Kevin Keith

Well-known member
Filto was a brand invented and made by a guy named Bob Smith in Burgaw, NC. Like others before him, Bob was looking for a cooler, cleaner smoke and patented his Filto pipe and it's proprietary filter. Bob produced Filto pipes in Burgaw from about 1962 or so until he sold the whole shooting match to Dr. Grabow in 1975. The terms of sale included Grabow giving Bob's son Bill a two year contract with Grabow. Bill didn't do much for Grabow but he did play a lot of golf.

Grabow wasn't really interested in making Filto pipes, it was more of a "let's buy up all the competitors no matter how small" kind of deal. By that time, Grabow was producing two metal pipes of their own, the Viking and the CDL. After two years, Grabow let Bill go and a couple of years later gave it all back to Bob. Bob didn't make anymore Filto pipes after that and the whole thing just faded.

Here are a few pictures of my Filto. It's an aluminum tube with a screw on briar bowl like a Kirsten, an end cap, and a bit. It actually came with a Filto filter, a thin cardboard tube closed on one end. The filter slides onto the end of the bit. The smoke is then cooled in the big tube and filtered before reaching the smoker. Stampings are "Filto" over "Burgaw, NC" over "PAT Made in USA". It's a good smoke.


Kevin Keith

Well-known member
Neat, thanks for posting that. It's got O-rings and everything! I guess there was a market for "innovations" in pipe smoking back in the day, and regardless if they were improvements, it's cool there was room to try them out.
A gimmick pipe for sure, but these gimmicks don't get in the way of a good smoke. Gimmick pipes ruled the mid-20th century.