College Pipe Shop

John Stuckey operated the College Pipe Shop from 1945, when he purchased it from Mac McGuire, until 1980 when it was replaced by Hanika-Friedson Jewelers.  Copyworks today occupies the same building on the corner of Lincoln Way and Welch.

College Pipe Shop had the address of 2500 Lincoln Way.  The photo above shows the Pizza House next door to the west at 2502 Lincoln Way.  It opened in 1958 at that address and later moved into 2504, surviving until 1982.

Further to the west is the Bon Appetite Cafe, 2504 Lincoln Way, operated by Grace Uthe and Edith Walker from 1958 until 1965.

Looking up Welch Avenue one notices the sign for the Des Moines Register & Tribune office located in the basement under the pipe shop.  Next is Stephenson's Dry Goods Store at 103 Welch.  Harry Shockey's Ames Hardware & Music Store is next at 105 Welch.  Archie Wierson's Goodyear Shoe Repair occupies 107 Welch.  Note the huge boarding house visible behind the tree branches.


Ames Daily Tribune, March 3, 1966

A store full of pipes -- between three and four thousand -- make the College Pipe Shop, 2500 Lincoln Way, live up to its name.  Narrow shelves, stacked floor to ceiling, are full of every kind of pipe with variations in coloring, size, bowl shape and construction.

Blends of pipe tobacco are also a part of the store, and John Stucky, owner, has developed his own personal blend, has it made from his formula, and ships it all over the country.  It has a mild peach flavor and the volume of orders for it means an order of two dozen gross pounds of it at a time.

Briar root pipes with hard rubber stems from England make up a large portion of his inventory.  Stucky said, "Each pipe smoker should have a pipe for every day -- there is moisture in tobacco and a pipe should dry out between uses if possible."  Many of his regular customers own three or four pipes.

Mr. and Mrs. John Stuckey, 1524 Clark Ave., have been in the same location since 1945 when they bought the business from its previous owner, Mac McGuire, when Stuckey returned from service in World War II.

The shelves are stocked with all kinds of smoking supplies, clocks, sunglasses, stationery, magazines and paper-back books.


Ames Daily Tribune, December 2, 1960

"Every one of these pipes is an individual just the same as you and I," Elwood Clark, or just plain "Clark," as he is known to the hundreds of college students at Iowa State who know him, says of the dozens of pipes in the College Pipe Shop.  Clark has been helping Iowa State students pick the right pipe and tobacco for the past 30 years.  Revered and respected by the many young men he has known during their college days, his advice in selection of a pipe and tobacco is considered the last word on the campus.

Clark said young men coming to school and just beginning to smoke a pipe prefer a small one at first.  After the pipes are broken in, many times with his advice, they begin looking for a larger, better-quality pipe.  Most of the young men come from areas where they have only seen American-made pipes, "and I have to educate them" he explains.  A strong advocate of English-made pipes, he feels there is no equal in quality in this country.  He said the British, in general, use better briars and cure them more slowly.  There is less stress on mass production.  And a good pipe is an investment of a lifetime, Clark explained.  A good briar, well cared for, should last a man's lifetime.

A pipe, like a good car, should be broken in with care, Clark explains.  When new, it should be filled only one-third to one-half full and smoked completely to the bottom every time.  If the pipe is filled full at first it will "cake" from the top creating a "hot spot" in the bottom and will fail to "break in" correctly.  Clark doesn't believe pipe smokers should leave a "cake" in the bowl any thicker than the thickness of a penny at any time.  If the "cake" is built up, it could crack the bowl, he explained.

Another tip is to have several pipes and let each dry out well after being thoroughly cleaned, of course, with the bowl down for a day or so after being smoked.