Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pipe Smoking and Berets

Pipes have been used since ancient times. Herodotus described Scythians inhaling the fumes of burning leaves in 500 B.C. Romans, and Greeks adopted pipes from their neighbors to the east and they were subsequently used by Germanic, Celtic and Nordic tribes.

As tobacco was not introduced to the Old World until the 16th century, the pipes outside of the Americas were usually used to smoke hashish, a rare and expensive substance outside areas of the Middle East, Central Asia and India, where it was produced.
Peasant smoking a pipe, by Adriaen van Ostade
Native Americans smoked tobacco in pipes long before the arrival of Europeans. Tobacco was introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century and spread around the world rapidly.
Student in Paris (F), 1950's
Somehow, berets and pipe-smoking have strong links and, despite being an ex-smoker myself, like most ex-smokers having a strong dislike of smoke, I do recall sweet memories of the smell of pipe tobacco, the sight of friendly grandfathers with beret and pipe, grandson at hand...
This French Scout Leader would be a good example too, and this picture is only from 1985.
1931, Collotype by Joan Manning-Sanders: Young Andrew with Beret and Pipe

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