North Carolina-Grabow Pipes-November 13

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-November 13

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

There was a time when tobacco was king in North Carolina. It supplied a large portion of the tobacco grown in the country. Part of that tobacco was used in pipes.


North Carolina might not produce as much tobacco as it once did, but it’s still home to the largest craftsman pipe manufacturer in the world. Dr. Grabow Pipes is located in Sparta, NC and has been there since 1943, and the brand’s factory lobby–operating as International Pipes & Accessories–now doubles as a for-sale pipe gallery.

Each of the 200,000 pipes Dr Grabow makes annually come from quality Mediterranean natural briar. Briar is the burlwood of the white heath tree, which grows in the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.


Areas that are known for briar production are Corsica, Italy, Spain, France and Algeria, among others. The burl grows underground, between the root and the trunk of the tree. In the past, the whole tree was harvested to get the burls, but today there are methods for excising the burl while allowing the tree to keep growing.


The pipe production at Dr Grabow goes thru 52 phases before being distributed to pipe retailers across America.

Fifty dedicated employees, many with more than 40 years in pipe-making, bring a total of some 1200 years of skill to creating the best value for quality pipes available in the USA today. Photo below is of the Dr. Grabow facility.


A gallery of the different pipes they make can be found at link below:



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