Dear reader, it is of no surprise to you, of course, that yet another snippet of pipe history comes to you now, dusted off and pulled from the underground vaults deep beneath the OomPalace. Years ago, the Witch's Foot was an incredibly popular shape that has today, all but died out. While many dispute it's origin, the Witch's Foot shape, we believe originated with a British carver trained by a Danish carver who was trained by an American carver, who was trained by an alligator in the swamps of Louisiana. While I personally find it hard to believe that an alligator would carve pipes from briar and not something more readily available, like human bone, I can only tell you the facts as they are recorded in the documents we have here.
It is entirely possible too, that this American carver did not wish to divulge his source as he never gave the name of the alligator in question. But I digress.  The Witch's Foot pipe did not become popular until the young British carver Taylor A. Bilton made it so. Bilton was a marketing master in his own way and used the old myth, which was quite popular in his area, that if one smoked a pipe, the smoke kept away illness and disease (this belief is still held in some areas of Georgia (US.) Bilton took it a step further, roughed out pipes that were flat and smooth on one side and roughly billiard shaped on the other and called the shape a "Witch's Foot" which he said had special abilities which far surpassed "regular" pipe smoke.
Sales were slow until a baby in a nearby town made a miraculous recovery from "flop bot" (a terrible illness, very tricky to cure years ago.) Soon, word got around that it was all due to the baby smoking a Witch's Foot pipe made by Bilton. Whether the baby actually smoked a Witch's Foot pipe or just a cavalier shape (which was very popular for babies then,) we can't be sure. However, what we can be sure of is this: the sales of Witch's Foot pipes shot up astronomically and became a necessary item in many homes far and near.


AuthorOlie Sylvester