About us The True Story of Sneak A Toke
Low Profile Herbal Smoking System about us
In 1976 I had a friend named Herbie. Herbie was a guy born and raised on a farm in a small town in Indiana. He was one of those guys that could figure out and fix any problem with any engine. But he couldn’t roll a joint. So one day he took a metal tool which was used to screw in a valve that let you add freon to an auto air conditioning system and also had a chamber and a screw-on cap that held 6 spare valves, cut it, drilled it, pushed a couple of screens in and forced a rubber distributor cap nipple (before electronic ignition) on one end. One of 64 original prototypes is pictured on the right.
He showed it to me and we filled it with some cleaned-up seedy, stemmy smoking material from Mexico, maybe, which was all that was available to poor folks back then. It smoked like a monster! And it put itself out after each hit so you could drop it into your pocket immediately. And it held at least a dozen hits. I said, “Herbie, we can sell these!”. And he said, “Go ahead”. So I did. And that’s how Sneak A Toke came to be.
This is what our first production Sneak A Tokes looked like.
It is very similar to the cheap foreign knockoffs that you see in most head shops today. Over the years we engineered out most of the ‘bugs’ that were inherent in our original design.
About 1983 we came out with a deluxe version made of brass with a turned oak mouthpiece called the “Brass & Oak”. The original prototype had the wood drilled to the exact size of the brass so that the end of the brass would not need glue. I was barefoot when I first tried it. After a few hits, due to the heat, the wood expanded and the brass cap and bowl fell out and landed on my big toe. Ouch! That is why the wood has to be glued to the brass and unfortunately cannot be cleaned as easily as our rubber mouthpiece models which allow you to remove the rubber and soak the metal overnight in rubbing alcohol and then rinse under hot water to clean like new.
No samples of the first packaging still exist but it was only one color-red with a white background because when just starting out, without much money, each additional color added cost.
Things were picking up. Sneak A Toke was getting more popular and we changed from heavy, thick corrugated cardboard to a more compact ‘chipboard’ (like a cereal box)
The ’80s came along with laws against our type of products. Since the laws against ‘drug paraphernalia’ could only be written “you will sell no item INTENDED for use will illegal substances”, we all had to shift gears and sell items only intended for use with legal substances meaning ‘tobacco’. (That is why if you walked in a headshop and asked for a ‘bong’ or a ‘hashpipe’, you were asked to leave because you expressed your ‘intent’ to buy an illegal item) So Sneak A Toke was retired and Take A Smoke took its place for the next 30 years. This is what our store display became.