History of The Lighter

lighterThe modern lighters that you see today have come quite a long way from being just the primitive flint and steel that was then used to light fires. Today, there are different types of lighters being used. Its history is something that would be pretty interesting to look into. Here is a quick look at how modern lighters came to be.

A lighter, in its simplest definition, is a device used to create a flame. It may not look like the ones that you see today, especially the ones that existed during the early days. In the seventeenth century, people used tinderboxes containing flint, steel and some kindling.

The forerunner of what would later on become the modern lighter was the flint stock pistol that was based on the primitive way of lighting a fire, that of striking flint onto stone to create sparks. This type of lighter still required some fiber material for kindling in order to come up with fire.

From the flint stock pistol, the development of the lighter continued on its way as gasoline and other applicable flammable liquids began to take the place of ordinary kindling to light a fire. Such devices began to arrive sometime during the 1800’s and it started the pursuit of trying to make lighters not only more efficient but becoming smaller and more handy as well.

During this time, smoking also became a more popular activity as it becomes an accepted norm in the society. This led for the demand for better and handier lighters among the fashionable set, who started making smoking a worthwhile social activity.

The earliest device that can be closely associated with the modern lighter is the Dobereiner’s lamp. It was invented sometime in 1823 by a Germen chemist named Johann Wolfgang Dobreiner who was able to create a lighter consisting of hydrogen that reacts with a platinum sponge in order to create a flame. It suddenly became quite a sensation that finally gave birth to what would eventually become the modern lighter.

Then came the smaller and more convenient semi-automatic flint wheel lighters that became popular in the 1900’s. This type of lighter can still be seen even today and is made up of a flint that is strikes upon a metal wheel to create sparks by means of friction. The sparks then lights up a cotton wick that is doused with a flammable liquid in order to create a flame.

The next in line was the Piezo lighter which first came out during the 1930’s and became popular among smokers. This type of lighter worked by compressing crystals in a particular direction in order to produce electric charges and sparks. The spark then lights up a tiny fuel outlet in the lighter in order to create a flame. The Piezo lighter became a popular alternative to the typical flint and steel lighter.

The next lighters that came were the butane gas lighter which first came out sometime in 1933. It eventually became one of the best-selling lighters in the world. Then came the gas lighters of the 1940’s and had a massive impact on the lighter industry in the 1950’s.

It was during the 1980’s that the electronic lighters eventually arrived into the scene with their ability to light up even in windy conditions. Lighters become more common with the arrival of portable lighters which relegated this once valuable device as a common accessory today and lose some of its fashionable appeal.

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