Pipe Stems

pipe pedistal
17th-century European white clay pipe, PM 96-24-40/49173
pipe stems
pipe fragments, PM 980-3-10/100128 

These white ceramic pipe stems and bowls were used throughout the 17th and 18th centuries to smoke tobacco. Pipe stems help archaeologists date sites. The size of the borehole in the stem changed through time from large to small.

White clay pipes were made in Europe, while red clay pipes were manufactured locally. The large quantity of pipe fragments recovered from Harvard Yard indicates not only that people broke Harvard’s smoking rules in the 17th and 18th centuries, but also that they invested in the endeavor.


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pipe pedistal