The "Mr. Paul" stamped on this big, beautifully flame-grained freehand refers, I presume, to Mr. Paul T. Spaniola, the owner of Paul's Pipe shop in Flint, Michigan. While Iwan Ries may be able to claim the title of the oldest family-owned tobacconist in the US, I suspect Paul Spaniola is without competition for the claim of "longest-running pipe shop owner". How long-running? He opened Paul's Pipe Shop in the year 1930, so, roughly speaking, about 83 years. This pipe itself would have been made by his son, Dan (a retired sheriff who now handles the day-to-day running of the shop for Paul), using his father's own original equipment.
- Eric N. Squires