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Collectible Lighters

The earliest lighters were created as long ago as 1820 and became a common accessory by the 20th century. The basic types of antique or vintage lighters are manual, semi-automatic, and automatic. True vintage or antique versions vary from high-end, elegant collectibles made from precious materials to gauche novelty items.

What are some manufacturers of collectible vintage or antique lighters?
  • Dunhill vintage lighters have been a choice of collectors since the 1920s. Dunhill is one of the most prominent designers and manufacturers of high-end vintage lighter companies.
  • Ronson originally hit the market by designing bookends, statues, silver trophies, lamps, and other decorative household items. However, Ronson branched out into the world of designer lighters with the advent of the newly discovered ignition device. Ronson collectors can find silver antique or vintage treasures for their collection.
How does a lighter work?
  • The flint encounters metal, generally by a thumb to the wheel, introducing a spark.
  • The spark then ignites the flammable gas, causing the device portal to light.
  • The microfire will continue to burn until either the top of it is closed or until the valve is released.
  • Windproof versions mix the fuel with air and pass the gas and air mixture through a catalytic coil to produce a flame.

Fuel must have a spark presented in order for ignition to occur; a spark is created by striking metal against the flint. In some cases, ignition occurs by pressing a button that compresses a piezoelectric crystal that generates an electric arc, thereby igniting the fuel.

What is a butane lighter?

It is important to note that butane fuel is an organic compound with the formula C4H10. It is an alkane with four carbon atoms. BIC cigarette lighters use butane as the fuel that is burned when the spark is created.

What is a Zippo lighter?

The Zippo lighter is a reusable metal cigarette lighter manufactured by American Zippo Manufacturing Company in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Zippo was founded by George Grant Blaisdell in 1932. Thousands of different styles and designs, often silver, have been marketed in the decades since, all proudly bearing the insignia "Zippo." Zippo continues to be a prominent name among antique or vintage item collectors.

Where is the BIC lighter made?

BIC acquired Flaminaire, a French manufacturer of high-quality cigarette lighters, the year before it launched the first pocket-sized lighter that had an adjustable flame. This disposable device was designed to light 3,000+ times during its lifetime, and its reliability, quality, and price made it an immediate success. The lighters continue to be manufactured in France as disposable tools.

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