Dating colonial pipes

For this cataloguing system, we suggest using Oswalds (19-42, figure 3G and 4G) Simplified General Typology for attempting to type pipe bowls that are complete enough to match the forms he provides.

Archaeologists analyze multiple clues to date and identify the pipe maker including a careful combination of archaeological site context, bowl style and form, pipe stem bore diameter, style and placement of the mark itself, and place of manufacture.

The area of Pamplin, Virginia, is one the localities where this type is known to have been produced in large quantities.

Manufactured by individual pipemakers beginning in about 1740, and by the Pamplin Smoking Pipe and Manufacturing Company, which operated from 1878 until 1951, pipes from the Pamplin area are distinguished by the high-quality, deep red, local clay from which they were made.

Impressed into clay tobacco pipes are bits of data that have fueled endless research avenues since the earliest days of archaeology on historic sites excavated on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

This crowdsourced database focuses on just one bit the remains of the marks of the pipe maker or a preferred symbol permanently affixed to the product.

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