Beney Thada Table Lighter, 1948

The Beney "Thada" Table Lighter was manufactured between 1948 and 1951 by Beney Limited in Beckenham, Kent (England). It is a heavy but handy brass made and electro silver-plated table lighter in Empire style.

The automatic lighter fitment is not removable. Marked on the thumb lever: BENEY

The Beney Company was founded by Robert Ernest Beney of London, England. R. E. Beney invented and marketed the first Beney mechanical lighter in 1919, three years before Dunhill. The founder of Beney designed numerous models for his own company as well invented the automatic hunting horn mechanism for Alfred Dunhill. E. Beney also designed and manufactured numerous luxury lighters and striker boxes for Alfred Dunhill of London as well as Hermes of Paris. 

The original company was sold in 1938 and renamed Beney Limited which was than administrated in Saville Works, Croydon Road, Beckenham, Kent in the UK. The biggest selling line manufactured by Beney was the Economic Gas Lighter which hung on the side of housewife's gas cookers and was also used for lighting Bunsen burners in laboratories. In 1939-1940 the company moved its administration to the Beney Lighter premises in Beckenham after the Head Office at Trinity Square along with many company records were destroyed in a 'doodlebug' flying bomb attack. Beney Ltd. continued producing lighters at least through the late 1954.

The British company is known for its high quality lighters often placed in the premium segment for instance:
  • Beney Strikalite in 1920s,
  • Beney Utility Lighter in 1930s,
  • Beney model "666" in 1940s,
  • and other lift-arm pocket and table lighters.
Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: rare

Value for good–mint condition: $35.00–60.00 (approx €25.00–40.00)

Weight: 310 grams (0,68 pounds)

  • height: 9.5 cm (3.7")
  • width: 5.5 cm (2.2")
  • depth: 3.5 cm (1.4")

FAQ: The New Barcroft Instruction Leaflet, 1950s

Below an instruction leaflet for the Barcroft Desk / Table Lighter (4th version) added to the lighter in the 1950s. It contains:
  • construction details of the Barcroft Zippo lighter,
  • how to re-fuel and re-flint the lighter.

Advert: Zippo Handilite Desk Lighter, 1980

This magazine advertisement was published in 1980 (magazine unknown) and presents three Zippo Handilite lighters. "... and remember it is not just a table or desk lighter... it is a handilite by Zippo."

F. Belleri, Limoges Table Lighter, ca 1934

This French porcelain table lighter decorated with delicate hand painted colorful floral bouquets was assembled by F. Belleri & Co ca. in the 1933.

The semi-automatic wick lighter insert is unmarked. It is made of brass and is quite robust. The white glazed base of the lighter was entirely made by hand in Limoges, France which is known for its 19th-century Limoges porcelain. Very clean decoration.
Marked on the bottom of the porcelain base:

St. ETIENNE (Loire)

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: very rare

Value for good–mint condition: $60.00–100.00 (approx €15.00–30.00)

  • 370 grams (0.81 pounds)
  • height: 8.7 cm (3.4")
  • width: 5.5 cm (2.2")
  • length: 8.3 cm (3.3")

Ad: Quercia Flaminaire Lighters, 1948

This one of a kind vintage magazine advertisement was published in a French magazine Plaisire de France in 1948. It presents a small range of lighters manufactured by Quercia in Paris, France:
  • Gentry table lighter which is considered to be the first butane lighter in the world,
  • Crillon pocket lighter,
  • and the Flaminaire Baronet

Anglia Table Lighter, ca. 1947

The Anglia table lighter was made in England between ca. 1947 and 1950 by a small British company Stewart Engineering which manufactured only a few lighter models.

It is a very interesting semi-automatic wick lighter that can be considered as an attempt to make a lighter looking alike these manufactured in the early years of the XX century. The action works by pressing the lever on the left side - see picture - which releases the cap, as this springs up it strikes the flint producing a spark.

This lighter was available in chrome plate and polished brass (more uncommon). It was also sold with a rubber tire in different colors round the base. The tire was marked ANGLIA MADE IN ENGLAND.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the bottom of the metal base:



A5 / 1531


A5 / 1531

Scarcity: uncommon; Anglia with tire - rare

Value for good–mint condition: 91 zł ($30.00)–60.00 (approx 82 zł (€20.00)–40.00)

Weight: 155 grams (0.34 pounds)

  • height: 10.5 cm (4.1")
  • diameter: 3.7 cm (1.5")

FAQ: Directions for use of Ronson De-Light, 1929

The instruction below was added in 1929-1931 to some of the De-Light pocket lighters, including:
  • Ronson De-Light Junior,
  • Ronson Standard Sport (with the early De-Light fitment),
  • Ronson Junior Sport,
  • Ronson Princess,
as well to both Ronson De-Light table lighters:
  • Ronson Tabourette,
  • Ronson Tablelighter.
You will learn how to:
  • fill
  • renew spark metal (flint)
  • operate
and directions for care of wick and some important notice.

Ronson Penciliter, 1935

This Ronson Penciliter manufactured between 1935 and 1948 both in the USA and England was the first combination of a one-motion wick lighter and super-fine propel-repel mechanical pencil. This combo was patented by Louis V. Aronson in  the United States Patent Office on the 11th of June 1934. See patent no. 92,996 on the right.

Two models of the Ronson Penciliter were made:
  1. Black writing grip (model no. 15250), see picture below,
  2. Pearl green writing grip (model no. 15252).
The writing grip was made of plastic and the body from brass and then chrome plated (different textures on the upper part). The removable pencil unit contains an eraser and a compartment for spare leads.

The Penciliter is not very difficult to find nowadays as it was a bestseller in England and the U.S. It was advertised as a very practical gift which was indeed in the past smoking era.

Marked below the lighter snuffer:


U.S. PAT. RE. No. 19,023
BRIT. PAT. 291695

The lighter fitment of the Penciliter was also used in a much rarer lighter called Pipeliter or Tubeliter (Tube-A-Liter) which was styled like a fountain pen and could be carried in pencil pocket or vest coat.

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $75.00–100.00 (approx €60.00–80.00)

Weight: 47 grams (0.1 pound)

  • width: 1.7 cm (0.7")
  • length: 14.4 cm (5.7")
PS. Here you can find the Ronson Penciliter instruction booklet.

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations for lighter collectors [A-C]

  • A. Pat. – abbreviation for Auslandspatent; German for "foreign patent".
  • Abalone – highly iridescent inner nacre layer of the ear-shells (see marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis) traditionally used as a decorative item, in jewelry, buttons, and as inlay in furniture and in musical instruments and of course lighters and tobacco accessories. 
  • Accendino – lighter in Italian.
  • Acrylic glass –  transparent thermoplastic often used as a light or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in 1933 by Rohm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas. It has since been sold under many different names including Lucite and Perspex. Acrylic glass was very popular in the making of see-through lighters in the late 1940s and 1950s. The material was often used by lighter manufacturers like Scripto, Evans and United. See example.
  • Alpacca – also known as Alpaka, nickel silver, German silver, Argentann, new silver (Neusilber), nickel brass or albata is named for its silvery appearance, but it contains no elemental silver unless plated. The manufacturer Berndorf named the trademark brand Alpacca, which became widely known in northern Europe for nickel silver. Nickel silver first became popular as a base metal for silver-plated cutlery and other silverware. As base metal for lighters alpacca was used in the 1920s and 1930s. Later it was widely used for plating of lighters made of brass. See example.
  • Aluminum – is a silvery white and the most abundant metal, in the Earth's crust. It makes up about 8% by weight of the Earth's solid surface. Aluminum is remarkable for the metal's low density and for its ability to resist corrosion due to the phenomenon of passivation. Aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal and it is almost always alloyed, which markedly improves its mechanical properties, especially when tempered. It was widely spread in lighter manufacturing in Europe, especially German in the 1940s.
  • Angem. – abbreviation for Patent angemeldet (German for "Patent pending").
  • Angled flame – kind of a jet flame angled away from the cap what allows more space for lighting larger items like pipes. Only available in certain modern gas lighters, mainly pipe, cigar and torch lighters.
  • Appliqué – a decoration or ornament applied to another surface. In the context of lighters used as an initial area or ornament.
  • Argentan – French name for nickel silver, see alpacca.
  • Argent métal – French for silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and it is used to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value tableware, utensils (hence the term silverware), and currency coins. Today, silver metal is also used in electrical contacts and conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions. Its compounds are used in photographic film, and dilute silver nitrate solutions and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbicide. 
  • Art Deco – an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as painting, graphic arts and film. The term "art deco" was first used widely in 1926, after an exhibition in Paris, 'Les Années 25' sub-titled Art Deco, celebrating the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) that was the culmination of style moderne in Paris. At its best, art deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity. Art deco's linear symmetry was a distinct departure from the flowing asymmetrical organic curves of its predecessor style art nouveau. Art Deco is characterized by use of materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer, Bakelite, chrome and inlaid wood. Table lighter Example of a table lighter in Art Deco style.
  • Art Nouveau – an international style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art". It is known also as Jugendstil in Germany and Secession in Austria and Hungary and Stile Liberty in Italy. The style inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants, but also in curved lines. Architects tried to harmonize with the natural environment. It is also considered a philosophy of design of furniture, which was designed according to the whole building and made part of ordinary life. Art Nouveau was strongly represented in metalware, ceramics, lightning, painting and graphic arts and many other areas of design. Table lighter Example of a table lighter in Art Nouveau style.
  • Angemeldet – registered (for instance patent) in German
  • Auermetal – or ferrocerium - is a man-made metallic material invented by Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1909. It has the ability to give off a large number of hot sparks at temperatures at 1,650 °C when scraped against a rough surface (pyrophoricity), such as ridged steel. Because of this property it is used in many applications, such as clockwork toys, strikers for welding torches, so-called "flint-and-steel" fire-starters in emergency survival kits, and, perhaps most commonly, in cigarette lighters, as the initial ignition source for the primary fuel. What is commonly called "flint" in modern times is actually auermetal. It is sold under such trade names as Blastmatch, Fire Steel, and Metal-Match.
  • Automatic lighter – a lighter that requires single action to light  and extinguish the flame. The first automatic lighter "Banjo" was operated by moving the thumb along screw. The patent application was filed in October 16th, 1926 by Louis V. Aronson - the founder and owner of Ronson Corp.
  • Bakelite – or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride - is an early plastic. It is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from an elimination reaction of phenol with formaldehyde, usually with a wood flour filler. It was developed in 1907 by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland. One of the first plastics made from synthetic components (although phenol can be extracted from biological sources), Bakelite was used for its electrically non-conductive and heat-resistant properties in radio and telephone casings and electrical insulators, and also in such diverse products as kitchenware, jewelery, pipe stems, children's toys and cigarette lighters essentially in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Basse-taille (baiss-taille) is an enameling technique in which the artist creates a low-relief pattern in metal, usually silver or gold, by engraving or chasing. The entire pattern is created in such a way that its highest point is lower than the surrounding metal. A translucent enamel is then applied to the metal, allowing light to reflect from the relief and creating an artistic effect.
  • Benzin – lighter fuel in German.
  • Brass – is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. It is used for decoration for its bright gold-like appearance; for applications where low friction is required such as locks, gears, bearings, doorknobs, ammunition, and valves. Brass has a muted yellow color which is somewhat similar to gold. It is relatively resistant to tarnishing, and is often used as decoration and for coins. In antiquity, polished brass was often used as a mirror. Many vintage as well modern lighters are made of brass and then plated.
    Brevet déposé - patent pending in French.
  • Briquet – lighter in French.
  • Bronze – is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal. Bronze is considerably less brittle than iron. Typically bronze only oxidizes superficially. It was rarely used in lighter production. 
  • Brushed finish – a surface that has been brushed to produce a non-reflective effect.
  • Breveté S.G.D.G. – or BSGDG abbreviation stands for "Breveté Sans Garantie Du Gouvernement" and means in French patent without Warranty from the government. This patent was used in France till 1968.
  • Butane – a highly flammable, colorless, easily liquefied gas. The name butane comes from the roots but- (from butyric acid) and -ane.butane is as lighter fuel for a common lighter or butane torch. Butane gas is sold bottled as a fuel for cooking and camping. When blended with propane and other hydrocarbons, it is referred to commercially as LPG, for liquified petroleum gas. It is also used as a petrol component, as a feedstock for the production of base petrochemicals in steam cracking, as fuel for cigarette lighters and as a propellant in aerosol sprays such as deodorants.
  • Butane lighter a lighter that uses butane gas to light. The first butane lighter was introduced in 1947 by Flaminaire and it used a special designed fuel tank that had to be replaced when empty.
  • Cap lighter – type of a lighter that uses fulminate or mercury percussion caps to create spark which ignites the wick. These lighters were often used before the invention of the pyrophoric flint that was invented and patented in 1903 by the Austrian Chemist Auer von Welsbach. 
  • Catalytic lighter – a lighter that uses a chemical reaction between denaturated alcohol , air and platinum to create the spark.
  • Celluloid – the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862 and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily molded and shaped, and it was first widely used as an ivory replacement. Celluloid was extremely useful for creating cheaper jewelery, jewelery boxes, hair accessories and many items that would earlier have been manufactured from ivory, horn or other expensive animal products like tortoise shell. It was therefore often referred to as "Ivorine" or "French Ivory". It was also used for dressing table sets, dolls, picture frames, charms, hat pins, buttons, buckles, stringed instrument parts, accordions, cutlery handles, kitchen items and lighters. The main disadvantages the material had were that it was flammable and fragile. Items made in celluloid are collectible today and increasingly rare in good condition. It was soon taken over by the more robust Bakelite and Catalin. 
  • Cerium –  chemical element with the symbol Ce and atomic number 58. It is a soft, silvery, ductile metal which easily oxidizes in air. Cerium was named after the dwarf planet Ceres (itself named for the Roman goddess of agriculture). Cerium is the most abundant of the rare earth elements, making up about 0.0046% of the Earth's crust by weight. A traditional use of cerium was in the pyrophoric mischmetal alloy used for light flints. Because of the high affinity of cerium to sulfur and oxygen, it is used in various aluminum alloys, and iron alloys. In steels, cerium degasifies and can help reduce sulfides and oxides, and it is a precipitation hardening agent in stainless steel. Adding cerium to cast irons opposes graphitization and produces a malleable iron. Addition of 3–4% of cerium to magnesium alloys, along with 0.2 to 0.6% zirconium, helps refine the grain and give sound casting of complex shapes. It also adds heat resistance to magnesium castings.
  • Chemical lighter – type of a lighter from the pre-flint era. It uses a chemical reaction to create spark in order to lit the fuel-soaked wick. Examples of chemical lighters are catalytic and potassium-bichromate lighters.
  • Chuck-muck – (stone-steal) a flint and tinder lighter in the shape of a leather pouch to which a steel blade is attached. It originates from Tibet and is in use for more than 2000 years.
  • Cloisonné – ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln. The technique was in ancient times mostly used for jewelery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects like lighters casings decorated with geometric or schematic designs, with thick cloison walls.
  • Coin silver – is an alloy of silver containing less then 92.5% of silver. Often various between countries: 80% in Italy 83% in Germany.
  • Combo – type of a lighter combined with a different element of daily use like a ladies' compact, cigarette case, ashtray, pencil etc. The most functional combination was made by Westinghouse in 1962. The so called "Escort" incorporated a radio, clock, lighter, flashlight and a battery charger.
  • Copper – a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys. The metal and its alloys have been used for thousands of years. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of the metal as сyprium (metal of Cyprus), later shortened to сuprum. Many vintage as well modern lighters are made of an alloy containing mainly copper and then plated with nickel, chrome, silver, gold and other metals.
  • Countertop lighter – type of a cigar lighter used in public places. Often found in the 1900s, 1910s, 1920s and 1930s on countertops of drug stores, taverns, hotels lobbies and tobacco shops. Eldred MFG Co. of Chicago Illinois was a known producer of these lighters.
Go to: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations for lighter collectors [D-G]