Story: Smoking

Swagman smoking a pipe (1st of 5)

Swagman smoking a pipe

Thomas Selby Cousin's 1875 engraving shows a swagman on the West Coast's Hokitika Road, smoking his clay pipe as he waits for his billy to boil. In the male communities of 19th-century New Zealand smoking a pipe was an almost universal indulgence, and both pipes and tobacco were comparatively inexpensive. Pipe smoking was often, as in this case, a solitary pleasure and an aid to contemplation, but it was also enjoyed in social situations such as the pub.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Making New Zealand Centennial Collection (PAColl-3060)
Reference: PUBL-0047-1875-098-08
Wood engraving by Thomas Selby Cousins

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Smoking - The age of the pipe: the 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 August 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013