TSIL436 = The Secret in Locker 436
A Meerschaum pipe, an essential totem for the character Dr. Sun in TSIL436, is a smoking device made from the mineral sepiolite, also known as Meerschaum.
Sepiolite is a soft, white clay material mostly only found in Eskisehir, in central Turkey.
Meerschaum is German for “sea foam,” which can be seen floating on the Black Sea near Eskisehir.
The first recorded use of Meerschaum for making pipes was around 1723. It quickly became appreciated as an ideal material for providing a cool, dry, flavorful smoke.
Because of the porous nature of Meerschaum, moisture and tobacco tar are drawn deep into the stone. Meerschaum became a premium substitute for the clay pipes of the day and still remains appealing to some, although since the mid-1800s briar pipes have become the most common for smoking.
The use of briarwood, beginning in the early 1820s, greatly reduced demand for clay pipes and, to a lesser degree, Meerschaums.
Yet you can still find these throwback pipes, for a wide variety of prices.