The story is long, but I will try to keep it short.
The Comoy Family was well-established in 1825; Francois Comoy and his brothers were making pipes in a small village near Saint-Claude. As usual, boxwood and Beach wood were the materials of choice for their pipes. Their main customers were the “Grumblers” of Napoleon’s army.
In the 1850s, Henry Comoy was born. Six years later, briarwood was discovered, and Saint-Claude became the birthplace of briar pipes and the world capital of pipe making.
In the 1870s, Henry was a prisoner in Switzerland and met his cousin from the Chapuis family. They developed the idea of an association. 1879 marks the year when Henry emigrated to London and founded COMOY & C° LTD, a new pipe factory supplied by Saint-Claude factory.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the business grew exponentially, and more factories were built in Clerkenwell and Rosebury Avenue.
Let’s fast-forward to the 1920s. 1921 saw the establishment of the House Of Comoy and the appointment of USA sales director to Sam Zinberg.
Two years later, Henri died, and his sons Paul and Adrien took control of the company with the help of Emilie and Louis Chapuis in London.
In 1928 Chacom (first three letters of the COMOY and CHAPUIS) were created for the Saint Claude factory. The plan was to establish the french division with its brand. Since the London and French divisions were producing the same product, Chacom was sold only in France, Belgium, and Switzerland to avoid overlapping in the international market.
The economic crisis came in 1932, and Chapuis Comoy & Cie joined another company under the name of LA BRUYERE to have a chance to survive the difficult time approaching. That led to the forming of the biggest pipe concern in the world. After the Second World War, Chacom assumed its entire commercial liberty and launched a complete and modern range of pipes.
In 1950, Chacom was the leading brand in many European countries and the United States. 7 years later, La Bruyere returned to CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.
In the 1980s, Cadogan Investments acquired Comoy, but the company maintained its high-quality standards and designs.
Fast-forwarding to 2007, Antoine Grenard took the reins at Chapuis-Comoy and designed several new models for the Chacom brand.
In 2016 a new chapter began; the company left Faubourg Marcel after more than a century to Villard Saint Sauver and built a new factory and a museum. The new location mixed traditional and contemporary, showing the history of an iconic industry and its future-oriented nature.
To this day, Chapuis Comoy produces pipes for many companies, but Chacom is the company’s pride and joy. Only the best tobacco pipes carry the Chacom seal. The range incorporates traditional and modern french pipe shapes. If you are looking for a London-made pipe, a Comoy is the right one for you. Traditional style, superior briar at an affordable price!
If you are not sure if you have a Chacom or a Comoy check the logo on the stem:
One C is for Comoy and two Cs is for Chacom 🙂
Till next time!
Christian – The Pipe Expert