5 Star General MacArthur Corn Cob Pipe

If we go to Pentagon in one room we can see a Corn Cob Pipe belongs to 5-Star U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, a famous and glorious General in the Pacific theater during 2nd world War.

The Corn Cob pipe is like a icon of MacArthur, and until today there are still many fans of Corn Cob pipe.

The pipe has a shortened and absorbent tobacco chamber – not like a bowl on the ordinary wood pipe – that allowed for an easy smoke, the extended bowl made the pipe easy for the General to use as a pointer, and the long shank provides a cool smoking experience.

That Corn Cob pipe made by Missouri Meerschaum Company, Washington, the world’s oldest manufacturer of cool, sweet-smoking corn cob pipes that make Washington became famous.


The story began when the Dutch immigrant Henry Tibbe a woodworker first made the corn cob pipe in 1869. Unexpected, the pipe liked by some peoples, a local farmer whittled a pipe out of corn cob and liked it so much, and asked Tibbe to try turning some on his lathe.

Because of that, Tibbe made and sold a few more in his woodworking shop.  Tibbe’s pipes proved to be such a fast selling item, he soon spent more time making pipes for customers than working with wood, and began full time production of corn cob pipes.

The woodworking company named H. Tibbe & Son Company become more popular as a pipes maker than wood-working.

Due to the activity that more concentration in pipe production, in 1907 the company name changes into then Missouri Meerschaum Company (meerschaum is a German words for “sea foam” in English). Meerschaum is a Turkish clay used in high grade pipes.

Tibbe gave a name for his pipe as “Missouri Meerschaum”, with a help of his chemist friend, he applying a plaster-based substance to the outside of the corn cob bowls. The process of that being patented by Tibbe in 1878.

The selling of the corn cob pipe became a nationwide.  The success of selling corn cob makes a growing of new company, mostly surround Washington, like in Franklin County, more than a dozen new company established by 1925.

But all of the new companies facing a difficulties and closed.  Missouri Meerschaum Company is the only survived until today.  People buying a corn cob pipes not only for smoking used, many of the buyer from all over the world coming to buy being used as souvenirs or gift.

Not less than 700,000 corn cob pipes sold each year by Meerschaum.  The most popular corn cob pipe named as “5-Star MacArthur Corn Cob Pipe.” The selling price is $14.89

In 1951, when US President Harry Truman relieved MacArthur during Korean War, hundred of sympathizers besieged Missouri Meerschaum Company with orders for iconic “5-Star MacArthur Corn Cob” pipes.

Because the corn cob is not strong enough like a wooden pipe, Meerschaum regularly send the new pipe to MacArthur.  In a March 1959 letter to Missouri Meerschaum owner Carl Otto, MacArthur stated:

With the passage of time I find each year brings increasing enjoyment of my corncob pipes.

MacArthur creation became legacy.

To learn more about the Missouri Meerschaum Company, visit their museum & retail shop at 21 Cedar St., Washington, MO 63090, or visit

  • Length: 241.3 mm
  • Bowl height: 111.125 mm
  • Chamber diameter: 10.05 mm
  • Chamber depth: 50.06 mm
  • Filter: None

Pic. Credit Gen. MacArthur from War Museum Pic, Lumberjac,

Pic. Credit Pipe: Missouri Meerschaum Company


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