Ronson Penciliter, 1948

This second generation of the Ronson Penciliter was manufactured between 1948 and ca. 1957 in the USA. As the predecessor it was a combination of a one-motion wick lighter and super-fine propel-repel mechanical pencil. It was made in plenty of various finishes (and textures):
  1. Rhodium plated engine-turned, model no. 48701 (common),
  2. 1/20 14 K. gold filled engine-turned, model no. 48902 (common) see picture below,
  3. Chromium plated engine-turned, model no. 53141 (uncommon),
  4. Chromium/rhodium plated with ebony enamel, model no. 53445 (uncommon),
  5. Chromium/rhodium plated with burgundy enamel, model no. 53442 (uncommon),
  6. Chromium/rhodium plated with blue enamel, model no. 53443 (rare).
The removable pencil unit contains an eraser and a compartment for spare leads.The Penciliter was a huge success in England and the U.S.

Marked on the the top of the lighter body:

XXXXX (for instance: 1/20 14 K. gold filled)

We owe the streamline design of the "combined lighter and writing implement" to Frederick Kaupmann. Below an illustration derived from the patent no. 151,771 presenting side views, taken from different angles, of the penciliter. The design was patented in the United States Patent Office on the 16th of November, 1947.

The Penciliter was advertised in Life magazine in 1949 in these words: for father’s day, June 19th give dad the new Ronson Penciliter. always at hand…. to light with... to write with!…. It’s a really new and different gift for Dad! The world’s finest lighter and a superb mechanical pencil are combined in the handsome Ronson Penciliter. It’s finely balanced… it’s streamlined… it’s always at hand for the two things he does most - lighting (press -it’s lit… release -it’s out)… and writing. He’ll constantly use... constantly thank you for the new Ronson Penciliter! Your choice of two styles in a handsome gift box 1/20 14K Gold filled $15.00 (plus tax); plated with Rhodium (a precious non-tarnishing metal of the platinum group) $10.00 (no fed. tax)

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: commonrare

Value for good–mint condition: $50.00–120.00 (approx €40.00–80.00)

Weight: 47 grams (0.1 pound)

  • width: 1.7 cm (0.7")
  • length: 14.4 cm (5.7")
 PS. The first generation of the Ronson Penciliter manufactured between 1935 and 1948 was described here.


randallcrawford said...

If the penciliter (very good condition)
has its original box, also in very good condition,
How much might the box add to its value
(Percent wise)?

Sebastian said...

Up to 25% - a lot depends on the condition of the lighter as well the box though.

Anonymous said...

I have unused penciliter in box in perfect condition please can you give me an idea of value as want to sell. Dates from 1940's Thank you, yvette

Unknown said...

If anyone is interested, I have the chrome version it works, pencil has led , also has the velvet lined case. Contact me at

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