History of Phil Jergenson: Creator of the Original Proto Pipe and Mendo Pipe
If you’ve been smoking with hand pipes for awhile now, you may have come across a couple of unique designs created by legendary pipe maker Phil Jergenson. His first invention was the Proto Pipe, which he designed and produced in the 1960’s. Though there have been imitation pipes circulated throughout the years, none come close to the quality and craftmanship of the original design.
This metal smoking pipe is small, yet multi-functional. It comes with its own poker tool conveniently stored in the pipe, and a storage chamber, so users can load a few sessions in before their adventure without accidentally forgetting their product behind. A removable bowl on the bottom collects oils and tars from each session that users can then consume later for their own purposes.
Metal pipes usually get bad raps because they tend to alter the taste of the product during use, or they leave a metallic aftertaste in the smoke, but the Proto Pipe has provided clean hits to users for nearly 60 years now. Most users are pleasantly surprised over the purity of the pipe, and it’s easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with it over the decades that its been on the market. For its durability, ease of use, and multi-functional design, you would think this pipe would set a smoker back financially. However, it’s extremely affordable for all of the features it includes.
Though Phil eventually sold his company, he couldn’t quite resist the opportunity to improve upon his original design and create a newer model. The Mendo Pipe is like his previous design, but offers a few upgraded features that will make sessions even more enjoyable. The first feature users notice that’s different about the Mendo Pipe is its overall shape. While the outside of the Proto Pipe is more square, the Mendo Pipe is more round. Both inner bowls are circular, so there’s no difference there.
The other noticeable difference is the bowl swivel lid. The Mendo Pipe’s lid is more circular than the Proto Pipe’s lid, plus it has an added feature of acting as a clip for hand-rolled items. Lastly, users had to slide their pokers through the bowl screen to pop the bottom chamber out of the Proto Pipe. But, the Mendo Pipe eliminates this awkward performance by including a swivel lid on the bottom also. Other than these small changes, users can find all of the features they loved about the Proto Pipe in the Mendo Pipe as well, including the built-in poker tool, extra product storage, and a small design they could easily take with them while traveling.
Phil Jergenson has turned toward more sustainable production practices for his Mendo Pipe by using his off-grid solar power in Mendocino County, California to create each one. Since these pipes are nearly indestructible, users feel good about purchasing a product that will serve them for many years to come.