logo - Join me in the 1900s mid C20th
The webmaster, Pat Cryer, as an older child

Cigarette lighters and cigarette cases
in mid 20th century Britain

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Decorative women's cigarette lighter, made in Japan, common in the 1950s and 1960s, 1 of 2   Decorative women's cigarette lighter, made in Japan, common in the 1950s and 1960s, 2 of 2

Decorative women's cigarette lighters, made in Japan, common in the 1950s and 1960s.

I was in my teens when I made the observations described on this page. They reflected the fact that the austerity following the Second World War was coming to an end. I am sure, though, that similar observations could have been made before the war started, which was before I was born.

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Cigarette lighters

For a while in the late 1950s, my friends and I toyed with smoking cigarettes because it felt the 'grown-up' thing to do. It didn't last long and what I remember most was the cigarette lighters that we considered as fashion accessories. At that time, cheap ones were coming in from Japan and were quite decorative. I had one faced with bright red leather.

They worked by lighting petrol from a flint which made a spark when a lever was pressed rapidly. Lighters needed to be refilled with petrol once the petrol ran out. This petrol came in tiny capsules from tobacconists.

Silver or silver-plated man's cigarette case, common in the mid-1900s, showing the elastic which held the cigarettes in place

A common cigarette case. The elastic held the cigarettes in place.

My father's cigarette lighter came from before the war and was silver with his initials engraved on it.

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Cigarette cases

My father had a cigarette case that matched his lighter - also from before war. Most men had similar ones.

If you can add anything to this page, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Pat Cryer, webmaster

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