I got into a pipe cleaning and polishing frenzy for the past two days. Even my Falcons are shining better then new. But I digress. This post is in regard to my briar pipes. After polishing them I couldn't help but notice that the older pipes from the 1950's to midway in the 1980's have a noticeably smother and shinier finish then my pipes that were made in the later half of the 1980's to the present. Looking at them I began to wonder why. It's obvious that something in the mass manufacturing of pipes have changed. Could it be that as crafting a pipe had gone from mostly done by hand to primarily the work of machines the is not sanded as smooth? I have no doubt that the finish used on more modern pipes is not the same, (at least in formula), that was used in the pipes of the past, but on the other hand is it the change in the finish or the way it's now applied that is making the difference? Perhaps the answer is a little of both. I realize that this is far from a earth shattering observation, but after all this is a pipe forum and pondering about pipes seems appropriate here, and I'm curious to what those of you who know about such things may have to say.