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Author Topic: BBB Dating guide?  (Read 8651 times)
Peps1
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« on: February 14, 2011, 07:20:53 pm »

Anyone got a link to a BBB dating guide?
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Steve Laug
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 07:38:04 pm »

Here is an article I picked up on it in the past. It gives some history and background as well as some guidance in dating the pipes. BBB has become one of my favourite old brands to collect.

History of BBB Pipes

I have been doing some digging into BBB pipes for some we have for VPC auctions and I found an article online in French. Here is a Babelfish translation of a history of BBB from http://www.fumeursdepipe.net/artbbb.htm

Genesis and history of the company.
Adolph Frankau & Co Ltd In 1847, Adolph Frankau arrived in London and quickly understood opportunities that the market of tobacco presented, in full expansion. He created the company "Adolph Frankau & Co" and became an importer of meerschaum pipes and supplies in connection with the tobacco. It takes under its wing young a 14 year old boy, Louis Blumfeld. The business thrives quickly until the death of Adolph Frankau in 1856. His widow prepares to sell the company.

Enter in scene Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), author of "Hero and worship of the heroes". This last advises with Mrs Frankau not to sell, but to entrust the future of the company to the hands of the young person Louis Blumfeld, then 18 years old. Carlyle was to have a very high opinion of the Louis young person, and this confidence was justified by its assumption of responsibility of the business, its enthusiasm and its inexhaustible energy. Louis realizes quickly, like others, great potential of the Heather, from which the interest comes to be recognized.

Louis Blumfeld develops from the very start of important international trade, with a particular success in Canada, in Australia, in Zealand News, India and in the extrème Is Europe, in Switzerland and, with a special mention, in Denmark. If the USA were never an extraordinary market, a branch is opened all the same in New York. In fact, the marketing strategy was focused especially on the countries of the Britanique Empire. Little before 1914, A Frankau & Co was also a sole agent for the pipes Cherry Wood of the Ropp house to cover the United Kingdom and its colonies.

If the BBB are its the most known pipes, A Frankau & Co had several marks of pipes: Capt. Kidd, Fairway ("F" in white; FAIRWAY/LONDON MADE/ENGLAND), Frankau' S (London Made/Made in England), Glokar, Major Daff, the Snap-FIT. It also seems that Ultonia and Last word must be regarded as marks with whole share, in spite of the fact that they are presented as being product lines under label BBB. That would explain their absence of catalogues BBB.

The need for manufacturing in London becomes pressing, this is why, with the turning of the century, A. Frankau & Co has a broad warehouse and offices to the 121 Queen Victoria Street, a service of export in Upper Thames Street and opens a factory in 1898 in Homerton, High Street 112 (then 154) until in the Eighties when Cadogan gathers its activities of manufacture in Southend one Sea.

In this time, A Frankau & Co also produce of Calabashs. The water-bottles used are originating in South Africa and are fruits which can be used as pipe (called also gourd, in this case) usable for the pipes. That became difficult to be supplied out of water-bottles considering the growing request and the constant attention which it is necessary to carry to the culture. BBB sets up a special department to manufacture the calabashs, using only scum to make the furnace whereas some their competitors use plaster of Paris and even of asbestos (asbestos). The manufacture of the calabashs survived war 14/18, but this conflict destroyed the request.

The Twenties were not easy for the manufacturers of pipes, and A Frankau & Co are integrated by "A. Oppenheimer & Co. Ltd1 ". It is besides at that time that Comoy' S of London, Dr. Plumb and Loewe & Co pass under the control of Oppenheimer, which pushes the company to create "Cadogan Investments Ltd.2" in Cadogan Square, London, in the Thirties, to manufacture and sell its pipes. The factory of Homerton passes under the control of "Marechal Ruchon & Co" (in the years 1970, the factory takes the name of "Fairfax Traders"), and continuous to produce the BBB in a traditional way. Finished, pipes with a silver ring and étuits. However, continuous BBB, commes other companies of the group "Cadogan", to function commercially like an independent company. BBB concentrates on a certain number of pipes with system which were in general orders, and on new completions.

Richard Esserman thinks that Dunhill sub-contracted with BBB the manufacture of the heads for its Bent Magnums until 1923. In fact, when the companies of the LASH stopped to dispute one the other, all the heads were turned in the installations of a new factory cise in Stratford, Carpenters Road. LASH bought also machines Zuckerman those being more effective. The workshops of finishing closed, and the pipes were finished in Aldershot and sometimes also in Shoeburyness.

At that time, it was a practice courrante in the trade to offer to the other companies the heads of surplus at agreed prices. Cadogan was accustomed to selling head of rank A in Dunhill, and buying to him heads of rank II, III and IV. But they did not finish the pipes for the other companies: to sell heads of rank A in Dunhill was more advantageous than of their making pipes of them!

The BBB Trademark (the first pic is of the 1876 mark, the second on pipes in 1950s and 1960s and the third 2000 The pictures seem to have uploaded in wrong order. 01 is the 50-60s pic 02 is the earliest, and pic 3 is the latest 2000)
The initial BBB in a rhombus are used very quickly, and marks it was the first mark of pipe has to be recorded when the "Trade and Marks Act" takes effect in 1876. Enough oddly, BBB is registered under two numbers, numbers 39 and 40: in number 39, initials BBB in the rhombus (date of dépô T: January 1, 1876; published on May 3, 1876 on page 21 of Trade Mak Newspaper) for class 341 (Tobacco, or manufactured gross and cigarettes), in number 40, a simple B for which no image is available (same references of deposit and publication) for the class 50 (Goods manufactured out of ivory, bone, wood, in vegetable or animal substance, pipes with tobacco, cigars and cigarettes (cigar and cigarette tubes). Let us note that Oppenheimer again registered BBB (of number 39) for a new logo under number 2288663 (date of filing: December 20, 2001; published on February 13, 2002 on page 2634 of Trade Mark Newspaper) for classes 14 (cases with cigar and cigarettes, limp with cigars and cigarettes, cigar-holder and cigarettes, all out of noble metals) and 34 (Tobacco and products of the tobacco, articles for smokers, pipes, jokes with tobacco, pipe-racks, lighters, equipment of cleaning for pipes, cigar-holder and cigarettes, cases with cigars and cigarettes, humidors). At the European level, Oppenheimer records BBB under number 002100907, date of filing: February 22, 2001, date of registration: October 7, 2002, for classes 14 and 34 and under number 0863111 for class 34 (date of filing: October 20 2005).

Production of BBB pipes
It is thought that the first BBB in fact were imported, and that the initial ones wanted to symbolize, at the beginning, Blumfeld' S Best Briars. Small-with-small, these initial was included/understood like Britain' s Best Briars.

At the beginning, BBB produces two qualities. One, BBB Own Make, became finally BBB Best Make, other pipes being simply estampillées BBB. There are reasons to believe that Own Make in fact were produced in London (Reject pipes cuts year R stamped one them.), whereas the simple BBB were imported, and this, to the paddle of the 20th century. However, if all that is not very clear, it is probable that the lines low-of-range were imported of Saint-Claude.

Collection BBB follows the same lines as the other manufacturers of pipes of second half of the 19th century. The forms similar with the popular models with a prevalence of were curved. A majority of them had a silver ring. In same time, BBB continues to deliver meerschaum pipes.

BBB was probably the first to propose pipes with a paper filter, Mackenzie, which was available it also in two qualities (Mackenzie, second mark of BBB, could be produced in Irish Republic. Ebonite pipes). This process goes back to before 1900 as proves it a letter August 27 1891 of Sir Morrel Mackenzie (1837-1892) in which this one suggests manufacturing models with a longer pipe. The mark survived until in the Sixties.

It is thought that BBB was one of the first to call the form Lovat "Lovat", pipes designed with broad led for a better passage of air. However, the firm "Friedlands" could have adopted this name at the same time. Lovats appeared well before 1914 and were proposed with the sale by BBB in four different dimensions, of which a series called Highland. Colonel Henry Francis Fraser (1872-1949), Lord of Lovat, must have made the publicity of this form made in his honor and which is always popular nowadays.

Whereas the shapes of the briar pipes are similar with those of the other marks, the models develop a very nowadays required distinct character by the collectors. Besides BBB gains the gold medal to the Franco-Britanique Exposure in London of 1908 (Frank Bowcher, 1864-1938) and to the World Fair and International of Brussels in 1910, medal of Godefroid Devreese (1861-1941). One finds these medals, in particular on the advertising folders of the Fifties and Sixties.

At the time, the practice wanted that the order of price is according to the matter of the pipe: extrusive rock, horn, amber, ambrolith... In the same way, the price varied as same way as the size of the pipe. For example, in 1914, the wholesale price of a simple billiard was to vary between 15 shillings and 22 shillings and 6 pence because of the size of the pipe and the floc (not of screw or tenon). Though it is, it seems strange that Liverpool of five inches length with an amber pipe coutait 12 shillings in great quantity whereas the same one with a pipe in ambrolith cost, it, 19 shillings.

BBB thought essential to launch special series like Chubby, Golfer, Dreadnought (probably indicated thus in connection with the class of warships), Bellerophon (sic) and Cutty (small sizes).

BBB proposed until 20 lines due has various intelligent combinations of pipe, completions and étuits. They had a whole a silver ring. Around 1910, the BBB Own Make can be sold up to 2£ 10 shillings whereas only estampilées pipes BBB are sold 5 to 6 shillings.

In the Thirties, the top-of-the-range one becomes "BBB Best Make" with alternatives like "Super Stopping" and "Ultonia Thule". The BBB Carlton, sold with the detail with 8/6 in 1938, is equipped with a system complicated out of metal, system which equipped the BBB London Dry too. Blue Peter was not estampillées BBB but BBB Ultonia, and the BBB Two Star (* *) become the bottom-of-the-range one. The calabash leave the catalogues, but some pipes with case and some scums are still produced. The forms also are typical of this time: half are billiards, some princes and bullcaps, a limited number of bulldogs and curved. It is as at that time as the top-of-the-range series receive an incrustation of initials BBB out of metal, whereas the bottom-of-the-range series have only the engraved pipe.

Middle of the years 1950 with that of the Sixties, the lines are relatively stable. At the top, Own Make "Rare Grain", then the line virgin with hearth in scum, Own Make "Virgin", Own Make "Walnut" and finally Own Make "Thorneycroft".

Currently, Cadogan uses Spanish heather for the majority of its pipes, and holds the heather of Morocco for the production of high quality. Before being sent to them, the heather dried between 6 and 12 months.

To avoid any confusion and an excess of documents due to the use of the specific ranks to each mark forming part of the group, Cadogan adopted a system of eight ranks common to all the marks. Rank A is a heather which has a beautiful grain, without any visible imperfection. The ranks B have a beautiful grain, but with some small black spots and maximum three drainages vertical sand which will be mastiqués. The rank "Best Make" has also a beautiful grain, with maximum five small drainages vertical sand. The heads which have grain of a variable and maximum quality six vertical sand drainages are of rank MO. The pipes of second rank are is poor heather of grain but without defects or of beautiful grain but with to eight small or two large drainages vertical sand. The third, fourth and fifth ranks are pipes of which décroit quality proportionally.

1Adolph Oppenheimer started a business of Import Export general in 1860, and his/her brother, Charles, joined the company in the current of the year. Adolph taken its retirement in 1870 and moved in Germany, where he became British Consul then Consul general, letting Charles take the control of the businesses. Louis Adler, who was the brother-in-law of Oppenheimer, became a collaborator when Adolph left the company. The two brothers did not have a descent, and the property of the company passed to the Adler family. About 1870, the company imported pipes GBD in Great Britain from Paris. The association of Oppenheimer with GBD was such a success that in 1897, Oppenheimer became the sole agent of the French pipe company. Five years later, the French owners of GBD, Marechal Ruchon & Co, amalgamated with A. Oppenheimer.

2Le slogan of Cadogan, "Pipemakers Since 1825," refers to the first clay pipe that François Comoy manufactured in 1825. The pipes of Cadogan were manufactured in many places disseminated around London and in Saint-Claude, but with the purchase of Orlik Pipe Co In 1980, Cadogan gathered the entirety of its manufacture in the new factory of Southend-one-Sea, factory especially built for pipe industry. Cadogan continues to manufacture pipes GBD, Comoy' S of London, BBB, Dr. Plumb, Loewe and Orlik (since 1980). They make also the Kaywoodie pipes for the British market and recently agreed to manufacture Sasieni for James B Russell. All the classes come from the classification of Nice. For more information, to see: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/...ce8/frmain.htm
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Peps1
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 08:37:55 pm »

 Shocked Thats so much for that Steve, just what im after!

Iv yet to come accross a bad old BBB, a shame what has become of the name with the cheap modern ones.
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Steve Laug
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 08:42:05 pm »

It is good stuff Brooke. You are right about the bad name of the new ones from Cadogan. Do you have the BBB Catalogue fro Briar Press?
Here is a link. It is amazing and lots of info http://www.briarbooks.com/BBB_1912_Catalogue.html
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 09:01:02 pm »

I don't have a copy of the catalogue from Briar Press YET, but at that price im going to order one! all my info so far has come from forums and the  http://pipepages.com/bbb.htm literature. 
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 09:22:36 pm »

I have and have restored many a BBB pipe and Steve you have supplied more info than I have ever been able to dig up.  Great stuff my friend!
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 04:08:02 pm »

I currently own 3 old BBB's & they are hands down the best smokers I have ever owned. 

One is a canadian shape 504 Ultonia, a classic large billiard Own Make shape 142 (this one smokes it's self Smiley ) & a sandblasted four square panel shape 219 stamped Own Make Thorneycroft.

The BBB catalogue book that Steve mentioned is a must have for any lover of these old pipes.
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 11:19:41 pm »

Here is the latest version of the translation and cleanup

History of BBB Pipes

I have been doing some research into BBB pipes for sometime now because of my own interest in the brand and I found an online article in French. I have adapted the article below from a translation of this article on http://www.fumeursdepipe.net/artbbb.htm

Origin and history of Adolph Frankau and Co. Ltd.

In 1847, Adolph Frankau arrived in London and quickly grasped the opportunities which the enlarging tobacco market introduced. He started "Adolph Frankau and Co." and began importing meerschaum pipes and tobacco supplies. The Company took a young 14 year-old boy, Louis Blumfeld under its wing. The Company quickly thrived and did so until the untimely death of Adolph Frankau in 1856. His widow decided to sell the company.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), author of “Hero and worship of the heroes” came on the scene at this point. He recommended that the widow Frankau not sell, but rather that she should entrust the future of the company into the hands of young Louis Blumfeld, then 18 years old. Carlyle had to have had a very high opinion of the young Louis to make this recommendation, and his trust proved to be justified as Blumfield took care of the company with enthusiasm and bottomless energy. Louis quickly realized, as others had before him, the potential of the newly acknowledged pipes made of briar.

Louis Blumfeld developed important international trade relations from the beginning, and had particular success in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Europe, as well as Switzerland and Denmark. The USA had never been an extraordinary market for the company, but nonetheless a subsidiary was opened in New York. His commercial strategy focused on the countries of British Empire. Just prior to 1914, Frankau & Co. was the sole agent for Ropp Cherry Wood pipes in the United Kingdom and its colonies.

While BBB is the most widely known of Frankau & Co. pipes the company also produced several other brands of pipes: Capt. Kidd, Fairway (" F " in white; FAIRWAY / LONDON MADE / ENGLAND), Frankau' s (London Made in England), Glokar, Major Daff, and Snap-Fit. It also seems that Ultonia and Nec Plus Ultra must be considered to be brands in full measure, in spite of the fact that they were introduced as being product lines under the label BBB. It would explain their absence in many of the BBB catalogues.

The necessity of making briar pipes in London became more urgent, that's why, at the turn of the century, Frankau & Co. opened a warehouse and offices at 121 Queen Victoria Street, an export service at Upper Thames Street and a plant in 1898 at Homerton, High Street 112 (then 154). The Homerton plant lasted into nineteen-eighties when Cadogan regrouped its manufacturing activities to Southend-on Sea.

In those days, Frankau & Co. also produced calabash pipes. They used calabashes that came originally from Southern Africa. Supply of the calabashes became more difficult to maintain due to the growing demand for them. BBB set up a special department to make calabash pipes. They used meerschaum to make the bowl while some of their rivals used asbestos or plaster of Paris. The manufacture of calabash pipes survived until the war in1914/1918. The war destroyed the supply of calabashes from South Africa.

The 1920s were not an easy decade for pipe producers. Frankau & Co was purchased by “Oppenheimer and Co. Ltd1”. Also during this decade Comoy' s of London, Dr. Plumb and Loewe & Co. came under the control of Oppenheimer. The purchase of all of these various brands pushed the company to create "Cadogan Investments Ltd.2" at Cadogan Square, London, in the 1930s, to manufacture and sell its pipes. The plant at Homerton passed under the control of “Marechal Ruchon & Co.” (In 1970s, the plant took the name of "Fairfax Traders"), and continued producing BBB pipes in a traditional way. They finished pipes with a silver ring and stampings. However, BBB continued, as an independent company within the Cadogan Group. BBB concentrated on making a certain number of system pipes and on new finishing processes.

Richard Esserman thinks that Dunhill subcontracted the manufacture of stummels to BBB for the Bent Magnums until 1923. In fact, when the companies within the Cadogan group argued with one another, a new plant was established in Stratford, Carpenters Road. They also bought machines from Zuckerman as they were more efficient. The finishing workshops were closed, and pipes were finished in Aldershot and sometimes also in Shoeburyness.

In this era, it was a current practice in trade to give surplus stummels to other companies at agreed upon prices. Cadogan sold Rank I stummels to Dunhill, and bought Rank II, III and IV stummels from Dunhill. But they did not finish pipes for other companies: to sell Rank I stummels to Dunhill was more beneficial than making them into pipes!



The BBB Logo

The initials BBB in a rhombus were quickly used as a symbol for the company, and that trademark was the first to be recorded when “Trade and Marks Act” took effect in 1876. Rather strangely, BBB registered under two numbers, numbers 39 and 40. In number 39, the acronym BBB in the rhombus (dates from deposit: January 1st, 1876; published on May 3rd, 1876 in page 21 of the Trade Mark Journal) for the class 341 (Tobacco, raw or fabricated and cigarettes), in number 40, a simple B for which no picture is available (the same references of store and publication) for the class 50 (fabricated Property from ivory, in bone, wooden, substantially plant or animal, pipes with tobacco, cigars and cigarettes (cigar and cigarette tubes). Note that Oppenheimer registered BBB again (number 39) for a new logo under the number 2288663 (December 20th, 2001; published on February 13th, 2002 in page 2634 of the Trade Mark Journal) for classes 14 (cases with cigar and cigarettes, soft packages of cigars and cigarettes, doors-cigars and cigarettes, all in precious metals) and 34 (Tobacco and products of tobacco, articles for smokers, pipes, tobacco pouches, door - pipes, lighters, equipment of cleaning for pipes, doors-cigars and cigarettes, cases with cigars and cigarettes, humidors). At the European level, Oppenheimer registered BBB under the number 002100907 (February 22nd, 2001, date of recording: October 7th, 2002), for classes 14 and 34 and under the number 0863111 for the class 34 (October 20th, 2005).

BBB Production

Some think that the first BBB pipes were imported, and that initials were intended to stand for Blumfeld's Best Briars. Later these initials came to be understood as standing for Britain's Best Briars.

At first, BBB produced two qualities of pipes. The one, BBB Own Make, became BBB Best Make, other pipes simply being stamped BBB. There are reasons to think that the Own Make was produced in fact in London (Reject pipes were stamped R). While simple BBBs were imported until the beginning of the 20th century. It is probable that the regular line of BBB pipes were imported from Saint-Claude, France.

The BBB collection followed along similar lines as other pipe producing companies during the second half of the 19th century. Shapes were similar to the popular models in vogue during that time with a predominance of bent pipes. Some of them had a silver ring. At the same time, BBB continued to deliver meerschaum pipes.

BBB was probably the first to offer pipes made to accommodate a paper filter. The Mackenzie, which was available in two qualities (Mackenzie, second brand of BBB, could have been produced in Republic of Ireland. Pipe stems were made of vulcanite). This technique dates from around 1900 as is stated in a letter dated from August 27th, 1891 from Mr. Morrel Mackenzie (1837-1892) in which he suggest that they make models with a longer stem. The Mackenzie brand survived into the 1960s.

It is thought that BBB was one of the first to call the pipes they had conceived with a long shank for a cooler smoke a "Lovat". However, “Friedlands" could have adopted this name at the same time. Lovats appeared long before 1914 and were offered for sale by BBB in four different sizes, of which a series were stamped Highland. Colonel Henry Francis Fraser (1872-1949), Lord of Lovat, must have enjoyed the advertising of this shape made in his honour. It is still a popular shape at present. While BBB briar pipe shapes were similar to those of other brands, their models developed a very sought-after distinct character by the collectors. BBB earned the gold medal at the French-British Exposition in London in 1908 (Frank Bowcher, on 1864-1938) and at the World Fair and International in Brussels in 1910, the Medal of Godefroid Devreese (1861-1941). You can find pictures of these medals, notably on the advertising brochures of the 1950s and 1960s.

In this era the common practice was to set a pipe’s value by the material the stem was made of: ebonite, horn, amber, ambrolith etc. Also, price varied according to the size of the pipe. For instance, in 1914, the wholesale price of a simple billiard varied between 15 shillings and 22 shillings and 6 pence because of the size of the pipe and flock (no screw or tenon). Though this generally was true it seems that there were exceptions; for instance a Liverpool of five inches long with a stem in genuine amber had a wholesale cost of 12 shillings in larger quantities; the same pipe with a stem of ambrolith cost 19 shillings. BBB made different special series of pipes such as Chubby, Golfer, Dreadnought (probably named after different warships), Bellerophon (sic) and Cutty (small models). BBB offered some 20 lines of pipes that had different clever combinations of stems, finishing and decoration. Some of them had a silver ring. Around 1910, BBB Own Make pipes sold for 2£ 10 shillings while pipes only stamped BBB were sold for 5-6 shillings.

In the 1930s, the top pipe of the line was "BBB Best Make" with variants such as "Great Dam" and "Ultonia Thule". The BBB Carlton, sold retail in 1938, was endowed with a complicated stinger system; the same system was also used on the BBB London Dry. The Blue Peter was not stamped BBB but BBB Ultonia, and BBB Two Star (**) was the stamping on lesser quality pipes. The calabash pipe was removed from the catalogues at this time, but some pipes with cases and some meerschaum pipes were still produced. Shapes of BBB pipe were typical of other companies pipes made in this era: half were billiards, some princes and bullcaps, bulldogs and some bents. It is also in this period that the inlaid metal BBB was put on more upscale pipes, while series of lesser quality had only the stamped BBB on the stem.

During the middle of 1950s and 1960s, BBB lines were comparatively stable. The top pipes of the line were stamped Own Make "Rare Grain", followed by Own Make "Virgin”, Own Make "Walnut” and finally Own Make “Thorneycroft”.

Today, Cadogan uses Spanish briar for most of its pipes, and reserves the Moroccan briar for the production of high quality pipes. Before being sent to them for manufacture into pipes, the briar has been dried and cured for a time period of between 6 and 12 months.

To avoid any confusion about the ranking systems of their pipes in the Cadogan Group brands the company adopted a system of eight common ranks for all of its brands. Rank A is briar with nice grain, without any visible imperfections. Rank B has nice grain, but with some small black points and maximum of three sand pits which will be filled. Rank "Best Make" also has nice grain, with maximum of five small sand pits. The stummels with grain of variable quality and maximum six sand pits are ranked MB. The second rank pipes are of briar of mediocre grain but without defects or of nice grain but with up to eight fills or two big sand pits. The third, fourth and fifth ranks are given to pipes whose quality decreases proportionately.

1 Adolph Oppenheimer started an import/export company in 1860, and his brother, Charles, joined the company later that year. Adolph retired in 1870 and moved to Germany, where he became British Consul then Consul general, letting Charles take the control of business. Louis Adler, who was the brother-in-law of Oppenheimer, became a colleague when Adolph left the company. Both brothers did not have heirs, so the ownership of the company passed to the family Adler. By 1870, the company imported GBD pipes into Great Britain from Paris. The association of Oppenheimer with GBD was such a success that in 1897, Oppenheimer became the sole agent of the French company. Five years later, the French owners of GBD, Marechal Ruchon and Co., merged with A. Oppenheimer.

2 Cadogan's slogan, “Pipemakers Since 1825” refers back to the first clay pipe which Francois Comoy fabricated in 1825. Cadogan's pipes were fabricated in numerous places disseminated around London and to Saint-Claude, but with the purchase of Orlik Pipe Co. In 1980, Cadogan regrouped the entirety of its manufacture in the new plant of Southend-on-Sea, plant especially constructed for pipe making industry. Cadogan continues to fabricate GBD, Comoy's of London, BBB, Dr. Plumb, Loewe and Orlik pipes (since 1980). They also make Kaywoodie pipes for the British market and have recently agreed to make Sasieni pipes for James
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 12:36:57 am »

Great info on the BBB pipes Steve!  Thanks for the info.  I have several of them.
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 07:14:10 am »

Here is an article I picked up on it in the past. It gives some history and background as well as some guidance in dating the pipes. BBB has become one of my favourite old brands to collect.

History of BBB Pipes

I have been doing some digging into BBB pipes for some we have for VPC auctions and I found an article online in French. Here is a Babelfish translation of a history of BBB from http://www.fumeursdepipe.net/artbbb.htm

Genesis and history of the company.
Adolph Frankau & Co Ltd In 1847, Adolph Frankau arrived in London and quickly understood opportunities that the market of tobacco presented, in full expansion. He created the company "Adolph Frankau & Co" and became an importer of meerschaum pipes and supplies in connection with the tobacco. It takes under its wing young a 14 year old boy, Louis Blumfeld. The business thrives quickly until the death of Adolph Frankau in 1856. His widow prepares to sell the company.

Enter in scene Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), author of "Hero and worship of the heroes". This last advises with Mrs Frankau not to sell, but to entrust the future of the company to the hands of the young person Louis Blumfeld, then 18 years old. Carlyle was to have a very high opinion of the Louis young person, and this confidence was justified by its assumption of responsibility of the business, its enthusiasm and its inexhaustible energy. Louis realizes quickly, like others, great potential of the Heather, from which the interest comes to be recognized.

Louis Blumfeld develops from the very start of important international trade, with a particular success in Canada, in Australia, in Zealand News, India and in the extrème Is Europe, in Switzerland and, with a special mention, in Denmark. If the USA were never an extraordinary market, a branch is opened all the same in New York. In fact, the marketing strategy was focused especially on the countries of the Britanique Empire. Little before 1914, A Frankau & Co was also a sole agent for the pipes Cherry Wood of the Ropp house to cover the United Kingdom and its colonies.

If the BBB are its the most known pipes, A Frankau & Co had several marks of pipes: Capt. Kidd, Fairway ("F" in white; FAIRWAY/LONDON MADE/ENGLAND), Frankau' S (London Made/Made in England), Glokar, Major Daff, the Snap-FIT. It also seems that Ultonia and Last word must be regarded as marks with whole share, in spite of the fact that they are presented as being product lines under label BBB. That would explain their absence of catalogues BBB.

The need for manufacturing in London becomes pressing, this is why, with the turning of the century, A. Frankau & Co has a broad warehouse and offices to the 121 Queen Victoria Street, a service of export in Upper Thames Street and opens a factory in 1898 in Homerton, High Street 112 (then 154) until in the Eighties when Cadogan gathers its activities of manufacture in Southend one Sea.

In this time, A Frankau & Co also produce of Calabashs. The water-bottles used are originating in South Africa and are fruits which can be used as pipe (called also gourd, in this case) usable for the pipes. That became difficult to be supplied out of water-bottles considering the growing request and the constant attention which it is necessary to carry to the culture. BBB sets up a special department to manufacture the calabashs, using only scum to make the furnace whereas some their competitors use plaster of Paris and even of asbestos (asbestos). The manufacture of the calabashs survived war 14/18, but this conflict destroyed the request.

The Twenties were not easy for the manufacturers of pipes, and A Frankau & Co are integrated by "A. Oppenheimer & Co. Ltd1 ". It is besides at that time that Comoy' S of London, Dr. Plumb and Loewe & Co pass under the control of Oppenheimer, which pushes the company to create "Cadogan Investments Ltd.2" in Cadogan Square, London, in the Thirties, to manufacture and sell its pipes. The factory of Homerton passes under the control of "Marechal Ruchon & Co" (in the years 1970, the factory takes the name of "Fairfax Traders"), and continuous to produce the BBB in a traditional way. Finished, pipes with a silver ring and étuits. However, continuous BBB, commes other companies of the group "Cadogan", to function commercially like an independent company. BBB concentrates on a certain number of pipes with system which were in general orders, and on new completions.

Richard Esserman thinks that Dunhill sub-contracted with BBB the manufacture of the heads for its Bent Magnums until 1923. In fact, when the companies of the LASH stopped to dispute one the other, all the heads were turned in the installations of a new factory cise in Stratford, Carpenters Road. LASH bought also machines Zuckerman those being more effective. The workshops of finishing closed, and the pipes were finished in Aldershot and sometimes also in Shoeburyness.

At that time, it was a practice courrante in the trade to offer to the other companies the heads of surplus at agreed prices. Cadogan was accustomed to selling head of rank A in Dunhill, and buying to him heads of rank II, III and IV. But they did not finish the pipes for the other companies: to sell heads of rank A in Dunhill was more advantageous than of their making pipes of them!

The BBB Trademark (the first pic is of the 1876 mark, the second on pipes in 1950s and 1960s and the third 2000 The pictures seem to have uploaded in wrong order. 01 is the 50-60s pic 02 is the earliest, and pic 3 is the latest 2000)
The initial BBB in a rhombus are used very quickly, and marks it was the first mark of pipe has to be recorded when the "Trade and Marks Act" takes effect in 1876. Enough oddly, BBB is registered under two numbers, numbers 39 and 40: in number 39, initials BBB in the rhombus (date of dépô T: January 1, 1876; published on May 3, 1876 on page 21 of Trade Mak Newspaper) for class 341 (Tobacco, or manufactured gross and cigarettes), in number 40, a simple B for which no image is available (same references of deposit and publication) for the class 50 (Goods manufactured out of ivory, bone, wood, in vegetable or animal substance, pipes with tobacco, cigars and cigarettes (cigar and cigarette tubes). Let us note that Oppenheimer again registered BBB (of number 39) for a new logo under number 2288663 (date of filing: December 20, 2001; published on February 13, 2002 on page 2634 of Trade Mark Newspaper) for classes 14 (cases with cigar and cigarettes, limp with cigars and cigarettes, cigar-holder and cigarettes, all out of noble metals) and 34 (Tobacco and products of the tobacco, articles for smokers, pipes, jokes with tobacco, pipe-racks, led lighting, equipment of cleaning for pipes, cigar-holder and cigarettes, cases with cigars and cigarettes, humidors). At the European level, Oppenheimer records BBB under number 002100907, date of filing: February 22, 2001, date of registration: October 7, 2002, for classes 14 and 34 and under number 0863111 for class 34 (date of filing: October 20 2005).

Production of BBB pipes
It is thought that the first BBB in fact were imported, and that the initial ones wanted to symbolize, at the beginning, Blumfeld' S Best Briars. Small-with-small, these initial was included/understood like Britain' s Best Briars.

At the beginning, BBB produces two qualities. One, BBB Own Make, became finally BBB Best Make, other pipes being simply estampillées BBB. There are reasons to believe that Own Make in fact were produced in London (Reject pipes cuts year R stamped one them.), whereas the simple BBB were imported, and this, to the paddle of the 20th century. However, if all that is not very clear, it is probable that the lines low-of-range were imported of Saint-Claude.

Collection BBB follows the same lines as the other manufacturers of pipes of second half of the 19th century. The forms similar with the popular models with a prevalence of were curved. A majority of them had a silver ring. In same time, BBB continues to deliver meerschaum pipes.

BBB was probably the first to propose pipes with a paper filter, Mackenzie, which was available it also in two qualities (Mackenzie, second mark of BBB, could be produced in Irish Republic. Ebonite pipes). This process goes back to before 1900 as proves it a letter August 27 1891 of Sir Morrel Mackenzie (1837-1892) in which this one suggests manufacturing models with a longer pipe. The mark survived until in the Sixties.

It is thought that BBB was one of the first to call the form Lovat "Lovat", pipes designed with broad led for a better passage of air. However, the firm "Friedlands" could have adopted this name at the same time. Lovats appeared well before 1914 and were proposed with the sale by BBB in four different dimensions, of which a series called Highland. Colonel Henry Francis Fraser (1872-1949), Lord of Lovat, must have made the publicity of this form made in his honor and which is always popular nowadays.

Whereas the shapes of the briar pipes are similar with those of the other marks, the models develop a very nowadays required distinct character by the collectors. Besides BBB gains the gold medal to the Franco-Britanique Exposure in London of 1908 (Frank Bowcher, 1864-1938) and to the World Fair and International of Brussels in 1910, medal of Godefroid Devreese (1861-1941). One finds these medals, in particular on the advertising folders of the Fifties and Sixties.

At the time, the practice wanted that the order of price is according to the matter of the pipe: extrusive rock, horn, amber, ambrolith... In the same way, the price varied as same way as the size of the pipe. For example, in 1914, the wholesale price of a simple billiard was to vary between 15 shillings and 22 shillings and 6 pence because of the size of the pipe and the floc (not of screw or tenon). Though it is, it seems strange that Liverpool of five inches length with an amber pipe coutait 12 shillings in great quantity whereas the same one with a pipe in ambrolith cost, it, 19 shillings.

BBB thought essential to launch special series like Chubby, Golfer, Dreadnought (probably indicated thus in connection with the class of warships), Bellerophon (sic) and Cutty (small sizes).

BBB proposed until 20 lines due has various intelligent combinations of pipe, completions and étuits. They had a whole a silver ring. Around 1910, the BBB Own Make can be sold up to 2£ 10 shillings whereas only estampilées pipes BBB are sold 5 to 6 shillings.

In the Thirties, the top-of-the-range one becomes "BBB Best Make" with alternatives like "Super Stopping" and "Ultonia Thule". The BBB Carlton, sold with the detail with 8/6 in 1938, is equipped with a system complicated out of metal, system which equipped the BBB London Dry too. Blue Peter was not estampillées BBB but BBB Ultonia, and the BBB Two Star (* *) become the bottom-of-the-range one. The calabash leave the catalogues, but some pipes with case and some scums are still produced. The forms also are typical of this time: half are billiards, some princes and bullcaps, a limited number of bulldogs and curved. It is as at that time as the top-of-the-range series receive an incrustation of initials BBB out of metal, whereas the bottom-of-the-range series have only the engraved pipe.

Middle of the years 1950 with that of the Sixties, the lines are relatively stable. At the top, Own Make "Rare Grain", then the line virgin with hearth in scum, Own Make "Virgin", Own Make "Walnut" and finally Own Make "Thorneycroft".

Currently, Cadogan uses Spanish heather for the majority of its pipes, and holds the heather of Morocco for the production of high quality. Before being sent to them, the heather dried between 6 and 12 months.

To avoid any confusion and an excess of documents due to the use of the specific ranks to each mark forming part of the group, Cadogan adopted a system of eight ranks common to all the marks. Rank A is a heather which has a beautiful grain, without any visible imperfection. The ranks B have a beautiful grain, but with some small black spots and maximum three drainages vertical sand which will be mastiqués. The rank "Best Make" has also a beautiful grain, with maximum five small drainages vertical sand. The heads which have grain of a variable and maximum quality six vertical sand drainages are of rank MO. The pipes of second rank are is poor heather of grain but without defects or of beautiful grain but with to eight small or two large drainages vertical sand. The third, fourth and fifth ranks are pipes of which décroit quality proportionally.

1Adolph Oppenheimer started a business of Import Export general in 1860, and his/her brother, Charles, joined the company in the current of the year. Adolph taken its retirement in 1870 and moved in Germany, where he became British Consul then Consul general, letting Charles take the control of the businesses. Louis Adler, who was the brother-in-law of Oppenheimer, became a collaborator when Adolph left the company. The two brothers did not have a descent, and the property of the company passed to the Adler family. About 1870, the company imported pipes GBD in Great Britain from Paris. The association of Oppenheimer with GBD was such a success that in 1897, Oppenheimer became the sole agent of the French pipe company. Five years later, the French owners of GBD, Marechal Ruchon & Co, amalgamated with A. Oppenheimer.

2Le slogan of Cadogan, "Pipemakers Since 1825," refers to the first clay pipe that François Comoy manufactured in 1825. The pipes of Cadogan were manufactured in many places disseminated around London and in Saint-Claude, but with the purchase of Orlik Pipe Co In 1980, Cadogan gathered the entirety of its manufacture in the new factory of Southend-one-Sea, factory especially built for pipe industry. Cadogan continues to manufacture pipes GBD, Comoy' S of London, BBB, Dr. Plumb, Loewe and Orlik (since 1980). They make also the Kaywoodie pipes for the British market and recently agreed to manufacture Sasieni for James B Russell. All the classes come from the classification of Nice. For more information, to see: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/...ce8/frmain.htm




Thanks for the article.. i have been searching for a while for BBB Dating guide and finally got this useful article.. Thanks again
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