Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey guys! This post came a little late since I've been working non stop for a week and so this was my first chance off, and I've moved my post to today. It's been a crazy week, at work and at home, since we got to finally open our christmas presents (we open ours on new years) and hang out with the family. I haven't seen my grandparents in a while and my grandfather was really excited to see me. They're getting older and that house they live in has been in our family since construction... it's provided us with stability and comfort for so many years, but I see them now and think to myself thank goodness they're moving out of that place. It's too far, too big and cleaning and maintaining it is a daunting task, so I'm glad we sold it and are going to have them move nearby within the year. Since we're getting rid of some of the old stuff in their house, I was given an old Ronson table lighter. Apparently these old lighters precede the modern throw away Bic lighters and were made sturdy and refillable, kind of like a large Zippo lighter. Comparing a Ronson to a Zippo is ironic, since over the course of the 20th century they were rivals, until Ronson essentially lost the race, and now Zippo owns the American rights to Ronson Products.

The one i got has had a hell of a ride. It was incredibly dirty, and jammed... it needs a few new parts, but I cleaned it best I could. It took about 20 cutips and some rubbing alcohol, but the mechanism now looks like the day it was first bought. The body is in terrible shape, it's been banged up so many times that the outer enamelled layer has chipped off in places. I figure I could take it all off and show the inner chrome, but I like it the way it is... shows its history. My grandparents threw parties every week, sometimes several days in a week, and there was always a ton of alcohol and cigarettes. This lighter reminds me of all the fun they must've had, and once it gets to work again It'll be a great trinket too! A fun fact is these lighters are everywhere online (back in the 50's and 60's, they were considered better then Zippo, so there's a ton around) and they're cheap too! If you feel like working on an old piece of technology, and want to impress friends with a fancy lighter, this is definitely something to look for!

(Here's a picture of a beautiful one from the art deco period, taken from

If you'd rather have a brand new Ronson, with retro styling, you still can. The British factory that was building Ronson lighters survived the fall of it's American owner, and they still make them. You can get information on the different models on their website. ... my favourite lighter is the Veraflame

What my dad got was rather odd. It's a Wahl Hand-E. Not from the Wall-E line of products from the movie of the same name but I vibrating massager. Kind of suggestive, but actually really effective on the back! I was impressed by the thing. Although it's small and turning it on is like turning on a breaker switch, all the attachments are still fine (they're made of rubber but haven't worn out with use) (probably because this thing was never used...) and it looks cute. What made me laugh the most was on the Wahl website. They seem to have a modern version of the Hand-E with almost all of the same attachments! It retails at 40$

The Ronson Lighter I got. Shined the Chrome best I could, but the body will stay that way.

So for those starting school today good luck and have fun! I'll be joining you guys tommorow.


  1. Hey Chris! I was happy to read your post today, since on sunday there was nothing written. Lucky you're not going to school today, but we had to start somehow.
    What you said about the lighter is very interesting. I like the story of your grandparents throwing parties... I'd like to have a life like this. The lighter was like a proof of their youth and their wild days, so it's great that you kept it as is instead of chroming it like new. Now you have a part of their history!!

  2. Oh and by the way, the ballerina lighter is fantastic. It's SOOOO art deco

  3. your video just made me and John's morning.

  4. the video is just so awesome. I love how the light goes through your house. Your video made me laugh. Please, please make more. by the way the lighter is big

  5. its massave... it's how I like my lighters hahaha