Connect with us


The Secret History of Dry Herb Vapes



Vaping is older than you think. Far older. Today, it’s rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to consume dry herb, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a new innovation. After all, just look at the market; every single device from the DaVinci IQ to the Mighty, look like sleek and modern pieces of technology. Even the venerable Storz & Bickel Volcano, the grandfather of modern vapes, looks like something from a sci-fi movie set.

However, despite all these modern bells and whistles, the technology and engineering principles that dry herb vaporizers are built around are established and well known. The two main types of heating, conduction and convection are age old. Conduction directly heats by putting it in contact with the heating element, a method used in stove for a long time. Convection on the other hand heats the air around the herb, which is identical to the principles of how an oven works. 

On top of this, the other main method of consuming herb is far more ‘primal’, combustion and bubbling water pipes feel old. On top of that, for decades they were seen in pop culture as icons of the cannabis world. Naturally, people became accustomed to them, and any deviation seems novel by comparison. 

However, vaping, in one form or another, has been around for centuries. In fact, it’s nearly as old as combustion. Let’s take a look at the secret history of vapes.

Ancient Egypt

Some of the earliest examples of vaping dry herb can be traced all the way back to Egypt in 5BC. The Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus wrote about vaping in his book, The History of Herodotus. Here he records how the Scythians, an ancient nomadic tribe, consumed herb. They would take hemp seeds and place them on red-hot stones. This would cause the seeds to boil and vaporise, emitting a vapour that could be inhaled. 

This method works on the exact same principles as modern vapes like the PAX 3. This method is called convection, and it works by putting the herb in contact with a heated surface. Obviously, the PAX is a far smaller and more efficient example of this technique, but the principles are essentially identical!

Ancient Afghanistan

Around 150 years ago, a man known as Irfan Sheikh was on a one-man crusade to revolutionize herb consumption. He lived under the Safavid Dynasty and is credited with inventing the hookah water pipe. Contrary to popular belief, hookahs don’t directly burn herb, instead, they use red-hot lumps of charcoal to heat the air around the herb, gradually baking the vapour out. 

Again, this idea is still around today. Convection vaporizers indirectly heat herb by heating up the air that flows across it. The Mighty portable vape from Storz & Bickel is, in many ways, the modern heir to the hookah. If you’re a historical purist and want to enjoy a hookah-style vape experience in a more authentic way, then the Plenty from Storz & Bickeland it’s articulated whip is a suitable throwback.

1920s America

As we approach modernity, the history of vaporizers becomes more muddled. It was a time of unprecedented technological innovation for the world. The world of vaporizers wasn’t spared from this. In 1927 Joseph Robinson invented a mechanical butane ignition vaporizer. He was quoted as saying, “My invention relates to vaporising devices for holding medicinal compounds which are electrically heated to produce vapours for inhalation.” 

He patented his invention in 1930, but it never made it to market. 

While butane has fallen out of favour as a method of heating dry herb, it isn’t completely gone. The Dynavap M uses an external butane torch to heat herb placed in a conductive alloy cap.

1960s America

A veteran of the Korean war, Herbert A Gilbert, was the next figure to evolve dry herb vaping. He actually pioneered battery-powered vaporizers. He is quoted as saying later in his life, “Using the technology available in 1963, I concluded that a battery-powered heat source would do the job, and the first electric cigarette was born. I did build prototypes and tried using various flavours of water as steam… and it worked.”

While the idea of a battery-powered vaporizer is fairly mundane today, at the time it was revolutionary. The concepts in his device can be found in a huge number of modern vapes, from the DaVinci IQ to the Arizer Air II.

The 1980s and Beyond

In 1989, Dr Lunglife wrote a manuscript that elaborated on how he had used components from Radioshack, to create a home-made vaporizer. His invention was vastly different from anything seen today. It involved brushing concentrate extracted from cannabis onto a lightbulb thread, which served as the heating element. He asserted that it was better than smoking, despite the lack of existing evidence to confirm this. Of course, time has proven his claims to be accurate and today, thousands of people choose vaporizers as a healthy way to consume dry herb.

The Modern Era

In 1993, Eagle Bill, a cannabis pioneer, created the first modern vaporizer. Known as the Shave and Vape, it is similar to the Dynavap M in that it requires an external heat source to work. It rose to popularity in Amsterdam during the 7th Cannabis Cup. The modern vape industry can be traced back to this point in time. 

Three years later, Storz & Bickel established the modern vape industry as we know it. They became the first factory in Germany to specialize in dry herb vaporizers. This lead to the landmark development of the Volcano desktop vaporizer. The Volcano was the result of four years of extensive research and patented designs. When it hit the market in 2000 it was the closest to perfect a vaporizer could be, even today it is considered one of the very best vaporizers out there. It also pioneered the detachable balloon valve that revolutionised how people could vape and set a new standard for the market. The iconic chrome cone of the Volcano remains one of the most instantly recognisable products on the vape market.

The company only grew from there, and in 2003 they decided it was time to take on the American market. This proved to be a quick success and justified the opening of a branch of operation in California.

In 2003, the company entered a new phase: targeting American markets. They executed this through the release of the 110V Volcano, and by 2005 they had built up a strong enough presence in the United States to justify opening a branch of operations in Oakland, California.

From that day on, Storz & Bickel have gone from strength to strength, diversifying out into the hand-held vaporizer market with the Plenty, and dominating the portable vape industry with the Mighty and Crafty. 

The secret to Storz & Bickel’s success lies in how they learned a little something from every era of vaporizer history. They combine the classic heating systems of conduction and convection in their hybrid heating system. This system provides the best of both worlds and is known to provide the purest, and tastiest vapour out there. 

The ‘iHerb’ Era

Today the vaporizer market is a multi-billion dollar industry. While they were once low-tech and low-cost devices, they have started to diversify into something else. Vape manufacturers decided to adopt the design conventions of consumer electronic companies like Apple and Sony. They are now offering sleek, slickly-designed, and advanced vaporizers that offer their users more features than ever. 

This tactic is clearly working, estimates for the value of the vaporizer industry range from $2.5 billion to over $10 billion. These Silicon Valley-style profits are naturally matched by a Silicon Valley location. With leading brands like Firefly and Pax operating out of California. Companies from across the market are reporting exponential growth year on year. This growth is happening in parallel to the growing acceptance and normalization of cannabis. Some believe that the more market-friendly appearance and aesthetics surrounding dry herb vaporizers are major contributors to this phenomenon.

Modern vaporizers feature all manner of features that weren’t possible even a decade ago. Devices like the Mighty and Crafty now come with bespoke phone apps that allow users to have unprecedented levels of control over their vape experience. They can adjust temperatures with accuracy, check battery life, and cycle through a huge amount of different modes and settings. 

Cannabis now has dozens of sanctioned medicinal uses, and vaporizers are one of the go-to ways to deliver it. Vaping has a range of advantages over combustion for patients. It allows users to enjoy the active ingredients of their herb without having to inflict harsh smoke or dangerous carcinogens on themselves. Many companies, such as Storz & Bickel and DaVinci have gone as far to partner with medical professionals so they can deliver vaporizers that are built from the ground up for medicinal use.

The Future of Vaporizers

Vaporizers have a long and storied history that is defined by one thing more than anything else: constant innovation that builds on what came before. As vaping becomes more commonplace, and potentially the most popular form of dry herb consumption, we are sure to see some new and fantastic innovations. 

It’s nearly impossible to predict exactly what will change, but we can speculate. Modern trends in vape design seem to be emphasising devices that are compact, so we can expect to see vape design become increasingly miniaturised. This will build on advanced, rechargeable batteries and intuitive control systems.

Another trend many have noticed in vape designs is increasing emphasis on vaporizers that employ dual-use heating systems that are compatible with both dry herb and concentrates. In fact, many are predicting that concentrates may become the main focus of the vaporizer industry. 

Refinements in extraction techniques mean that more and more of the herb’s active ingredients are surviving the concentration process. This means that concentrate users can increasingly enjoy whole plant experiences, that are much closer to the authentic dry herb experience, just in a more compact and potent form. 

Some are even going as far as to claim that the vape industry will move away from the current chamber system, and adopt a more Juul-like cartridge system that will allow users to enjoy pre-mixed and flavoured blends that can be replaced or swapped out on the fly. Streamlining the vape experience massively. 

As the industry continues to experiment and grow, we will see new innovations in vaporizer technology, and the materials that they will use. As time goes on, and as legalisation continues in Canada, the US, and eventually the European Union, we can expect to see vaporizers reach the ubiquity that electronic cigarettes enjoy.  Whatever happens in the long term, we can be sure that dry herb vaporizers will keep building on their long history. 

Continue Reading


Move Over Daisy Jones & The Six Stereophonic Has Taken Up The Gauntlet



Daisy Jones & the Six is a hit series on Amazon Prime that follows a rock band in the 1970s from their rise in the LA music scene to becoming one of the most famous bands in the world. This was based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book of the same name and was partly inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Stereophonic is like binge watching episodes of this TV series, live on stage for three hours. 

Opening tonight, David Adjmi’s high drama play is set in a recording studio in Sausalito, California in 1976, until the last act when they record in LA. The set by David Zinn, has us inside the control room where we can see inside the sound booth. In the beginning, it is hard to hear the words as everyone is talking over each other. Sex, drugs especially coke, alcohol, cigarettes, joints, infidelity and music are what’s at stake and we are eavesdropping in.

Andrew R. Butler and Eli Gelb Photo by Julieta Cervantes

We first meet Grover (Eli Gelb), an untested producer who has lied to everyone about his credentials and his nerdy assistant Charlie (Andrew R. Butler), who are trying to keep the band who are very much like Fleetwood Mac on track. On lead guitar and vocals, Peter (Tom Pecinka) a control freak, perfectionist, lead songwriter and vocalist who is emotionally abusive. He is in a nine year relationship with Diana (Sarah Pidgeon), also the lead singer who is insecure, neurotic, an up and coming songwriter, who very much like Riley Keough in Daisy Jones & the Six. From England are keyboardist and singer Holly (Juliana Canfield) who is stable, warm and going through a terrible marriage to bassist Reg (Will Brill), who is an addict in every sense of the word. And finally Simon (Chris Stack), a drummer who parties to the hilt, as his marriage falls apart due to the recording of the album going way over the time frame given.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The question becomes; can this group of talented performers complete this album without killing each other or themselves? In the course of the 3+ hours, we start to really care about the outcome.

Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

In the meantime, we hear fragments and whole songs that are really well done. Tender, yearning ballads of hope and despair written by Will Butler highlight this slice of life. The songs become the feelings that are unexpressed.

Chris Stack and Will Brill Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The cast is incredible, with each one giving us a complete profile. Gelb and Butler give us comedic dazed and confused nerds, whose chemistry is infectious. Gelb’s character is so out of his depth, as he is forced to be the one to keep this gang together despite Pecinka egocentric narcissistic personality. Pidgeon and Pecinka are perfect as lovers tearing each other apart. Stack gives us loss that is heartbreaking. Canfield gives us layers in a role that could be lost but it is Brill who steals the show with his brilliant portrayal as a rock star who lives his life to access.

Juliana Canfield Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Juliana Canfield Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Enver Chakartash’s costumes, Tommy Kurzman’s wigs and hairstyling, Jiyoun Chang’s  lighting, and Ryan Rumery’s multidirectional sound are groovy and out a sight.

Tom Pecinka and Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Director Daniel Aukin keeps this chaos intact, as the music exacts its reward.

Tom Pecinka, Juliana Canfield and Sarah Pidgeon by Julieta Cervantes

The music is so good that Sony Masterworks Broadway will release an original cast recording produced by Playwrights Horizons where the show originally played and features the original songs by Academy Award® nominee and Grammy Award® winner Will Butler, formerly of Arcade Fire wrote. The digital album arrives May 10, 2024, with the physical CD release set for June 14. The Album is available for preorder now.

Stereophonic: Broadway’s Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th Street.

Continue Reading


Chip Zien Is Honored at Sardi’s and The Original Cast of Falsettos Unite



The iconic Chip Zien was honored with his portrait at Sardi’s. Sierra Boggess roasted him to the hilt

Zien has spent almost 50 years on Broadway.

Zien was the Baker in the original 1987 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods filmed by the PBS.

The Baker’s Wife Joanna Gleason

In the 90’s he replaced Michael Jeter is Grand Hotel.

Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Alison Fraser, Mary Testa

In 1992 he was Mendel in the groundbreaking William Finn and James Lapine musical Falsettos. He appeared in all of the “Marvin Trilogy” musicals by Finn: In Trousers (1979), March of the Falsettos (1981), Falsettoland (1990) and Falsettos (1992).

Carolee Carmella

Alison Fraser

Gregg Edelman, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien,  Carolee Carmello, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser

Gregg Edelman, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Carolee Carmella, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser

In 1998 Zien was featured in another Finn musical A New Brain. He received a 1999 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for this role.

Anne Nathan and Mary Testa

He appeared in the Off-Broadway play Isn’t It Romantic by Wendy Wasserstein and was nominated for the 1984 Drama Desk Award, Featured Actor in a Play.

Gregg Edelman, Carolee Carmella, Christine Pedi

In 2005, Zien played the part of Goran in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway.

In 2007, Zien was a replacement in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables in the role of Monsieur Thénardier.

Richard Kind

From April 1 to June 19, 2011, Zien appeared in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The People in the Picture, which played at Studio 54 on Broadway.

Sierra Boggess

Zien appeared in the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Chip signing his portrait

In 1973, Zien made his television debut on an episode of Love, American Style. More guest roles followed. In 1981, he appeared on Ryan’s Hope and began a two-year run in Love, Sidney, then Reggie. He provided the voice of the title character in Marvel Comics’ Howard the Duck. Zien later starred on the short-lived CBS drama Shell Game in 1987.

Carolee Carmello, Joanna Gleason, CHip Zien

In the 1990s, Zien was part of the ensemble cast of the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect and had regular roles in the daytime soaps Guiding Light and All My Children, until 2001.

Stefano Da Frè, Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess

From 1999 to 2000, Zien had a recurring guest role on the CBS primetime drama Now and Again and  appeared repeatedly as Attorney Cromwell on Law & Order.

During the 2002–03 season, Zien was the announcer on daytime’s The Caroline Rhea Show, and in 2006, he appeared in the critically acclaimed film United 93 was in the vampire comedy film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead.

Joy Hermalyn

He was also in Caroline or Change on Broadway.

Bruce Sussman

Sierra Boggess, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld

Blake Roman, Steven Telsey,Sean Bell, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Zal Owen

His last show was Harmony, the musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. His role as the adult Rabbi, the last surviving Harmonist was hailed by the critic’s and audiences alike. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal.

It was so fitting that this prolific performer hang on these hallowed walls. Congregations this was well deserved.

Up Next for Chip Zien is Titanic at City Centers Encore series.


Continue Reading


Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman for Hamony at The Museum of Broadway



On Thursday, April 18th, The Museum of Broadway located at 145 W. 45th Street, just east of Times Square, presented a brief A Cappella performance by The Comedian Harmonists played by Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Sean Bell and Zal Owen, welcoming remarks were made by Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway, Chip Zien the lead in Harmony was in attendance, as were Barry Manilow & Bruce Sussman.

The reason for this event was the unveiling of the Museum of Broadway’s Harmony-inspired window dedicated to The Comedian Harmonists.

In Berlin, 1927, The Comedian Harmonists were six remarkably talented young men form a singing group who become international sensations: They sold millions of records, starred in major motion pictures, and played the biggest theaters around the world. By 1935, they were never heard from again. What happened? That’s the extraordinary true story of Harmony that played on Broadway. Now The Museum of Broadway is keeping their memory alive.

Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

The Comedian Harmonists and Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway

Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Sean Bell and Zal Owen, and Chip Zien




Continue Reading


Autumn in New York, in April 



Have you ever had an acquaintance that you knew for many years, and then one day you realize there’s so much more to this person, and before you know it, you can’t get enough of them?  If this is familiar, you’ll understand the kind of experience we all had at Chelsea Table + Stage Sunday night when Klea Blackhurst left us no choice but to fall in love with Vernon Duke.   

Klea took us on a journey exploring the life and music of this man, who was born Vladimir Dukelsky,  and operated under both names.  He wasn’t a spy, but one of those rare remarkable talents that could have one foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall.  Klea reminded us of others in this category: Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill were two.  Even Cole Porter dabbled on the classical side, producing the ballet Within the Quota.  Dukelsky took charge of the classical side of this man, composing symphonies and concertos, and even a ballet for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes.    

Life took a turn for Mr. Dukelsky when he met George Gershwin who told him to “not be scared about going low-brow—that’s where the money is!”.  Gershwin also encouraged him to change his name, and Vernon Duke was born!    

Klea delivered the standards Duke was known for: Taking a Chance on Love, Autumn in New York, April in Paris et al with her usual panache.  But then there were songs I had never heard before, like Not a Care in the World and Poor as a Church Mouse which had a charm that made one hope for more. 

With her characteristic warmth and enthusiasm, Klea peppered this lesson in Vernon Duke with tidbits that those of us who live for this music relish.  Did you know that Duke wrote April in Paris in ten minutes?  No show of Klea’s is complete without a mention of Ethel Merman.  In 1944, Ethel was to star in a new musical by Duke and Deitz entitled Sadie Thompson.  After a brief rehearsal period, Ethel quit over a dispute about the name of a lipstick!   

Finally, did you know that Mary Martin was asked by Rodgers and Hammerstein to be the original Laurey in Oklahoma!?   And after she turned it down, they sent her flowers on every anniversary of the opening.  For details, catch this show next time around.  Or ask Klea yourself—she’ll be back at Chelsea Table+ Stage on May 5 for her Jerry Herman show—One of the Girls.  But wait—there’s more!   On September 15 you can join her for Dreaming of a Song—a salute to Mr. Stardust himself, Hoagy Carmichael.  and on November 20 join in the fun with An Evening with Klea Blackhurst.    

For those unfamiliar with the Blackhurst magic, Klea’s love and enthusiasm for what she does is infectious, and no one leaves one of her performances without catching some of her fire.  If there was ever an antidote to the blues, it’s Klea Blackhurst. 

Continue Reading


Tribeca Festival Announces TV Lineup



The 2024 Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, today announced its lineup of television and original indie episodic series. The Festival, which takes place June 5-16, showcases highly anticipated world premieres of new and returning programs from networks and streamers at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling including Apple TV+, AMC, HBO, Hulu, Paramount+, and more.

This year’s TV lineup features 11 series premieres and two first looks at returning classics. World premieres include Hulu’s Mastermind: To Think Like A Killer, executive produced by Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, an in-depth exploration of Dr. Anne Burgess’ career and her successful journey to closing some of America’s most infamous criminal cases; Hollywood Black, executive produced by Justin Simien, an examination of the Black experience in Hollywood featuring conversations with Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, and Ava DuVernay; and Apple TV+’s Presumed Innocent, a legal thriller starring and executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal, hailing from David E. Kelley and executive producer J.J. Abrams, also with Ruth Negga and Peter Sarsgaard.

The program also spotlights docuseries from ESPN’s In the Arena: Serena Williams, a masterclass in professional sports excellence, exploring the most pivotal and intimate moments of Serena Williams’ life and career; MSNBC’s The Turning Point: To Be Destroyed follows Dave Eggers in a fiery investigation of a local school district’s banning of his novel; and Paramount+’s Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken, an impactful two-part special about Melissa Etheridge’s bond with incarcerated women at the Topeka Correctional Facility and the power of music as a conduit of empathy and healing. Etheridge will perform a short acoustic set at the Beacon Theatre following the world premiere, presented by City National Bank.

Fan favorite shows include a return to The Walking Dead universe with season two of AMC’s The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol, which follows Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in a post-apocalyptic France and Carol Peletier’s (Melissa McBride) journey to find him, and the final season of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend finds Elena (Alba Rohrwacher) and Lila (Irene Maiorino) entangled, once again, amid the political violence and social unrest of the late 80’s in Italy.

“The episodic realm is rich in phenomenal storytelling, and Tribeca’s 2024 TV and NOW program delivers the very best of narrative and documentary series. Audiences can look forward to diving into the testimonies of brilliant visionaries like Serena Williams, Melissa Etheridge, and the original subjects of the Stanford Prison Experiment, all of whom will be joining us at the Festival to present their stories,” said Tribeca Senior Programmer Liza Domnitz. “We’re also thrilled to present international adaptations of beloved books from award-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo with Mr. Loverman and the farewell season premiere of Elena Ferrante’s stunning My Brilliant Friend.”

Tribeca Festival’s NOW program continues to uncover compelling independent episodic work, including short and long-form pilots and series. The 2024 NOW showcase focuses on seven standout titles, including a special Untitled Tim Burton Docuseries, a journey of Tim Burton’s excellence in melding the ominous and the frightful with a sense of whimsy created by Tara Wood; Yanqui, a story of love and life’s unexpected outcomes directed by award-winning filmmaker Kyle Hausmann-Stokes; and Juice, Mawaan Rizwan’s hilariously surreal BAFTA TV nominated series, co-starring Russell Tovey (Feud).

Over the years, Tribeca’s TV program has world-premiered numerous award-winning series, including season one of FX’s The Bear with Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and Ayo Edebiri; HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale starring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel; HBO’s Chernobyl with Jared Harris, Emily Watson, and Stellan Skarsgård; and more.

The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Shorts Programming Ben Thompson; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz, Faridah Gbadamosi, Jarod Neece, José F. Rodriguez; Programmers Casey Baron, Jason Gutierrez, Jonathan Penner, and Madison Egan; VP of Games and Immersive Casey Baltes and Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska; EVP of Artist Relations Nancy Lefkowitz and VP of Artist Relations Meredith Mohr; Curator of Audio Storytelling Davy Gardner; Music Programmer Vincent Cassous; along with a team of associate programmers; supported and inspired by the legendary Paula Weinstein.

The full TV and NOW lineups are detailed below. For more updates on programming follow @Tribeca and #Tribeca2024 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and to purchase passes and ticket packages for the 2024 Tribeca Festival, go to


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles