An important part of the book is dedicated to the development of the pipe shape from the late sixteenth century till the beginning of the twentieth century.
They did not have a very long life; one 17th century writer states that he purchased about 1,000 clay pipes in five years, showing how quickly they were broken and why so many pieces are found.
The first mention of tobacco is in about 1565, "little ladells' for taking in the smoke are noted in about 1573, and pipes made of clay are recorded in 1593 although undoubtedly they were in use earlier.
Very little is known of the pipemaking industry in the 16th century and it is a difficult job to trace makers for the first half of the 17th century.
In the last part of the book pays attention to the possibilities of dating the pipes.
By analyzing step by step the various aspects of the clay tobacco pipe, the author presents a complete new way of dating and determination of the finds, the so called deductive method.