Thursday, March 3, 2011

His Brand Was Cutty Pipe

My great-grandfather, William Doyle, was born 147 years ago today. To commemorate his birthday I've decided to share a little-known bit of information in his honor: smoking a pipe was at least a four-generation tradition in the Doyle family: William; his son Gust; his grandson, Lee (who is my father); and his great-grandson, Bob, all smoked pipes for at least part of their lives (though we have no pipe-smokers at the moment).

I asked Dad's half-sister, Aunt Tressa Doyle Wilson, once about Gust and Pap smoking pipes. Gust smoked Cutty Pipe in a corncob pipe but, she said, Pap preferred a better pipe for his Cutty Pipe.

I searched google newspapers and found two large ads for Cutty Pipe, both from 1913 issues of The Beaver Falls Tribune, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

It seems like Cutty Pipe was the brand to smoke if you wanted something free.

The ad on the left, from July 11, 1913, offers a free corn cob pipe. With its border of silhouettes, this ad seems to suggest that Cutty Pipe is the tobacco for men from all backgrounds and of all ages.

The ad on the right was published May 24th. I wonder if "sanitary" had just recently become popular. Do you suppose their sales increased because of the free cup in "paraffine" envelope?

Cutty Pipe advertised itself thus: "CUTTY PIPE is an old friend of many thousands of men who know good tobacco when they smoke it or chew it. CUTTY PIPE is manufactured from selected Burley leaf--the best that Kentucky grows. It is prepared by a new process--in a modern, sanitary factory--and is absolutely free from impurity. There is no purer, milder, better tobacco sold anywhere, at any price. When you get CUTTY PIPE you get the best."

Little did most men know the dangers of smoking tobacco in earlier days! And even knowing the dangers now, I must admit to loving the fragrance of a good pipe tobacco.

Happy Birthday, Pap! I hope it's grand! (And I hope you're not missing your pipe!)


Copyright © 2013, NDM & My Ancestors and Me


  1. What a great story! I have always been one who loves to get something free! I bet your great grandfather looked very dignified while he was smoking his pipe.

  2. Hi, I have nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award. For details please visit

  3. I've been around pipe-smoking very rarely, but I remember the father of one of my high school friends smoked a pipe - whatever kind of tobacco he used smelled just lovely! And yet I've never felt the urge to smoke a pipe, LOL!

  4. I absolutely love this post:-)
    I, too often look at period ads to give me insight into my ancestors' lives - and as a matter of fact I have a little project planned for this summer which will feature many ads or catalogue descriptions from 20th century Quebec.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  5. Thanks, Dorene. I wonder, if Pap got the free corn cob pipe, whether he gave it to Gust.... With pipe in mouth, I suspect he did look dignified.

  6. Thank you, Julie, for the award. I'm thrilled and I appreciate it.

  7. Leah, like you, I've never had the urge to smoke a pipe. Ugh! And I'm glad the men-folk in the family gave it up, too!

  8. Thanks, Evelyn. I've just recently started using ads from contemporary newspapers. I think it's fun to see what family members were seeing and reading when they were alive. I did another post with an ad to help date a photo of my Gramma Meinzen in a suit that I thought might be a traveling suit after her wedding. I'll look forward to your post this summer.

  9. My Dad smoked Cutty Pipe his entire life. Would not use any other brand.

    1. I wonder if Cutty Pipe is still available. My dad smoked a pipe but I think he used Walter Raleigh brand.

  10. My Grandad smoked and chewed Cutty Pipe. It's no longer available, but an ideal replacement is Five Brothers. Strong burley, for real men. Will make the average Joe dizzy.

    Grandad lived to almost 84.


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