Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Clay Pipe Manufacturing in Gouda (1940)


Pictures detailing the succession of steps from raw clay forming, to molding and firing.

The pictures were taken in 1940 in the city of Gouda, Holland.

The process remained strikingly identical to the one performed in the late 1700s in France as demonstrated by the illustrations of the Encyclopedie de Diderot.




The clay is rolled into blanks.



The piercing rod (iron wire) is inserted into the thin part of the blank which later becomes the pipe stem.



The blank is then placed inside the brass mold, the mold is closed and the two parts are firmly pressed together.
By pressing the iron stopper inside the opening of the mold and tapping it up and down, the inside of the bowl is shaped.



When the stopper is removed, the piercing rod is pushed inward to connect the bowl with the stem hole. Then the mold is opened, the pipe is removed and excess clay (mold lines) is trimmed.



The pipe is now ready to be placed in a cylindrical container of refractory clay.



The cylindrical containers are then placed in a coal burning oven. The coal fire generates temperatures from 400 F to 600 F. The use of coal cuts the firing time by half compared to the original wood firing ovens.



The cooked pipes are taken out of the oven.

  Pictures from the National Archives of Netherlands


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