Vintage Cigarette Lighters

& Ashtrays, too!

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<MEB> M. E. Bernhardt Lighters

MEB is Max E Bernhardt of New York and is one of the most important inventors, manufacturers and distributors of lighters and men’s accessories. Bernhardt, originally from Austria, realized the potential for sales and profits was the emerging U.S. market.

The flint striker lighter was first invented in Austria in 1903 and was introduced into the USA in 1906. The technology quickly evolved via the round cut mini flint to develop wheel wick mechanisms and then the automatic press button mechanisms circa 1909-1910.

I believe MEB started importing lighters from both Austria and Bavaria (Germany) circa 1910. The Hahway automatic models he sold were invented by Hoffmann and Wild of Germany in 1909. He also developed his own models and manufactured in New York City.
By the late 1920’s-MEB was a success with a complete line of pocket, table, and novelty lighters.

MEB also sold many flat tube lighter inserts to other manufacturers such as Weidlich Brothers (WB Mfg) of Bridgeport, CT to use in their own line of art deco table lighters. MEB also had the rights to patent US1022140, which was used by Dunhill New York for all their lift arm models.

SOURCE: Larry Tolkin