KEM Bowling Pin Lighter, 1946

The Bowling Pin Lighter was manufactured in the 1940s in Detroit, Michigan in the United States by Kem Inc. Beside these lighters KEM was famous for manufacturing advertising lighters in shape of bullets, bottles and cans made both of metal and plastic.

This figural lighter was made of ivory/cream colored plastic and advertised as "air tight, leak proof, small and compact". It was sold between 1946 and 1949 for only 39 cents or given away as advertisers by hundreds of companies which decided to include this lighter in their marketing strategy. A similar lighter bowling pin only with two red stripes was also made by Atlas Bowling in Japan.

The lighter is marked on the bottom:


The two halves of the plastic bowling pin casing pull apart to show the simple wick and wheel type lighter made of brass. It is not marked.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $15–25 (approx. €1015)

Weight: 19 grams (0.6 oz)

  • height: 7.2 cm (2.8")
  • diameter: 2 cm (0.8")


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