METAL STEM & Threaded bowl
FALCON’S HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
The lowest image is of a very early Falcon,note the very shallow dimple or humidome. The cut away is of a meerschaum lined bowl A more comprehensive history is available in the publication in May 2007 of
"Back from the Ashes"a book by Kathy Worth, grand-daughter of George Hunt, owner of Falcon for many years. The book is highly recommended to all Falcon enthusiasts, a very readable book, not just a liturgy of facts and dates. It is a very comprehensive history of Falcon during the George Hunt years, now released also as an ebook available from Amazon
Amazon USA will take you there. Amazon UK will take you there.
Fort Wayne U.S.A. to 16 Commercial Road, London - a brief Falcon history1936: American engineer Mr Kenly Bugg, of Fort Wayne, Indiana invents the Falcon Pipe, with its aluminium stem and interchangeable briar bowls. He bases the system on the principle that causes rain to drop from a cloud when it is met by cool air. To achieve this result, Mr Bugg uses aluminium for its lightness and, more importantly, for its quick dispersal of heat. In this manner coolness is obtained. The briar bowl, designed with a four start thread connected to the aluminium stem, forms a trap in which the ‘Humidome’ acts as a condenser. This ensures that all the moisture is trapped, thereby leaving the tobacco free from saturation and preventing ‘goo’ from reaching the mouth of the smoker.. Perfect hygiene is assured by unscrewing the bowl and cleaning the base with a tissue.
1940: First sales of the Falcon pipe in the U.S.A., but sales are restricted by the need to conserve strategic wartime materials. Only limited manufacture is possible and most of the production is distributed through ‘Service’ outlets, set up to supply the American Armed Forces.
1949: Mr George Hunt, of the Diversey Machine Co of Chicago takes over the manufacture and marketing of the Falcon Pipe, firstly in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. Production increases rapidly.
Thanks to the protracted patent rights legal battle, the manufacturing rights to Falcon were not finalised until 1956.
1954: An amazing 6 million Falcon Pipes have been sold in the U.S.A. alone
1955: Diversey Machine Works moved to 4117N Kilpatrick Avenue in Chicago from their Van Buren Street address. 1956: England. Mr David Morris, Chairman and Managing Director of the well known British multiple tobacconists group A. Lewis (Westminster) Ltd visits the Wembley Cup Final and notices someone smoking a Falcon pipe. Impressed, he arranges an early meeting with Mr Hunt in Chicago. A test marketing operation in Great Britain is agreed upon. 10,000 Falcon pipes are imported and distributed through some 350 branches of A. Lewis (Westminster). Success is immediate and Mr. Morris is convinced of the potential of this amazing pipe, despite the initial pessimism of the Fancy Goods Trade. He forms two companies, Falcon Pipes Ltd and Falcon Pipes Distributors Ltd and enters into negotiations for the manufacture of the Falcon Pipe in England. It takes over two years to perfect the intricate machinery required to machine the stem units and to ensure supplies of large quantities of finest briar for produce the necessary bowls.
I have been told by one of his relatives that George Hunt, through Diversey held patents for various products called 'Rollit', some of them early ball point pens. Since the Canadian rights to the name Falcon were not owned and also a possible trademark problem in UK, a short run of pipes made in Canada on a PP3 frame were impressed with Rollit rather than Falcon.......hence the "Rollit" Falcon
A little unsure at this stage of the chronology, but the Irish connection then enters the scene Presbar casting the stems (but there appears to be no 'P' stamping. (the Rollit however does have PP stamping) The FD stamping is for Fry's stems and AN was for Anodic. The Irish bowls were made in Leixlip by Hunt Associates Ltd, a joint venture of George Hunt and some Irish businessmen
1956The Falcon Hunter is launched, the first anodised Falcon Pipe. May of this year sees the first 30,000 pipes ready for distribution in the U.K. and following modest consumer press advertising, these are quickly sold. Overnight, conventional and conservative pipe smokers are seen to accept a change which amounts to a smoking revolution. Gradually Mr Morris relinquishes other business interests to concentrate fully on the further development of Falcon Pipes.
1961: Consumer interest continued to build and, in spring, a small factory in Shepherds Bush, London, produces some 10,000 Falcon Pipes weekly. This early English production is effected under licence, but Mr. Morris now successfully negotiates and purchases World rights for the distribution of Falcon Pipes, with the exception of the North American continent, where Falcon International Incorporated in Chicago continues its operations.
1963: Further U.K. expansion becomes necessary and in February manufacture transfers to larger premises in Brentford, Middlesex. The Falcon Extra is launched.
1964: The launch of the Alco Pipe by Falcon.
The name Alco came about when Falcon first began distributing Falcon in the UK. George Hunt, realising that Comoy had a line of pipes with that name, and not wishing to infringe any copyright had a think about it. The decision was to rework the stems, buffing out the F and N from FALCON as the thickness of the aluminium was sufficent. They could not remove the name completely without damaging the pipe. In the end the trade mark issue was settled, as it was not even an issue with Comoy. The name Falcon went forward in UK and ALCO was kept as the name for another line of Falcon pipes, the ones with the smaller thread
1965: Launch of the “THE PIPE” by Falcon. Totally new materials were used for the manufacture of these pipes, which eventually proved to be unacceptable to the smoking public.
For a fuller detail of these Pipes, use the link on this website to The Pipe the collection of Bill Taylor
1967: Launch of the Brentford Pipe by Falcon. This pipe was withdrawn from the market in 1979.
1968: Falcon International Incorporated, Chicago, U.S.A. relinquishes American production, leaving supply requirements to be fulfilled by The Falcon Pipe Group Ltd in Brentford, Middlesex, England
1977: Falcon introduces an entirely new concept to pipe smoking, the Falcon International Filter Pipe, with detachable mouthpiece for optional filter use. Application of ABS cooling material ensures a cool smoke.
1979: Following the success of the Falcon International Filter pipe, Falcon launch the Alco Universal Filter Pipe, a pipe designed to attract the younger first time pipe smoker and featuring a new mouthpiece – grooved bite, suitable for all pipe smokers.
1980: Falcon’s Hat Trick….the introduction of
1. Falcon True Bent
2. Falcon True Bent Extra,
New techniques developed by Falcon now make it possible to market Falcon pipes of true bent shape , both in bright and anodised versions.
3. Universal Gold and golden bowls
The Universal Gold, a luxury pipe with anodised stem, has a distinctive golden band. The detachable mouthpiece with Falcon’s new multi-purpose bite allows an optional Falcon filter to be fitted. There is a choice of seven golden bowls, meerschaum lined for that extra touch of class.
Metal stemmed pipes from Falcon and other smokers accessories are exported to nearly 100 countries throughout the world. Interchangeability of pipe constituent parts allows for endless permutations within the pipe range from Falcon.
1993 Falcon bought out by Merton Limited, now known as Merton & Falcon Ltd
This link www.mertonandfalcon.co.uk/contact.htm will take you to the latest list.
July 2007: Merton and Falcon sold to BPM International (UK)Ltd, owned by Leo and Dean Osmond of Sydney, Australia and will now trade as Falcon Pipes UK
Moved to premises at Unit 51 Hoddesdon Industrial Estate, Pindar Road,Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, EN11 0FF
The company that currently (2012) produces the frames (mould code ANA, ANB and ANC) are Midland Pressure Die Castings. The AN series,with a number some years ago, were Anodic Castings