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]


Post a Comment