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16" x 2.5"
Burnt Clay & Glazing
Who doesn't need one of these in their closet? I know I do, just because...you never know. Clay pipes have been produced since 1617 in the town of Gouda, a place better known today for its cheese. Beginning as a apple wine producer and transport company ("Good Wagon"), by 1779 Royal Goedewaagen ("Good Wagon") was the largest ceramics factory in Gouda and by 1912, they were producing 1300 different pipe models. What happens next is a fairly long and complicated story tied to energy prices, environmental issues and consumption. First off, smoking a pipe went out of fashion as tobacco became more common and more commonly known to be bad for your health. Another complication to the business was that all of the ceramic factories used turf to fire their kilns, but the Netherlands is a small place and by 1950, most of the turf had been consumed. So it was on to electricity, which proved too expensive - companies were going out of business faster than you could puff on a pipe. A solution needed to be found and it was - natural gas - as the Groningen field in the north of the Netherlands is one of the ten largest gas fields in the world. Royal Goedewaagen moved their wagon within close proximity of the field and continued their production until 1982, when gas prices went through the roof and they too went broke. A year later, the staff bought the business and re-opened it, continuing until 2010, when the company became privately owned. Royal Goedewaagen's history seems to foreshadow many things to come in the Western world. A number of events in the Netherlands tend to tell us things about the future - water levels and storm surges for one, energy consumption and business modification for two - it's Double Dutch. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.