Dating old clay pipes

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Early tile-pipes were shaped by hand around a drum.

It was not until the mid-nineteenth century, when the extrusion method of machine-making tile-pipes was invented, that hollow drainage by tile-pipe came within the reach of most farmers.

To learn more about Virginia and the rise of tobacco, see Tobacco Production & the Town of Colchester.Over the next thousand or so years, the bowls of these pipes became more sculptural, frequently carved into the forms of ducks, wolves, and other animals.Land drainage has a long history in Britain, going back to the Roman cutting of the Car Dykes in the Fens and the ditches of Romney Marsh.Then, with the start of the period of agricultural depression, no more tile-pipe drainage was laid, virtually until 1939.Mole-drainage (cheaper, although it had to be renewed) was used instead.

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