Vintage Cigarette Lighters

& Ashtrays, too!

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Magic Introduction Co.

Located at 321 Broadway, New York, New York, they manufactured magical toys, still banks and optical novelties, including subminiature "spy" cameras.

Elias Bernard Koopmans's Magic Pocket Lamp was probably the first commercially successful pocket lighter. One that was safe enough to carry in your pocket and one that was consistently mass produced and sold in significant enough quantities to be generally considered a commercial success.

There were a few cap lighters like the "Little Gene" (see below) and the "Universal" before the "Magic Pocket Lamp" but patent number 414058 was issued to Elias Bernard Koopman on October 29, 1889. Then a little later on, a patent for a very similar device (number 440264) was issued to Elias Bernard Koopman and William W. McKinney on November 11, 1890 and this patent was assigned to the Magic Introduction Company (MIC). MIC was then making magic toys, still banks and various optical devices. It started to make the Magic Pocket Lamp in 1890 (see examples below) and continued to manufacture them throughout most of the balance of the 19th Century.

While the tobacco lighter part of the story ends here, the MIC and Koopman sagas continued and are worth mentioning. In 1894 MIC introduced the first spy camera, the Photoret Watch Camera which sold for only $2.50 and used a six exposure disc film, the disc being similar to the cap discs used in the Magic Pocket Lamp . While there were earlier versions, MIC very successfully introduced a kerosene lamp lighter and a gas lamp lighter, both were designed to operate via use of caps much like the Magic Pocket Lamp.