To show you just how diverse ashtray collections can be, here we show you a German Spinner by Gerzt (top center), the resting Mexican (made in Japan), the promotional ashtray from PENROSE, and the horse’s ‘arse’. Yep, something for everyone!
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Did you know that ashtrays are a design element included in the Cooper Hewitt Museum, located in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue, NYC? We sure wish we had one of these in our collection!
Russel Wright designed ashtray
… is displayed at the Cooper Hewitt
Do you ever wonder who invented the first lighter? No, it wasn’t the Zippo Company, though they certainly improved on it! The first was invented in 1823. The Zippo didn’t come into the picture until 1932.
The above lighters can be found in our shop and include: Top left: a cigarette case with lighter, a Queen Anne style lighter, a novelty grenade, military shell, and card cube, a Zippo lighter, and a rather art deco looking styled tabletop lighter.
So if you, or someone you know, has a collection of lighters and/or ashtrays, you just might want to check our collection. We’re here. And we’re watchin’ for ya!
We have a collection of vintage lighters that include Zippo, Wind Resistant, and Scripto among others.
First invented in 1823 and improved in the 1880s, pocket cigarette lighters were as common as keys or wallets by the early 20th century. The basic types of vintage lighters are manual (a spark from a flint striking a wheel ignites a wick or creates a flame above a gas valve), semi-automatic (the wheel also opens the fuel-source cover), and automatic (push-button).
The first manual lighters were called strike lighters and worked like matches. Users would scratch a flint using a wand with a hard metal tip and an attached wick; the flint would create sparks to ignite the wick, which was soaked with flammable fluid. By the 1920s, lighters had become functional as well as artistic with the advent of the semiautomatic lighter, in which the user flips open the lid and a flint wheel simultaneously spins and ignites the wick.