Vintage Cigarette Lighters for Sale: Salvaging Our Past to Save Our Future

An exploration of a lighter that time forgot.

I Am a Lighter Mechanic

Made in TENN, USA
Park Lighter

I buy and sell vintage lighters on EBay. Most of what I buy are in bigger lots purchased from various sources. As you can imagine, I come across some very interesting things and am constantly being educated about vintage cigarette lighters for sale that are still relevant in today’s market.

I have been wanting to write this article for some time now. Before I get to the lighter I’m going to focus on today, I’d like to tell you a little more about myself.

I think I’m just naturally curious but I also grew up with a father who could fix anything. He loved to work on cars and as a child, the time spent in the garage with my father was priceless. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world.

In the world we live in today, there’s not much room left for folks who like to work with their hands. Cars are controlled by computers. Phones are computers. It seems we are well on our way to everything being controlled by computers. There are even cigarette lighters you plug into a USB port.

I prefer my fire to be actual fire not some electronic facsimile. I would also like this page to be a gathering place for like-minded folks who miss the days when consumer products were fixed rather than being thrown in the trash. So please leave your comments below this article.

I’m here to help and I am sure that I can learn from many who read this as well.

Park Lighter Murfreesboro, TENN USA

When I purchased this lighter I didn’t know anything about Park lighters. I purchased it for several reasons:

  • The striped design was pretty unique and got my attention
  • It was obviously old and brand new(that’s always intriguing for the right price)
  • I get bored looking at the same lighters all the time

You take a chance every time you buy a secondhand item online, so you never know exactly what you are getting until the package arrives and you can inspect it for yourself. When I put my hands on this Park Lighter, I was thrilled. It was obviously brand new, not a mark on it and never had fuel in it. I bought it from a trusted source I have bought from many times in the past, so I wasn’t really worried about Made in TENN, USA
it anyway.

I fuel all my used lighters before listing them and many times will include a photo of the lit lighter in the listing. I do not ordinarily fuel new lighters. But as I said earlier, I’m curious.

Flints Will Corrode

So, the flint wheel on this Park Lighter was ceased up. It happens all the time. No big deal. New or not, an idle flint can easily corrode when exposed to moisture in the air.

But now I have a lighter that is still new but requires a repair that would necessitate listing it as used. Probably lost some money by testing that flint wheel.

But I wouldn’t want to sell a lighter(new or used) if the customer wasn’t aware of the condition it is in. That wouldn’t be very good service. And besides if I’m going to sell this lighter as used then I am going to put fuel in it and test it out. Ahh, my favorite part of the job!

Simple, Sleek, Lightweight, Reliable

After fixing my flint wheel problem, I was ready to go.

I would like to note that if you’re used to carrying a Zippo this Park Lighter is about the size of a Slim and feels considerably lighter in weight. There is no tension cam, the tension to flip open or keep shut is provided by a heavy straight metal band attached to the back of the insert. I’m sure this was cheaper than a cam but seems to work just fine.

One other note that I’m sure will concern some is the flint retention screw is made of plastic. If you’ve read any of my posts then you know I’m no fan of plastic. I would prefer that screw have been metal but it’s not and I don’t believe it affects the performance of the lighter one bit. One plastic piece on an old lighter doesn’t Made in TENN, USA change the fact it is a refillable lighter that I believe a person can depend on producing fire when they need it for a very long time to come.

What Are Your Favorite Forgotten Lighters?

This Chequers Scotch Whisky Park Lighter has become one of my favorites.

My experience with this lighter some time back broadened my horizon regarding the sheer number of old lighters available. Just about any lighter is going to have its advantages as well as its flaws.

I am very interested to know the opinions of other vintage lighter enthusiasts as well as anyone else who reads this post. We all have our favorite go-to lighter. Many who read this will have their own personal obscure favorite lighter.

I would like to discuss those lighters and anything else flame related.

I mentioned earlier that I want to help. That is my goal. I believe that despite the disposable world we live in today, there are many who yearn to do something for themselves again. To fix rather than replace. To refill rather than throw away.

I’m here available to answer questions anytime. If you have concerns or just want a second opinion about an EBay listing you want to bid on(even if it’s not my listing) or any other site then just ask. I will always give you my honest opinion and there’s a good chance I may have already seen the item you have questions about.

As I said back at the beginning, I am a lighter mechanic. That’s what I do. So, ask away. If I don’t know the answer then I NEED to know the answer! I have searched the worldwide web, there and back again, and there is a ton of information out there. Let’s discuss it here!

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Author: Joseph

Be cautious when anyone tells you what you need or have to do...

14 thoughts on “Vintage Cigarette Lighters for Sale: Salvaging Our Past to Save Our Future”

  1. Joseph where can I get replacement flint for PARK Lighter. Like you I have one with the scrolled etchings, it’s appearance is intriguing. Mark

    1. Hello, Mark. Thank you for the question. Zippo flints will work fine in the old Park Lighters. I tried to post a link to purchase them but that is apparently beyond my capabilities at the moment, I’ll try to correct that soon. Whatever your local Wal-Mart or smoke shop carries should work though. Give me a shout if you have any trouble clearing the tube of old flint.

  2. I just bought an old used park lighter. It seams to be in good shape, but it doesn’t have any flint in it. I tried using zippo flint, but I wasn’t able to screw the spring back in after doing so. Do park lighters require a different style of flint?

    1. Hello, Savanna and thank you for the question. Park lighters will use the same flint as a Zippo. Is the flint tube on your lighter cleared of all old flint and debris? The flint spring not fitting back in the tube would indicate you may still have old, degraded flint in there taking up space.

  3. Hi Joseph- I was excited to find your post! I just found my great-grandfather’s old Park lighter, stamped with his Harvard Business School class year 1938. Inside reads “Precision made by Park Industries, Murfreesboro, Tenn. U.S.A.” The lighter sparks but no flame – what should I do next? Thank you- Andrew (Chapel Hill, NC)

    1. Quite a find, Andrew. My mother recently unearthed a 1970s era Crest Craft lighter that belonged to my now deceased father, so I understand the significance of finding a loved one’s heirloom.

      Now, as to what you should do next, if the lighter sparks then you may just need to add fuel. With a lighter that old, however, it would be a good idea to inspect the wick, just give it a tug or two, checking it for structural integrity. If the wick is disintegrating or otherwise unsuitable then rewick the lighter before fueling it up.

      Thank you for the question, Andrew. Please let me know how your project goes and ask any other questions you may encounter.

    1. Thanks for the question, Joseph. The Park Sherman Company began in Springfield, IL in the 1930s. They made popular desk items and cigarette lighters, mostly advertising promos. The company was sold and moved to Murfreesboro, TN in 1960. The inserts from their advertising lighters can be particularly difficult to clear the flint tubes, as the aluminum material seems to meld very well with degraded flint.🤦‍♂️✌️

  4. Hello Joseph,
    I recently got interested in Zippo style lighters and found an old lighter I’ve had for probably 20 years. I’m not sure where I acquired it. It is a Park lighter with a promotion logo on it from a transportation company. I’m not sure if Park is still in business. I haven’t researched it as I just thought about it as I’m typing this. But does Park (if still in business) have any type of guarantee like Zippo has as to repair? Also, is there anyway to tell when the lighter was manufactured as you can determine with a Zippo?

    1. Hello Erin and thanks for the question. Park made a ton of lighters and while they didn’t exactly have a date system for marking the lighters, one can discern the general era a Park Lighter was produced by location. Springfield, IL at its origin and Murfreesboro, TN after around 1960. They did have a guarantee like Zippo but they are no longer in business.✌️

  5. Hello Joseph!
    I recently found an old Evans lighter. It was my grandfather’s evans lighter that was an award from International Harvester in 1955. He didn’t smoke, and it’s pristine, but doesn’t spark and probably doesn’t have fuel. How do I put this back in working order?

    1. Hello Janet and thank you for the question. Evans are really cool old lighters and I’ve done a few videos of them including an instructional video on disassembling and reassembly of the Evans TRIG-A-LITE mechanism included in this article.✌️

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