Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Petrol lighter. A small gadget - and a great Diesel Era symbol.

One of the first really successful and popular petrol lighters has been produced in Austria after an American design since 1919 (the US patent, issued in 1912, was fully registered in Vienna only in 1922). IMCO lighters bore close resemblance to their improvised brethren from the Great War trenches, usually made of bullet- and small-caliber shell cartridges:

1920 IMCO

IMCOs were also an instant success: small, simple, reliable and beautifully crafted:

1927 IMCO Ifa

The Austrian lighter manufacturers were world market leaders at the time (let me remind you that Auer von Welsbach, an Austrian, is credited as the inventor of flint lighter). No wonder that IMCO was soon followed by similar or improved, automatic models of different brands. They were businesslike:

1930s Depend

1930 Taifun

1930s Welsbach Ready

Some were heavily ornamented:

1930s Splendy

In the early 1930s IMCO developed a "conventional" open top lighter that can serve as an example of "cheap Deco":

It failed to copy the first model's success and was phased out after just a few years of production.

Another Austrian open-top, Taifun, is believed to serve an inspiration for George G. Blaisdell who created the famous Zippo:

In 1936, IMCO introduced its new loghter, the Triplex, that is still manufactured (it oversold Zippo, by the way). Here's an unrestored 1937 model:

And finally, two examples of 1940s styling:


Postwar IMCO Streamline

Images: Vintagelighters.ru

Bona fide: this is not and should not be seen as an advertisement for IMCO. With all my respect to Austrian industry I use a petrol lighter of other brand.

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