"My first pipes and tobacco were purchased at Tinder Box back in 1968. Your tobaccos set the standards for me. I put the pipe down for quite a few years, but, now that I'm a bit older, I'm picking it back up again with gusto. It's time to relax! "
Michael T. Lancaster, CA
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Our Treasured History
If you've ever set foot into one of our many Tinder Box shops, then you probably understand why our customers keep coming back. Tinder Box was originally founded in 1928 by Ed Kolpin, one of the true pioneers of the pipe business. After many successful years Kolpin desired to give others the opportunity to experience Tinder Box and sold his first franchise in 1959, long before franchises where common among American business operations. For years Tinder Box was not only the largest pipe and tobacco retailer in North America, it was also the largest franchise operation. Today, with many locations throughout the United States, Tinder Box has become synonymous with quality crafted pipes, original pipe tobacco blends, fine cigars, accessories and unique gifts.
Ed Kolpin the tobacconist to the stars, liked to hold court with old Hollywood. Bing Crosby went into his Santa Monica shop for the artisan's handmade pipes. George Burns bought 99-cent cigars to smoke but $10 stogies to give to friends. Marilyn Monroe never bought anything but regularly stopped in to chat.Ed Kolpin was an original and there will never be another.
The man responsible for the vast Tinder Box empire died peacefully at his Santa Monica, California home, April 6 2007, at age 97.