atm-logoIn a photo of six cowboys, two of them smoke pipes with the bowls turned upside down. Why?

Irv Ferguson
Coolidge, Arizona

Cowboys smoking with the bowl inverted was not an uncommon practice. Pipe smokers tell me they do it in windy or wet weather (they say lit tobacco won’t spill). The cowboys in your photo, likely holding clay pipes in their mouths, with the bowls upside down, were sucking away at the empty pipes, almost as if they were chew sticks, to satiate their appetites.


Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.  If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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