Jones copied and designed over 100 (136 I believe) Continental shapes.   At a sales meeting in 1959 the salesmen picked the 18 shapes that they wanted introduced into the Grabow lines.   Since the factory had to start from scratch making these it took quite a while to get enough pipes to sell.  
  • Period: to

    Duke

    From 1964 to 1984 the "Little Duke" and the Lark were imported from Italy. Later made at Sparta to increase production at the facility.
  • Period: to

    Grand, Royal, Golden Duke & Lark

    First appears in a magazine ad with Ajustomatic stem for $4.95 as early as December 1964.
  • Period: to

    Sculptura

    Newest of the RJR special offer pipes. These were sandblasted in a "big" blast. The operator stood with his hands in heavy rubber gloves and blasted away grain. He could only do about 50 pieces an hour. Prior to this, most "sandblasted" pipes were tumbled in a contraption like a cement mixer using walnut shells as the media. Dr. Grabow really never got into that, but waited until they could do it "right" using glass shot.
  • Period: to

    Omega

    Available in 3 sizes, rustic and smooth. Omega was a copy of a well pipe imported from Italy
  • Period: to

    Dr. Grabow Corn Cob pipes

    Classic Cobs and Golden Cobs
  • Period: to

    HLT Royalton

    First year special Lucite stems included white spade, after first year was omitted. NEW Dr. Grabow Royalton came out in 1988 using old HL&T pipe line name -- and even employed the old stamp with "HLT" in a shield just because they had it on hand.
  • Period: to

    Bucko & Hillcrest

    Bucko was a shot to get the most profit from the smallest, cheapest bowls. Made rustic and smooth, push stem, yellow spade.
    Hillcrest created to make use of poorer briar. Included new shapes and carvings.
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    Cardinal

    Lane era pipe, named for the color of stain.
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    "COLLECTOR"

    2002-03. Not stamped "Dr. Grabow". Dark blasted finish