As fans of both smoking and history, we love to highlight people and stories that play a significant role in smoking culture. From the oldest vestiges of our favourite plant to the very first metal pipes, there is so much that gets left out of mainstream history. Since movements are often driven by one or more people, our new series Smoking Legends will seek to spotlight the folks behind it all. So, you may have heard of the iconic Proto Pipe, but have you ever wondered who was the person responsible for its creation? Read on to learn who invented the Proto Pipe and how this modular pipe changed the smoking culture for good.
The Birth of the Proto Pipe
What’s the story with the Proto Pipe, then? Well, it all began over 50 years ago, sometime in 1968, when a man named Phil Jergeson decided to design a pipe that would dazzle gadget-loving smokers. At a time when James Bond was in, new tools and appliances were on the rise, and people had more disposable income than ever, the Proto Pipe filled a need for smokers who wanted something more from the traditional smoking pipe. Just as cannabis was making a name for itself in the US, this clever brass pipe was there to offer smokers the pipe they didn’t know they needed.
A Legacy of Ingenuity
Complete with a poker, a storage compartment, and screenless technology, this pipe revolutionized pipe smoking, simplifying the process and putting all necessary tools in one place. Inspired by radical thinkers, the Proto Pipe was forged in the flames fanned by the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. Despite the hardships faced by its creator, like phony investors trying to steal the pipe and the War on Drugs, this pipe survived over the years due to its unique and thoughtful design. In the 2010s, a small mishap with clogged resin led to an improvement on the original design and a revival of the brand.
The Brockton Picking Up Where The Proto Pipe Left Off
The Proto Pipe and Jergenson paved the way for modular pipes, as well as brass pipes in smoking culture. While the pipe is an inspiration to us, we see The Brockton Mk2 as picking up where its predecessor left off but also innovating upon its groundbreaking design. Fashioned from the same material of durable and rugged brass, our pipe has a magnetic lid, changeable screens, and a large bowl that lights from the bottom. Furthermore, as a pipe that is modular and fully descontructible, the Brockton Mk2 makes soaking and cleaning your pipe worlds easier.
Time to Enjoy
Our hats off to smoking legend Phil Jergenson for his generous contributions to both smoking culture and pipe history. For more on noteworthy inventors, cannapreneurs, as well as movers and shakers in the smoking accessories world, stay tuned for more additions to this series. To learn more about pipe design and history, check out the Parkdale Brass blog. If you are looking for smoking tips or infographics, hop on over to our Instagram! Be sure to check out our durable, brass accessories in The Parkdale Brass shop.