About Otto Pollner:
Otto Pollner jr. is a retiredtobacco dealer in Bünde, Germany, and for us, children of the twehtieth century, used as we are to living in constant flux
and with little security, his story may seem incredible. Otto Pollner jr. took over the family firm from his father, Otto Pollner sr., who hat taken it over from his father Carl. Carl had founded the
company in 1878. Now the latest in the long line, Otto's son Otto-Karl, and his young wife, are running things. In this way, Otto is free from the day-to-day cares and can look after his countless crafts
and literary activities. In the meantime, the firm has been run by four generations. What is the secret of their success?
Old Carl had started off working on a lathe in a shop where the Pollner firm
is now based. Remember we are talking about the early ninetheenth century, long before supermarkets ever appeared. in those days, people did their best to make the things they needed, or went to a
craftsman. Craftsmen would create the objects ordered, following the customer's instructions, and often using materials the customer supplied.
Now Carl was a pipeman, so he began making pipes. First
for himself, and later on for customers who asked him to make them one. But they where one-offs: he didn't have a pipe production line. The success of the pipes he made by hand on his own lathe and customer
demand meant his lathe workshop was soon changed into a pipe and tobacconist's shop. For four generations now, the Pollners have been supplying pipes and tobaccos, and their specialist shop is utterly charming.
As has always been the case, the pipes and smoker's requisites are their main line in trade. But in conformity with the company philosophy of "Epicurean culture", they have branched out into quality spirits,
fine Italian wines, and accessories. By doing so, this "living tradition" has been sensibly changed.
there is nothing to disturb the atmosphere: none of the objects on display is out of place, and they are
all in perfect harmony with the classical interior design, timeless yet accurate.
Old Carl passed his free-hand lathe skills on to his son and grandson. It is a real pleasure to watch Otto jr. as he
creates and models his objects on the old lathe in the workshop under the shop, as thoug he were a potter moulding his clay.
In this workshop, Otto's undisputed kingdom, repairs are made and new stems
produced. Another art handed down from one Pollner generation to another is that of the pipeman. Thanks be to God, they also live a long time: Carl Pollner lived to the ripe old age of 83 years, and Otto sr. 80,
whereas Otto jr. born 23rd of May 1925 passed away in 2003, and smoked his pipe every day. The company museum displaysonly a fraction of Otto's output; most is kept in a huge salon in the house over
the shop, and spread throughout other rooms. They are there to entertain both him and his friends, a lot of whom are pipeman themselves. It's a job, a passion, and a hobby all rolled into one. This may explain
why hisfamous pipe books, among which may be counted "Pipe Smoking made easy", have been re-printed so often. His writings for "Tabakzeitung", "Pipe Club", and the current "Smoker's Club", wheter direct or reported,
always give lots of useful information. The international awards made by Otto Pollner show without a doubt his passion for pipes. He has been a member of the international Pipe Academy since 1986, the CIPC-Club
in Brema since 1990, and the "Confrérie des Maîtres Pipiers de Saint-Claude" since 1992. He has been working for the world famous tobacco and cigar museum in Bünde, a reminder of the likns the city
has had with the tobacco and cigar industry since 1843. As well as seeing the more than 300 pipes on display, all rare and historically fascinating, visitors can visit the nineteenth-century "fumoir" and view
real smoker's armchairs and other precious items. There is also an old cigar-wrapping factory, and a collection of smoker's objects so refined that it is easy to understand that smoking used to be a pleasure,
before it becames a health risk. Otto Pollner has made a classical pipe for us, elegant and balanced, perfectly in keeping with his style.
Sadly Otto Pollner passed away in 2003, he will be missed by all who knew him as a friend and colleague.