Holmes was quite the Pipe Smoker
Hollywood promoted his pipe smoking frequently depicting Holmes with his deer stalker cap and a calabash pipe. The calabash was however a product of the movie makers, for nowhere in the 60 stories of Sherlock Holmes is there mention of a calabash. Clay pipes, and briars however are smoked by Holmes, and many of the stories characters, as we find in the story, 'A Case of Identity'
Then he took down from the rack the old and oily clay pipe, which was to him as a counsellor, and, having lit it, he leaned back in his chair, with the thick blue cloud-wreaths spinning up from him, and a look of infinite languor in his face.
The case of identity
is a story of a young woman wronged by her mother and step-father and involves Holmes finding a missing groom. This case can easily be read in an hour or so. As noted, there is an oily clay pipe smoked by Holmes, as well as a cigarette, and Watson is offered a pinch of snuff in the story. The reader should of course enjoy reading this case with a favoured pipe and a slow tobacco.
The young woman, Miss Sutherland, is duped by her mother and step-father in this story. They are after her money and use a strange plan to assure their continued income from her. Holmes takes in the facts from Miss Sutherland and instructs her to forget her man, who had disappeared on the way to the church for their wedding. Holmes uses a clever method to bring to Baker street the scoundrel in this case, who has broken no laws. Today this case might end a little different.
Holmes had a close friend
and associate, Dr. Watson. Doyle uses the character Watson as a readers insight into Holmes' personal traits and especially the skill of deductive reasoning. Watson too was a pipe smoker. They spent a great deal of time in the stories having their first and last pipe of the day.
We had breakfasted
and were smoking our morning pipe on the day after the remarkable experience which I have recorded, when Mr. Lestrade, of Scotland Yard, very solemn and impressive, was ushered into our modest sitting-room.