(1946) Ward-Nimrod Co., 2968 Jessamine St., Cincinnati 25, Ohio
Ashley F. Ward, Inc. was founded in 1908 as a screw product manufacturer. Over the years, the company had changed it's name on various occasions, and presumably involving company reorganization. Several of it's incarnations included Ward Manufacturing Co., Ward-Nimrod Company, and it's current existence as Ashley Ward, Inc.
In 1946, Ashley Ward filed the patent for the Nimrod Pipe Lighter, the patent eventually being awarded in 1947. Perhaps taking inspiration from their screw products, the Pipe Lighter began life resembling a nut in the middle of a bolt. It was unlike any lighter actually being manufactured at that time, although Ward's patent annotates several other patent applications for lighters with a tube-like shape.
At some point, Ashley Ward produced the Commander model. The patent number stamped into the case was identical to that of the Pipe Lighter, making actual concept or creation dates impossible to follow. The interior shell housed in an exterior shell design was used. This concept predates the Zippo inserts design, and is not unique to either lighter. The Beattie Jet Lighter also uses this design, as did several other prototype patents filed previous to Zippo's inception in 1932.
In the 1960's, Nimrod lighters were selling at a rate of 1,000,000 per year.
No serial numbers or production markings make it possible to tell when each lighter was actually made, unlike the coding used on the bottom of Zippo lighter cases. Even forcibly taking the lighter apart shows no interior markings to identify manufacture date.