Raisch Tells All: A Study of Pipes & Ash!

Due to low-attendance at our December 2017 regular monthly meeting in Seattle, SOB Larry Raisch was asked to reprise his presentation on the varieties of pipes and tobacco found in the Canon!

His interest in this topic developed because, as he told us, “Pipes are mentioned in 22 of the stories and tobacco in all, but four of them. So a discussion of pipe and tobacco-use might be of interest to many of you. After all, the iconic image of Holmes always includes the deerstalker and the calabash.”

Larry came through on his promise—drawing a healthy crowd to our February 17th regular meeting—with his interesting and enlightening program.

Along with the fascinating talk he gave us on the types of pipes and tobacco referenced in the Sherlockian Canon, Larry brought along a number of different pipes, which he displayed, passed around and explained in some detail—meerschaum pipes, briar and cherry pipes, clay churchwardens, and calabash pipes, among others. He also discussed modern approximations of the “black shag” and “arcadia” tobaccos mentioned in the stories, providing some examples of Sherlockian-inspired tobacco blends.

Larry’s interesting talk, slide presentation and “show & tell” was further enhanced by Member Chris Berwald bringing along samples from his own collection.  This topic so grabbed Members attending this meeting that the Q&A session afterward
lasted as long as Larry’s excellent presentation!

Ed. Note: We received an email from SOB Sonia Fetherston several days later with this message: “I’ve had a note from Mark Alberstat, editor of Canadian Holmes (the magazine of the Bootmakers of Toronto).  He saw my Tweet and photos about Larry Raisch’s presentation last Sunday and wants to talk with Larry.” Naturally, PFL David passed Larry’s email address on to Sonia and Mark!!