Einstein's Brier Pipe

Einstein's Brier Pipe

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Usage conditions apply
Albert Einstein, creator of the theory of relativity, Nobel Prize winner, and striver for world peace, is almost as well known for his physical appearance as for his epochal work in theoretical physics. Characteristic of that appearance was a pipe. Although in his later years he restricted his smoking on doctors' orders, he couldn't bear to give up the tactile experience of a pipe itself. This one, in fact, gives evidence of Einstein's long usage in a hole he wore through its bit. He was still in the habit of holding it when in 1953 he gave it to a friend and admirer, Gina Plunguian, from whom it ultimately came to the Museum. It has become the most popular object in the Modern Physics collection.
Currently on loan
Object Name
Date made
before 1948
Einstein, Albert
Plunguian, Gina
Einstein, Albert
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 15.8 cm x 3.6 cm; 6 1/4 in x 1 7/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Modern Physics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Trying to read the stamped logo on the pipe but there are no good photos of it. Cokreauau? Almost impossible to read. Would be curious to see a detailed pictures showing the original stamp.. Looks like a different stem was swapped at some point on this one. The fit it too small based on the photos. Probably what caused the crack.
I am a huge fan of Albert Einstein and also a pipe smoker myself, does anyone know the make and model of Einstein's pipe, I wanted to get a similar pipe for myself and I could not find any info online, I know the type of tobacco he smoked just don't know the make of his pipe, if anyone knows I would also like to know. "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs" A. Einstein
Various pictures show this pipe in rough condition. However a buildup of tars inside the mortise might have blocked the tenon from going inside the shank fully, and someone tried forcing it causing a crack at the 10 o'clock position. The rim damage is from Einstein being what we call a Dottle nocker, where people would hit their pipe against an object to spill out any stuck tobacco. The material is briar for the mortise, and obvious vulcanite for the stem. The vulcanite contains sulfer that will oxidize over time, turning the black stem a yellowish brown. The type of briar block used was an ebauchon, which is a cheaper grain cut from the burl, or Birdseye to maximize the number of pipes made from the root. It might have been a cheaper pipe but odds are it smoked decent if it was smoked as much as it was considering the carbon buildup inside.

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