Artifact of the Day

Artifact of the Day: Pipes!

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Pipe Bowl Fragments
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Pipe Stem Fragments

Today’s artifacts of the day are a handful of clay tobacco pipe fragments recovered from Eutaw Manor. Clay pipes were first developed in the early 17th century and were in use into the late 19th century.  Tobacco pipe fragments are one of the more common artifacts found on archaeological sites in America.

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The bowls were small because tobacco was still rare and expensive so only a small amount was usually purchased by the pipe smoker. The stems were normally 6-12 inches in length and as these pipes were used multiple times by multiple smokers, small portions of these long stems were broken off where the last smoker held the pipe in his teeth, so as to get a clean mouth piece and to eliminate the harsh buildup of bitter tars and nicotine at the end of the stem.  As the individual pipes continued to be smoked and the stems reduced, they eventually became short and were known as “nose warmers” but the early nicotine addiction forced the smokers into continuing to use the shorter and shorter pipes until they reached a minimal length that was called “smoking to the bitter end” referring to the disagreeable taste of the tobacco tars buildup in the short stem.  

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