Text and images are copyright. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
My father's cigarette lighter came from before the war and was silver with his initials engraved on it.
My father had a cigarette case that matched his lighter - also from before war. Most men had similar ones.