FAQ: Ronson Penciliter (lighter + pencil), 1935

If you possess the first generation of the Ronson Penciliter manufactured between 1935 and 1948 and do not have the instruction booklet this post might be helpful to maintain your lighter in good shape.

How to fuel

Refer to the diagram below for location of fuel chamber. Fill carefully with Ronsonol until wick shows signs of saturation. Shake out excess fuel. With cloth wipe working parts and body of lighter absolutely dry. Fill your lighter regularly. Do not wait until it runs dry. This causes wick to char.

Always see that washer is in good condition.

How to replace flint

Refer to diagram below for location of flint screw. Remove screw and spring and drop out fragment of worn Flint. Insert new Flint into tube. Replace spring with screw but do not tighten till you have operated lighter several times to smooth rough edges of Flint. This ensures easier operation and relieves strain on working parts.

Care and replacement of wick

Always keep wick extended 1/8 inch above the holder so that flame will burn easily. Trim off charred or frayed edges regularly.

When flame dies quickly, your Ronson needs re-fueling. When wick fails to burn properly after re-fueling it should be replaced. Pull out old wick - do not attempt to unscrew wick-holder - remove old cotton wool. Insert new wick by pushing it through wick-holder, pull end of wick out at base, pack cotton wool tightly inside lighter and insert end of wick.

Wick must be mingled with cotton wool or it will not be properly supplied with fuel. For best results change wick every few months.

Care of Flint Wheel

Clean flint wheel regularly, removing clogged accumulation on wheel with accompanying (or similar) stiff brush. (raise snuffer to expose flint wheel) Also regularly remove dust and dirt gathered under lighter mechanism around wick holder and inside snuffer cap.

TO FUEL: Unscrew at point "A" and be sure that flint screw cap "C" is tight before filling.
FOR EXTRA LEADS: Unscrew at "B" and remove ereaser disclosing magazine holding six spare leads.
TO INSERT NEW LEAD: Turn tip as far as it will go to eject old lead. Turn tip back as far it will go. Insert new lead and press in gently till clutch engages.

Advert: Santa Claus and Zippo, 1954

This Zippo vintage magazine advertisement was published in LIFE on December 1954. It presents a wide range of Zippo pocket lighters. Pick Santa's pockets for everybody's favorite ZIPPO! 

Ronson De-Light Tabourette Table Lighter, 1928

The De-Light Ronson Tabourette was first manufactured in 1928 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. The production was ceased in 1933. It was the first Ronson table lighter along with the Banjo Tablelighter.

This Tabourette Table Lighter was available for the mass-consumer in chromium plate (model no. 12417) and in black leather (model no. 12280). The chromium plate Tabourette had a diamond-shaped monogram shield in the center (see photo). The second model covered partly with black leather had an oval monogram shield.

The table lighter was also marketed in the luxury segment - made of solid sterling sliver in three designs:
  • barley design (model no. 12273),
  • basket weave design (model no. 12274),
  • fluted design (model no. 12275).
All three above mentioned models had a rectangular monogram shield and are very rare.

The base of the table lighter is padded with green felt.

The Tabourette was also marketed in various sets like the "Ronson Smoker Set" (model no. 13033) which consists of a removable Tabourette, pottery bowl and marbleized base. See the illustration below retrieved from the Ronson De-Light Catalog from 1931.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: rarevery rare

Writing on the underside:

Value for good–mint condition: $125.00750.00 (approx €100.00–550.00)

Weight: 105 grams (0,23 pounds)

  • height: 10.5 cm (4.13")
  • width: 6.2 cm (2.4")
  • depth: 3.4 cm (1.3")

Patent: Ronson Touch-Tip Pyrophoric Lighter, 1935

Patented Oct. 22, 1935
           United States Patent Office
           Patent no. 97,247
           Design for a Pyrophoric Lighter  
 by Louis V. Aronson, Newark, N.J., 
assignor to Art Metal Works, Inc., a corporation of New Jersey
           Application August 2, 1935, Serial No. 57,914
Figure 1 is a plan view of the pyrophoric lighter showing the new design (see: Ronson Octette)
Figure 2 is a front elevation view of the pyrophoric lighter; and
Figure 3 is a side elevation view of said pyrophoric lighter.

Advert: Ronson, World's Greatest Lighter, 1936

This Ronson vintage black & white magazine advertisement was published in Esquire on December 1936. It presents the wide range of Ronson lighters: touch-tip desk models, automatic pocket models and the neat penciliter.

Ronson Victor Desk Lighter, 1952

The Ronson Victor was manufactured between 1952 and 1955 in Newark, N.J. in the United States. It was, next to Ronson Viceroy, the first gas table lighter model manufactured by Ronson.

The cuboid body was available in tan (see photo) and green leather and tooled with 24K gold stripes. Padded with brown felt at the bottom.

The removable chrome-plated gas lighter insert has a two-way flame. At first glance the lighter insert looks like the one used in Ronson Socialite which was in fact a petrol lighter. Marked on the bottom:


U.S. PATS. RE. 19,023
2,481,195-CANADA PAT.
JUNE 151948 (449159)

Marked on the bottom of the base:


Type: gas (butane) lighter

Scarcity: uncommonrare

Value for very good–mint condition: $60.00–80.00 (approx €45.00–60.00)

Weight: 110 grams (0.24 pounds)

  • height: 7.2 cm (2.8")
  • width: 4.5 cm (1.8")
  • length: 4.5 cm (1.8")

Dunhill Sylph Letter Opener/Lighter, 1958

The Dunhill 'Sylph' Letter Opener/Lighter was manufactured between 1958 and 1961 in England. This lift arm wick lighter is a combination of the smallest Dunhill 'Sylph Ruler' (handle) and a letter opener blade. It was produced in two finishes: silver plate and gold plate. The handle was made of brass and was available plated with a monogram shield or covered with pig skin colored in red or brown.

Marked on the bottom of the handle:


Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition (depends on finish): $350.00–450.00 (approx €260.00–370.00)

Weight: coming soon

  • height: 1.0 cm (0.4")
  • width: 2.0 cm (0.8")
  • length: 22.0 cm (8.5")

Advert: Colibri Lighters, 1964

This Colibri magazine advertisement was published in The Illustrated London News on the 14th of November, 1964. It presents a part of the great Colibri pocket and table lighters assortment, like the monopol, monogas and minigas models.

Anatomy of the Evans wick lighter

The Evans lighter was made up in variety of styles: pocket lighters, case lighters and of course table lighters, which also were made up in variety of finishes, colors and sizes but the majority of Evans lighters were assembled in the same way.  The exceptions are Evans lighters with the trig-a-lite and lift-arm mechanism dating the 1920s and 1930s and of course gas lighters made since 1958.

Here an illustration of the Evans wick lighter manufactured for at least two decades in years 1941-1958.

List of the lighter parts:
  1. Snuffer
  2. File wheel
  3. Fulcrum screws
  4. Wick
  5. Flint tube
  6. Flint
  7. Flint spring tip
  8. Flint spring
  9. Flint screw
  10. Thumb lever
  11. Thumb lever spring
  12. Thumb lever pin
  13. Washer for the fuel screw
  14. Fuel screw

Negbaur Golf Bag Table Lighter, 1940

This figural wick lighter was manufactured by Negbaur between 1940 and 1949 in Allbright, New York in the United States. It is made of die cast metal in a dark cooper antique (uncommon) or chrome plate finish (rare). It presents a set of golf clubs in a golf bag. When the putter is pushed the top section flips open and the lighter lights.

The Golf Bag lighter was advertised as a "practical and novelty lighter for the desk or table". It was a bestseller on the Negbaur's list.

Negbaur was well known for their other solid built figural lighters, like planes, knights, canons, chess figures or planes made in the earlier years (1930s and 1940s). The Negbaur Golf Bag is very collectible as it is well build and designed. As many of them were manufactured it is not a problem to find one in excellent shape.

Marked on the bottom of the base:

Made in U.S.A.

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon–rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $50.00–90.00 (approx €35.00–55.00)

Weight: 190 grams (0.42 pounds)

  • length: 3.9 cm (1.5")
  • width: 3.0 cm (1.2")
  • height: 12.5 cm (4.9")

Ronson Wedgwood Ulysses Table Lighter, 1955

This Ronson table lighter was made between 1955 and 1957 in England by Ronson and Wedgwood. The Ronson 'Ulysses' was marketed with two different Ronson chrome plated fitments: Cadet and Rondelight. They were mounted in a Wedgwood light green (see photo) or blue Jasper base with overlaid design heroic battle scene in white ceramic. The lighter was also available with a matching ashtray. The Ulysses scene was also used in the Ronson butane table lighter eleven years later.

Wedgwood is a British pottery firm, founded on May 1, 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood (173095). The company still exists and is noted for its numerous innovations and high-quality wares that achieved renown throughout the world. Wedgwood's name is synonymous with the Jasper Ware body type.

The main themes on the company's jasper ware have all been taken from ancient mythologies: Roman, Greek or Egyptian or Italian Renaissance and Baroque The initial decision to have antique designs was probably that as Britain entered an age of great industrialization, the demand for luxurious goods subsequently exploded. Meanwhile, the archeological fever caught the imagination of many artists. Nothing could have been more suitable to satisfy this huge business demand than to produce replicas of artefacts. Wedgwoods pottery is  very collectible nowadays.

The lighter base is padded with felt. Marked on the bottom of the base:

195X (year)


Lighter insert marked:


BRIT. PAT. 621570

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: commonuncommon

Value for very good–mint condition: $40.00–60.00 (approx €25.00–40.00)

Weight: 125 grams (0.27 pounds)

  • height: 6.5 cm (2.6")
  • length: 7.3 cm (2.9")
  • width:  5.5 cm (2.2")

Types of lighter wicks

As the purpose of this blog is to enhance the knowledge on cigarette lighters and it accessories I decided to share with you some of the most interesting stories coming from a small booklet called the Lighter Repair Manual which was written by Gilbert J. Gaugler for Lighter Parts Inc. in 1954.

Back to the 1950s when almost every person owned and used petrol lighters wicks where widely available. These days the range of wicks for lighters are limited most often to one or two types and obtainably rather only in tobacco shops. Listed below are the different types of wicks (with illustrations) and the lighters in which they should be used:

Standard Scotch Braid Wick

This is a standard wick that will work in most any popular lighter. It is chemically treated to keep it from burning.

Average diameter: .101
Average length: 6 inches

The Gold Seal Wick 
for Ronson and other lighters

This is a special modification of the standard wick. It has two notable improvements.
  1. It is equipped with a wire inserter, attached to the bottom end by means of a plastic tip.
  2. At the top of the wick is a small gold colored ferrule which fits the wick hole of most popular lighters. This small ferrule acts as a seal and reduces the size of the wick hole; cutting down on evaporation, preventing leakage, and prolonging the fuel's lasting qualities.

Average diameter of ferrule: .091
Average diameter of wick: 6 inches
Average length of wire: 3 inches

The Red Wick 
and seal for Evans lighters

This is another wick (red in color) equipped with the wire inserter and a special ferrule that fits the wick hole on most Evans lighters.

Average diameter of ferrule: .106
Average length of wick: 6 inches
Average length of wire: 3 inches
Wick for Giant

This is an exceptionally large diameter wick and can be used only in the Galter Giant lighter.

Average diameter: .156
Average length: 6 inches

Asbestos wick for Zippo 
and other windproof lighters

This wick is made of non inflammable material (asbestos). It is woven of several strands and the exposed portion in the top of the lighter can be frayed so that several ends are exposed to the sparks from the flint. This helps the lighter to light even in a wind. 

 Average diameter: .092
Average length: 6 inches

12 inch Wicks with Wire

This is a repairman's wick. It can be pulled through the lighter and a six inch wick cut of. Te the remaining six inches portion, with its wire inserter, can be used in another lighter.

Average diameter: .101
Average length of wick: 12 inches
Average length of wire: 3 inches

Wick for Dunhill

This wick is slightly smaller in diameter than average, due to small wick hole in Dunhill lighters. Has a flat metal inserter that reduces wick to correct size and guides it through the lighter.

Average diameter of guide: .070
Average diameter of wick: 0.89
Average length of wick: 10 inches
Average length of inserter: 2 inches

Wick Glassine

This wick is in same diameter as standard, but woven of spun glass. It is very stiff and hard to work with. It does not burn, but chars away until there is nothing left to get hold of to pull it up.

Average diameter: 0.75
Average length: 4 1/2 inches

Where to buy a wick nowadays? You may take a look at THIS POST.

Ronson Lenox Set Lighter and Cigarette Holder, 1959

The Ronson Lenox Set consists of a lighter and a matching cigarette holder. The set was manufactured between 1959 and 1960 in the United States of America. The Set made of bone china porcelain was available in few different finishes trimmed in gold: asparagus green (see picture), light pink, plain wait and white with a flying bird scene.

Lenox was founded in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox as Lenox's Ceramic Art Company, Trenton, New Jersey. From the start it was organized as an art studio and not as a factory. It did not have full lines of ceramics but rather one-of-a-kind artwares. The company at first had just eighteen employees. Their products were carried in shops specializing in high-quality pottery. Lenox's products were first displayed at The Smithsonian Institution in 1897.

Lenox's products became popular in the early 20th century when separate dining rooms and hostess parties became the new trend. Lenox then started making custom-designed, elaborately decorated dining plates. He faced European competition but commissioned famous American artists such as William Morley to decorate his plates. He gained success at this and eventually turned his attention to complete sets of dinnerware. In 1906 he changed his firm's name from the Ceramic Art Company to Lenox Incorporated to show the widing scope of his products. Lenox sells tabletop, giftware and collectible products. Lenox remains the only major manufacturer of bone china based in the United States.

The removable gold tone Essex lighter insert is marked on the bottom:

2,481,195 & 2,715,329

The porcelain base of the lighter as well the cigarette holder are marked:


Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition (set): $100.00–150.00 (approx €70.00–110.00)

  • cigarette holder:  110 grams (0.24 pounds)
  • table lighter: 215 grams (0.47 pounds)
  • height: 11.8 cm (4.6")
  • diameter: 7 cm (2.7")

Dating Zippo Lighters, 1932-2007

Dating Zippo Lighters is not very complicated, both pocket and table lighters that use the typical Zippo lighter insert. Just check the markings on your Zippo and try to find it in the table below.

Year Regular Slim

Left Right Left Right
Not Made Yet
The case is 2-7/16" tall, 1/4" taller than 1934-1936 outside hinge plate models.
Not Made Yet
Case is still 2-7/16" tall during the 1st quarter of 1933. Mid-1933, Zippo reduced
the case to 2-3/16 inches in height. True 1933's are 2-7/16" tall.
Not Made Yet
Not Made Yet
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
This 1936 model must have an outside four barrel hinge and the "PAT. PENDING" logo. All
true 1936's through 1941's have to have either a flat or slightly curved outward bottom and the
2032695 patent number. The 2032695 patent number was placed on the bottom line in mid-1936.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Some 1936-40 types have flat bottoms, while other 1938-41 variants have both
corners that are rounded and bottoms that are slightly curved outward.
PAT. 203695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Some 1942 models have the 203695 patent number in lieu of the 2032695 patent number.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
All true 1943-45 models will have the 2032695 PAT. NUMBER on a steel case. These do not
have canned bottoms. The bottom of the case extends outward, even more profoundly than their
1938-1942 counterparts. These were black crackle WW II models. The word "ZIPPO" and the
type face vary during these years, with some lettering bolder and more rounded.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Lighters made from 1946 to date have a canned bottom with the exception of replica lighters.
1946-49 models have a 3-barrel hinge. Spacing of the words, letters and the height of "ZIPPO"
vary during this period.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
The 1949-50 model has the exact the same bottom markings as the 1948-49 model, but
it has a 5-barrel hinge on a chrome plated nickel/silver case.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
The 1951 model had three different bottom markings (which cannot be adequately shown here) 
The spacing between the words MFG. CO. and BRADFORD vary in relation to the word ZIPPO,
and at times ZIPPO is shorter in height and words are closer together.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
This model had a 5-barrel chrome plated steel case. There were three bottom variations. The
bottom letterings were alike, but differed as far as the depth of the strike that was made when
stamping it. All the "shorter and more compact" logo.
PAT. 2517191  Ž  PAT. PEND.
Not Made Yet
This model has the "full stamp" bottom logo on a chrome plated steel case with a 5-barrel hinge.
Early 1953 models had the 2032695 patent number whereas later models had the 2517191 patent
number with the large pat. pending logo that covered most of the bottom of the lighter. In 1953
Zippo started using the registered trademark subscript, Ž, as part of the bottom logo.
PAT. 2032695    MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Very similar to the 1953 model except that it has a 5-barrel hinge on a chrome-plated brass case.
Later 1955 models began using the 2517191 patent number.
Mid-1955 Zippo changed the Logo to a stylized "Zorro" script style slanting from lower left
side towards the upper right-hand side. The actual design is not shown in the codes below. Zippo
also began adding coding marks mid-1955. The "dots" on the left and right sides of the
Zippo logo are located near the top of the Zippo logo, but this couldn't be shown.

1955 BRADFORD,                             PA.
....               ZIPPO     Ž        ....
PAT. 2517191               PAT. PEND.
....                ....
1956 BRADFORD,                             PA.
...               ZIPPO     Ž        ....
PAT. 2517191               PAT. PEND.
 ....                ....
In 1956, note that one dot has been removed from the left side.
1957 BRADFORD,                             PA.
....               ZIPPO     Ž        ....
PAT. 2517191 
....                ....
For 1957, the left dot has returned, but the "PAT. PEND." logo has been removed.
1958 BRADFORD,                    PA.
....           ZIPPO   Ž      ....
PAT. 2517191
....                ...
From 1958 to 1967, the patent numbers are centered.
1959 BRADFORD,                    PA 
...           ZIPPO   Ž      ....
PAT. 2517191
...                 ...
This is a true 1959 model, with 3 dots on the left and 4 dots on the right, but there is no PAT. PEND.
on a 1959 model. The 1960-67 models have the 2517191 pat. # centered as well as having the
dots or slashes depending on the year. From now on only the dots or slashes are shown, but the
look is exactly the the same in all other ways as above.

1960 ...                  ... ..                    ...
1961 ...                  ..  ..                     .. 
1962 ..                   .. ..                     . 
1963 ..                    .  .                     . 
1964 .                     .  
1965 .                      
Zippo put no code on the bottom of a 1965 slim, so that both the regular and slim size
lighters would have the the same code from then on.
1966 | | | |                        | | | | the same
1967 | | | |                         | | | the same
1968 | | |                           | | | the same
1969 | | |                           | | the same
Zippo made two changes on the bottom of the cases mid-1969. Zippo used a new press
machine in 1969 which caused the  "canned" bottom of the lighter to be more dented in. Also,
at this time, Zippo changed the "Z" logo on the word Zippo and gave the letter "Z" a "tail" hanging
down on the right side. Therefore there are two different logos on a 1969 lighter.
1970 | |                            | | the same
1971 | |                             |  the same
1972 |                              | the same
1973 |                               the same
1974 ////                      //// the same
1975 ////                       /// the same
1976 ///                      /// the same
1977 ///                        // the same
1978 //                        // the same
1979 /                        // the same
1979 marked the last year Zippo used the "Zorro" style "Z" on the word Zippo. 1980 marked the
first year of the stylized "Zippo" logo were the letters "Z" and "i" are connected and a flame takes
the place of the "dot" in the letter "i". In addition, the words "Bradford, PA." were moved below
the word Zippo. From  1980 to date Zippo has used many different bottom logos, even for the
the same year (although their code system is still accurate).
1980 /                         / the same
1981 /                            the same
1982 \\\\                        \\\\ the same
1983 \\\\                        \\\ the same
1984 \\\                         \\\ the same
1985 \\\                         \\ the same
1986 \\                          \\ the same
Effective 7-1-86 the above system was replaced by a YEAR/LOT code. Year is noted
in Roman Numerals whereas Letters designate LOT month (A=Jan., B=Feb., etc.) The LOT
letter designation is to the left of the word Zippo, and the Roman Numeral is to the right.
1986 A to L                  II  the same
1987 A to L                  III the same
1988 A to L                  IV the same
1989 A to L                  V the same
1990 A to L                  VI the same
1991 A to L                 VII the same
1992 A to L                 VIII the same
1993 A to L                   IX the same
1994 A to L                   X the same
1995 A to L                  XI the same
1996 A to L                 XII the same
1997 A to L                 XIII the same
1998 A to L                 XIV the same
1999 A to L                 XV the same
2000 A to L                 XVI the same
2001 A to L                   01 the same
2002 A to L                 02 the same
2003 A to L                 03 the same
2004 A to L                 04 the same
2005 A to L                 05 the same
2006 A to L                 06 the same
2007 A to L                 07 the same

Ronson SociaLite Table Lighter, 1952

The Ronson SociaLite was manufactured between 1952 and 1955 only in Toronto, Canada by Ronson. The plastic cuboid body was available in  various colors like black, dark green, dark blue, red or even pink and maroon.

The sides of the cube were covered with imprinted illustrations like:
  • curling design,
  • bowling design,
  • scrabble design, 
  • fishing design,
  • folklore design,
  • geometric design (see picture), 
  • Canada souvenir design,
  • fly fishing lures,
  • chess figures,
  • card suits,
  • and many others... as the lighter body was used as a marketing tool for various companies (for example: Quebec North Shore Paper Company, Vivian Diesels, UCC, Kidde). 
The removable chrome-plated lighter insert is marked on the bottom:


JUNE 15,19481449,159)
U.S. PAT. 2,481,195

Marked on the bottom of the plastic base:


Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon–very rare

Value for good–mint condition: $45.00–90.00 (approx €35.00–75.00)

Weight: 170 grams (0.37 pounds)

  • height: 7.2 cm (2.8")
  • width: 4.5 cm (1.8")
  • length: 4.5 cm (1.8")