Thursday, December 11, 2014

William Demuth Company (WDC) catalog, New York, ca. 1895

The William Demuth Company was a retail, wholesale, and import giant for more than 100 years. Started in 1861-1862 in New York City, by 1890, it was claimed that Demuth owned the largest pipe import, wholesale, and manufacturing business in the United States. When the briar became the pipe of choice, it produced 20th-century French briars of American craftsmanship and British lines, such as Milano, Royal Demuth, Demuth Gold Dot, WDC Triangle, W.D.C.-Hand-made, Stratford, Windsor, Aristocrat, Brighton, Snap-Kleen, and its most famous, Wellington (“The Universal Pipe”), a system pipe with a flared push bit. Magazine ads of the 1930s hailed the Royal Demuth as “the greatest pipe in 74 years of pipe making.”


In these few select pages of this catalog, the viewer can get a sensing of a small segment of its product line that ranged from “segars and smokers’ articles”—but no tobaccos—to show and cigar-store figures, walking sticks, signs, and other carved objects, rather peculiar adjuncts for a tobacconist.

Catalog images courtesy of John Adler.

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