Most lighter collectors are not familiar with the name Philip Meshberg. He only invented one lighter but he spent the balance of his career inventing and improving his other inventions and ideas.
In the late 1940’s Meshberg manufactured aluminum cocktail shakers - cups and plates. In the early 1950’s Meshberg invented a new type aerosol pump for cans and spray pumps. It was this category where Meshberg made his fortune. He set up factories in the Connecticut area manufacturing 100,000s of tiny nozzles and values per day for the American Can Co.
For lighter collectors, the Hexagon (6 sided) Model was first designed in 1945, soon after Meshberg came back from overseas after serving in WW2. He and some friends thought a sturdy cigarette lighter would be a great seller for returning soldiers. Meshberg, who lived in Trumbell, CT, opened a small factory in Bridgeport, CT to produce solid block aluminum lighters. It was the only metal material available at the time.
He applied for his design patent on August 22, 1945 and went into business as Emson Products. The Hexagon retailed for $3 and was available in numerous anodized or jewel tone colors. Two different table versions were manufactured and the Hexagon can be found initialed or with advertising.
The Hexagon is a lightweight, durable, streamlined aluminum petrol lighter from a man of lifetime invention. It is great fun to collect all the different colors.
Photos by Larry Tolkin