Ben Wade is one of the great names in English pipe making. As Richard Carleton Hacker noticed correctly Ben Wade, like many British pipe companies, has had a checkered history. Very checkered in this case. The company was founded by Benjamin Wade in 1860 in Leeds, Yorkshire, where it was located for over a century. Ben Wade started as a pipe trader, but yet in the 1860's he established a workshop to produce briar pipes. The pipes were made in very many standard shapes - always extensively classic and "very British". Many models tended to be of smaller dimensions. Ben Wade offered a very high standard of craftsmanship and quality without any fills. Thus the pipes were considered to be high grade and a major competitor to other famous English brands. During World War 2 the factory was destroyed by German air raids on Leeds. But the Ben Wade family decided to re-build it immediately after the war and pipe production was re-started soon and successfully linked to the fame from the pre-war years. Even though the owner family decided to leave pipe business and sell off the firm. The family went into negotiations with Herman G. Lane, president of Lane Ltd. in New York at about the same time as the Charatan family. Lane Ltd. bought both firms in 1962. Herman G. Lane had been Charatan's US sole distributor since 1955 and Charatan always remained his pet child. But Ben Wade was treated in another way by it's new owner. The fabrication of pipes was reduced and the factory in Leeds was closed in 1965 finally. So this was the end of Ben Wade pipes stamped "Made in Leeds, England". Lane had the pipe making machines brought from Leeds to London and used the well esteemed name Ben Wade to start the fabrication of entirely machine-made pipes at Charatan's Prescott Street factory. Alas the "new" Ben Wades were quite usual series pipes, copies of well known standard shapes. The pipes often showed hardly masque fillings and were processed quite coarsely with hardly polished pre-molded Ebonite stems. Therewith Ben Wade degenerated definitively to a second brand. The stamping now read "Made in London England" or just "London". Nothing was left from the quality of the pipes once made in Leeds! So on Mr. Lane's proposal it was determined to use the name Ben Wade belonging to Lane Ltd. Lane spend considerable amounts of money for advertising the new brand in the big magazines-- the centerpiece being whole-page ads showing a very exclusive Seven Day's Set. The cooperation with Lane Ltd. proved to be an eminent business success for both partners. Within a very short time Ben Wade Handmade Denmark sold in much larger quantities and at higher prices than they had ever dreamed of. And the hype these freehand and fancy pipes caused went on unbroken long after Herman G. Lane deceased. Preben Holm - obviously much more brilliant in pipe making than in pipe business - was in major troubles again in 1986 and had to sack most of his staff. The Ben Wade production was significantly lowered but continued until his untimely death in June of 1989. They are now made in the same factory as Dunhill and represent remarkable value.