Vintage Cigarette Lighters

& Ashtrays, too!

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Flaminaire Lighters - France

The Flaminaire trademark was owned by the Quercia family (also owners of Flamidor) as early as the 1930s, but was used exclusively for butane lighters. The earliest research on butane lighters dates to 1935 when Henri Pingeot built a prototype and obtained a patent December 19, 1935. Quercia tried to buy the patent, but there were already negotiations with KW (Karl Wieden) of Germany. Quercia did end up with the patent and improved it and patented numerous improvements with George Ferdinand.

After WW2, the world's first butane lighter was introduced June 19, 1947 as a table model called the Gentry. The lighter was promoted as having no wick or petrol and using a flint for ignition of the gas. The flint and fuel supply provided about 2,000 lights. In 1948 they brought out the Crillion (named after the hotel where it was introduced), which was the first pocket model. The lighter used a gas cartridge that only it was able to produce - which kept the price and profits high. Other models followed and the company did well into the 1960s when other manufacturers created daunting competition.

PRIMARY SOURCE: Lighters: Gli Accendini by StefanoBisconcini