Monday, December 28, 2009

Ronson Lighters – Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectibles Blog – These may soon disappear.

Ronson Lighter - Thanks to

I hope each one of you had as great a Christmas as my family did. We never stopped but it was truly a great time. One of the things we did was draw names and give gifts that started with the first letter of the family members you drew. One of the gifts given was to a non smoking female named Amanda and she received an ashtray.
This got me to thinking about what was happening to smoking collectibles and as I researched them, it soon became apparent that as smoking has decreased, the collectibles’ values have sky rocketed.
One company that made a name for itself in the smoking arena was Ronson and I would like to give you a little of the company’s history.

Ronson Lighter Company

In 1913 Louis Aronson applied for a patent for a Liter (lighter), which was approved, along with others in years to come. In 1926 he released a new "automatic operation" Banjo lighter, which offered both ignition and extinguishment in a single push. It was a great success, demand shortly exceeding supply, spurring Aronson to patent it and design other products around the invention, which were marketed under the Ronson brand name.

As with the Art Metal Works output, many well-built and stylish early Ronson lighters demand high prices in the collectibles marketplace. [1]During World War II, Ronson plants were switched to 24-hour ammunition production. In an ironic turn, even though US GIs were issued Zippo lighters,[2] American made Sherman tanks were nicknamed "Ronsons" by German tank crews for their propensity to catch fire when hit by German tank shells.
Ronson Consumer Products Corporation


Ronson turned to producing lighters, then branched out into domestic goods such as electric shavers and cooking appliances. The company expanded to include England and Australia.
In the early 1980s high costs and the advent of cheap disposable lighters forced closure of its production facility at Leatherhead in England. For a time, a European branch at Long Buckby in Northamptonshire in the UK sold a range of stylish and expensive butane lighters consistent with the firm's great legacy, before being shuttered.
Ronson appliances in Australia, eventually sold by a corporate entity divorced from the original lighter manufacturer, have also gone under.


Today, only a much downsized American branch of Ronson remains, selling butane disposables, a few inexpensive refillables, a naptha-based Zippo clone, along with an accessory line of fluids and flints.[3]

On October 15, 2009, Zippo announced plans to purchase Ronson, for their lighter and lighter fluid products.[4] The acquisition does not include the Ronson Aviation subsidiary.

There are many companies that manufactured lighters but Ronson is perhaps the best known There is a guide book by Neil S. Wood called “ Collecting Cigarette Lighters – Vol 11 that will help you in pricing these items and I would like to give you just a few Ronsons to be on the lookout for. You should be able to purchase this book cheaply at Amazon.I feel that smoking memorabilia has nowhere to go but up.

1. Ronson Touch-tip bartender Light Enameled bar with cigarette holder and a Black bartender. $1400 and today it would even bring more. Page 15
2. Ronson Touch-Tip Rolltop chrome and enameled box $500. Page 18
3. Ronson Deco nude with marble base lighter $900. Page 38

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