The History of the Dry Pipe

Hey Depot Fam! Today, we dive deep into the history of the dry pipes. Whether you call it a bowl, a spoon, or a dry pipe, the stories that we recall of our first smoking experiences most likely will revolve around a dry pipe. Although the pipes of the past don't quite look like the ones we know of today, their history is an important part of this community. We hope you enjoy this segment of #HeadyHistory that we have written for you today!


The first pipe has been linked back to around 2000 B.C, making the dry pipe 4,000 years old. Made of copper, these pipes were found in Egypt and were thought to be used for both recreational use and ceremonial use as well. It was thought that the use of the pipe was actually picked up by the Greek who birthed medicine and would prescribe “smoking herbs in pipes” to cure some illnesses. (www.holts.com)


The glass dry pipes that we know and love today have come far from copper, clay, and other earthly materials such as those. But before we can have the glass dry pipes that were accustomed to today, we first need glass.

Glass was first discovered as a material back in 3000 B.C in Mesopotamia (leafbuyer.com). Although glass was being used for a material around this time, it was not yet used for dry pipes. According to Leafbuyer.com, it wasn’t until 30 B.C that the art of glass blowing was started in Rome.


Fast forward a couple of centuries, and a man named Bob Snodgrass established himself in the pipemaking industry. Snodgrass is one of the incredibly creative artists behind the functional glass that we now love and use today.

Snodgrass and his family traveled throughout the United States until they came to Oregon in 1990 and decided they liked the weather, the people, and the atmosphere. "There was a larger collection of artists at the Saturday Market than all the other places I had been to." He has worked with glass since 1971 in Ohio, where he is originally from, but it wasn't until 1981 that glassblowing became his full-time occupation. "I traded my woodworking tools for glassblowing tools," says Bob. When he first started working with glass, he was not pleased with the results so he continued to experiment. Bob discovered that when metals such as silver or gold were heated into glass, a special coloring results: this was the early days of fuming. This technique and many others were pioneered by Bob. In addition, many of the modern glassblowing tools owe their creation to Bob Snodgrass.

Bob says, "I am an inventor. I got stuck in glassblowing because there are so many things to invent in it. I invented a new field in glass. The glass I work with is actually a spin-off of scientific glass. In that process, I found that silver and gold could be blended and sprayed into the glass. A new technique of spraying metals into glass changed the parameters of color possibilities." With such beautiful results, as well as smokers’ preference towards glass paraphernalia, the glass market soared. (snodgrass.net/home.html)


From there on out, the art of glass has evolved into something that only continues to evolve and grow everyday. We are so proud to be a part of this extensive community and all the immense talent that surrounds us everyday. Below, you can find a timeline of the evolution of the dry pipe into the glass pipe we know of today! Thanks for reading, Depot Fam!!



Timeline of Glass Weed Pipes:

  • 30 B.C. – The glass-blowing technique became popular.

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus came across Native Americans who were all about smoking tobacco pipes. The pipes were made of wood and other accessible material.

  • 1559 – Jean Nicot, a French diplomat brought a tobacco pipe back to France, and it quickly became a hit within the local culture.

  • 1600 – Clay pipes came about and became widely accepted amongst the English culture.

  • 1800 – The wooden tobacco pipe became popular and widely used for tobacco and hashish.

  • 1960’s – Using glass to produce extravagant pieces of art to display and smoke out of, grew extremely popular in our society.

  • 1977 – The first glass pipe patented.

  • 2003 – The Feds ran a sting operation on head shops and smoke shops to pull drug paraphernalia from being sold.

  • 2010 – There are a plethora of glass weed pipes available. Glass-blowing techniques are fine-tuned, and production is taking off.

  • 2018 – Glass weed pipes is one of the largest ancillary cannabis sectors.

(taken by www.leafbuyer.com)


Post Edited and co-written by Rachel Beers



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