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Jbelo / Ibelo / Colibri Lighters - Germany / Great Britain

In 1910 Julius Lowenthal was employed by a German company dealing in articles for smokers. After WW1, Julius and Benno Loewenthal founded Jbelo in 1919 in Frankfurt, Germany for the manufacture of lighters and pipes.

In 1927, Julius had the idea of making a lighter that could be used without touching the spark wheel with one's fingers. The following year the Colibri Original was presented; the name comes from a term meaning 'hummingbird'. The lighter was made in Germany, Switzerland, and England. During the 1930s the company made improvements incorporated into the Monopol model. It is believed that about 20 million were produced.

In 1933 Julius moved to London and founded Colibri Lighter Limited. He was later joined by his brother Benno, who set up a company called Benlow and by his sister Meta, who had stayed in Germany to direct Jbelo. The London headquarters and all warehouses were destroyed in the bombing raids of 1940.

In 1955 the first butane Colibri appeared. It was made in cooperation with Flaminaire and named Flacco (Flaminaire & Colibri) and made in France until 1958 with the Monopol mechanism.

In the early 1960s Colibri introduced the piezoelectric lighter with the Molectric 80.

Partial Listing of Models

  • 1927 - Colibri Original
  • 1934 - Monopol
  • 1934-35 - First Colibri Original produced in England
  • 1942 Colibri Utility Lighter (tube lighter)
  • 1943 - Stormguard
  • 1955 - Colibri Gaz (butane)
  • 1958 - Colibri Monogas and first visible tank
  • 1963 - Colibri Autoflint
  • 1967 - Colibri Molectric 80
  • 1969 - Colibri Molectric 88
  • 1970 - Colibri Monomatic & Colibri Tetra
  • c. early 1970s - L'Ambassadeur, Envoy, Supertronic replace Monomatic & Tetra
  • 1978 - Colibri Sensatron
  • 1982 - Colibri Jetric & Lasatron

SOURCES: Lighters: Gli Accendini by StefanoBisconcini & http://www.scribd.com/doc/65157906/colibri-monopol