1950s Ronson Cadet Mini Cigarette Lighter

Dainty, ain't it? The 1950s Ronson Cadet Mini Purse Cigarette Lighter
As feminine as it gets, this tiny chrome lighter sits pretty at the crossroads between glamour and gadget.

Embossed with twirling leaves and vines, deliciously tactile to bare fingers, you may overlook the pattern's very practical purpose: it's easy to grip in white gloves.

And those leaves go everywhere, embossing the whole case as it gently curves to a slender edge. 

Among hourglass figures, sweetheart necklines and frothy lace petticoats, this shining accessory knew how to ... accessorise.

Ronson patented the mechanism that lets these lighters be operated with one hand. In a piece of genuine vintage copywriting, they marketed this feature with the line: "A flip - and it's lit! Release - and it's out!".

Ronson also did things differently by designing lighters for women. Tiny. Delicate. Sparkly. 

What girl wants to fumble with matches and snag her nails? What woman wants to wait for a man to light her cigarette? 

We all know the answer to that: a woman looking at a handsome man with a lighter in his pocket. 

But with a Ronson in your purse, you have the choice. Light your own cigarette with a lighter only a woman would use.  Small flames of independence.

Ronson pioneered lighters aimed at women
Elegantly curved and fabulously floral
Mix and match with a lace petticoat

For the real vintage geeks, here's the base
British patent 621570
More Details to Note:

Unusually, this Ronson design was made in England (not the US). It was in production for a relatively short time in the 1950s and early 1960s. So it's on the rare side. 

This very lighter was bought by my mother in the early 1960s with her first wage packet as a celebratory present for her mother, before anyone knew the damage smoking did. 

This story is not complete without reference to the damage smoking does. For that, click this link.  

Invitation to comment:

What did you buy with your first wage packet? A present for your mum?

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Do you have a value for this lighter?

    1. Sorry, no, I have not considered selling it as it is a family piece.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I have one exactly like it in it's original case.

  4. Hello,I have my Mums and it has a cream body.I am struggling to get flints that fit it and wondered if you know where i could get them.Many Thanks

    1. Sorry I've not attempted to get mine working, so not looked into replacing the flint. Have you emailed Ronson to see what they suggest? There are lighter restoration services out there too. Angela.


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