Billie W. Taylor II, Ph.D.

Venturi blue bent abomination

by Alan Peschke, from eBay Item Listing #6136130611, December 3 - 10, 2004. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with permission of Alan Peschke. 12/04/04.

If you are already familiar with pipes known variously as the pipe, "The Smoke," or "Venturi," then you need read no further. If you are relatively new to pipe-smoking and are unfamiliar with these travesties of technology, then please allow me to provide you with some information.

The original the pipe was made with an interior lining of pyrolytic graphite, which is created by a hardening process invented by Thomas Edison. The process causes molecules to be aligned in such a way that heat is dissipated along the vertical axis of the material while the horizontal axis remains relatively cool. Such technology has wide applications today in the realm of aerospace technology, in which there are numerous situations where intense heat must be quickly and uniformly dissipated in a controlled manner. Pipe bowls are one shape that can create the effect known as the "Venturi Principle," named after Italian physicist G.B. Venturi. In 1822 he discovered that air flow could be controlled by constricting the center section of a tube through which the air is forced. The result is a reduction in pressure and a swirling motion of the air following the narrower section.

Someone decided that anything good enough for the nose cone of a Polaris Missile should be good enough to make a pipe, and so the pipe was born. I think the "Venturi" was another version of the pipe that was made entirely of phenolic resin without the pyrolytic graphite bowl liner. It was cheaper to make without the special lining.

Ten reasons to own a Venturi:
1) You would have to smoke it hotter than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit to cause burn-out.
2) The stem may eventually need replacing, but the bowl can be passed on as a family heirloom until the end of time.
3) Collect many different colors and have one to match every aspect of your wardrobe, including your Hawaiian flowery shirts.
4) Will not set off metal detectors at airports like a Kirsten or a Falcon.
5) Can be used as a fist load or small cudgel for self-defense.
6) Can be used as a doorstop when not being smoked.
7) Can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.
8) If you get tired of the color, just repaint it.
9) Makes a good practical joke Christmas gift for your brother-in-law, along with a pouch of Borkum Riff Cherry Cavendish.
10) Completely weather proof and absolutely impervious to rotting or termites just in case the dog accidentally buries it in your backyard.

.... Other: Very light tooth scratches on bit. I have read that the stems were made of nylon, but I think this one is actually vulcanite.

This is the part where I usually say: "All my pipes are reamed, cleaned, sanitized, buffed and polished before being listed. They are ready to load and light when you open the box." But not this time.

I did give the stem a bleach & rinse to sanitize it, then wiped it down with briar pipe wipe. I did nothing to the...ahem...stummel, so to speak. Okay, I did swab out the shank through sheer force of habit and a certain amount of morbid curiosity. I did not ream it because if it does have a graphite lining a steel reaming tool would be very bad for it. Also I don't have a dishwasher and didn't feel like scrubbing it out by hand.

Why on earth anyone would want one of these things is beyond me, but some people collect them. Lots of pipe smokers want one in their collection just for the oddity (this seller is not among them). I would hazard a guess that some even smoke it once or twice before they come to their senses. Get one and put it on display next to your alien autopsy photos and your bigfoot toenail clippings. If there was a god of pipe smoking, this thing would be a sin against him (it or her). God help me if I'm ever desperate enough to smoke one.