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September 15, 2005

My Ronson Touch Tip Lighter

My Touch Tip is back from refurbishing, and it works marvelously!

For those who've missed The Countess' previous posts, we've been fans of this device ever since first seeing the movie The Maltese Falcon. In that movie, several of the characters light their cigarettes with this odd little device. It was very curious, since it looked like no lighter we've ever seen. Pictures below.

As an engineer, I have an appreciation for any and all curious devices, and finally a short while ago, The Countess found a reasonably priced one on eBay. As an engineer, I can also appreciate the thinking behind this... this is nothing more than a mechanical match, a very reasonable engineering solution to the problem of wooden matches.



Posted on September 15, 2005 at 04:18 PM | Permalink


I thouht the lighter in Maltese Falconwas an electric match style...a bit different than the original touch tips...the films lighter had a lower profile....still looking for that model....nice pick of the flame! Have you seen the ronson touch tip with the bartender? Andre in S.F.

Posted by: andre at Sep 22, 2005 12:07:27 PM

I've seen the touch tip with the bartender on Internet web sites. If you check eBay often enough, you'll find the one Bogie used in "The Maltese Falcon" for sale. It had a clock on it. I've seen the winning bid go for around $300.00 on average. Most of the time the clock doesn't work, but I'm sure you could get it fixed.

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 22, 2005 1:01:10 PM

Andre: yes I have, in on-line catalogs. The Maltese Falcon touch-tip is an Octette with a clock. I just have an Octette. There's a Ronson/Hollywood history page on the web which talks about that lighter, and it is indeed a standard touch tip.

Posted by: The Count at Sep 22, 2005 1:03:48 PM