The Ronson lighter company started in 1897 as The Art Metal Works, and was incorporated in 1898 by Leopold Herzig, Louis V. Aronson, and Max Hecht in Newark, New Jersey.
When, in time, technological advances were developed to allow for the manufacture of a safe flint material in 1906, Louis Aronson's ambition for an automatic pocket lighter soon became a reality. In 1913, Louis Aronson applied for a patent for a Liter (lighter), which was approved. In 1926 he released a new "automatic operation" Banjo lighter, which offered to both ignite and extinguish in a single push. It was a great success, demand shortly exceeding supply, spurring Aronson to Patent it and design other products around the invention, which were marketed under the Ronson brand name. Under his leadership, the Art Metal Works began designing prototypes, and patented several generations of Igniting-Apparatus until finally arriving at the Banjo Lighter. Ronson received an exclusive patent, in 1926, for a new automatic style of lighter that worked with one hand, and in 1927 Ronson began marketing it as the Ronson De-Light Lighter with the slogan "A flip - and it's lit! Release - and it's out!" Ronson's new lighters were an overnight success worldwide and soon the company offered a variety of lighters for all tastes. As with the Art Metal Works output, many well-built and stylish early Ronson lighters demand high prices in the collectibles marketplace.
What's your Ronson worth? Here are some recently sold items.
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