Which car was the first to come with a cigarette lighter receptacle?

Which car was the first to come with a cigarette lighter receptacle?

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While many cars today are phasing out the cigarette lighter (if they do have them they no longer include the lighter, just the socket), I was curious which car or car manufacturer was the first to include a cigarette lighter.

The wiki doesn't contain very much information and the inventor's German wiki never says that he invented the cigarette lighter. I found an interesting conversation on reddit but unfortunately it doesn't answer my question.

Anyone have any ideas?

Absent further clarification in the question, we might first have to differentiate between: 1. the first car with an electric lighter ("installed/wired in"?), 2. with such a lighter as standard equipment, 3. with a lighter executed as a "receptacle", 4. with a lighter receptacle standardised?

The cases 1 and 2 might result completely different results than 3 and 4. The earliest electric lighters were usually on a cord, bringing the heater element in direct contact with the to be lit material while still being connected to power. Cases 3 and 4 made power and heating element detachable so that the actual lighter was then realised as a plug that became standardised in the 50s and is now the "receptacle" that is said to be on the way of being phased out.

One stationary example with a non-detachable cord from the 20s:

via ebay-auction

According to the article Zigarettenanzünder: Geschichte und Funktionsweise,

Erst in den 1920er Jahren setzte sich die Bezeichnung „Zigarettenanzünder“ durch - mit zunehmender Modernität der Zigarette. Etwa zu dieser Zeit wurden auch die ersten Fahrzeuge mit dieser Funktion ausgestattet - zunächst in den USA.

Translation: It was only in the 1920s that the term "cigarette lighter" prevailed - with the cigarette becoming more modern. Around this time, the first vehicles were equipped with this feature - initially in the US.

Given the above, it would seem very likely that the first car 'to come with a cigarette lighter' was the Lincoln L model in 1920 (as mentioned by called2voyage in the comment above):

The Lincoln L model was introduced in 1920 and was powered by a 357.8 cubic-inch V8 engine producing 90 horsepower, riding on a 130 inch wheelbase and weighing in at 2490 pounds. It was priced at $4,300. The large body built by Murray features unique features such as a 'fat man' steering wheel that folds out of the way for ease of entry and a cigar lighter that extends from a reel to reach throughout the interior.

The phrase "extends from reel to reach throughout the interior" would make that car fall into the category of1 and 2, not of the recepetacle/plug type.

There is also a reference in Car: The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile to 'cigar lighter' in the 1922 Lincoln L sedan.

According to a link provided by LangLangC,

Zuvor waren laut der Zeitschrift „Oldtimer Markt“ aber bereits Nachrüstlösungen verfügbar. Bereits seit 1907 bot AEG etwa ein Gerät mit einem Platinglühdraht an, der sich auf Knopfdruck erhitzte.

Translation:… retrofit solutions were already available, according to the magazine "Oldtimer Markt". Already since 1907, AEG offered a device with a platinum glow wire, which heated itself at the push of a button.

This, though, was an 'optional extra' rather than a feature. This article also says a 1924 Cadillac had the first cigar lighter, but it seems the writer missed the Lincoln L (for which there are two sources).

So this leaves a bit room for confusion over terms. - According to Jason Torchinsky: "A Tribute To The Cigarette Lighter Plug, The Original Car Hack"

Early ones had a heating element connected by an extendible cord, but these were ungainly and awkward - getting the cord reeled back in couldn't have always been easy. Getting rid of that cord was key, and the earliest patent I found that seems to have achieved this design was filed on October 2, 1919 - the birthday of both my sister and Mahatma Ghandi.


A lighter is a portable device which generates a flame, and can be used to ignite a variety of items, such as cigarettes, gas stoves, fireworks, candles or campfire. It consists of a metal or plastic container filled with a flammable liquid or compressed gas, a means of ignition to produce the flame, and some provision for extinguishing the flame. Alternatively, a lighter can be powered by electricity, using an electric arc or heating element to ignite the target.

How Does a Car Cigarette Lighter Work?

A car cigarette lighter consists of a coil of nichrome wire heated until it glows by a strong electrical current. When the driver pushes in the cigarette lighter, it presses the device into an electric receptacle, allowing the current to heat the coil. Once the lighter is hot, a metallic strip bends away, allowing the device to pop back out for use.

In addition to lighting cigarettes, the electric receptacle can also be used to power small electrical devices. Specialized adapter plugs fit into the receptacle and touch the contact points inside, completing a circuit and drawing power for the attached device. Global Positioning System devices, cell phones and other portable electronics often come with cigarette-lighter adapters allowing users to charge their batteries while driving. Another common use of the receptacle is to power small air compressors to allow drivers to re-inflate tires without needing to call for assistance.

The downward trend in smoking has led some car manufacturers to consider replacing the usual cigarette lighter socket with a USB socket or standard electric socket, allowing users to power devices without needing an adapter. In these cases, the cigarette lighter is usually still available as an option but no longer comes as part of the car's default package.

How to Remove a Cigarette Lighter Socket

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.

There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 60,548 times.

Cigarette lighter sockets are very useful for operating lighters and many other electrical gadgets, but they wear out over time. Fortunately, removing the socket is a relatively easy process that doesn’t require mechanical experience or many tools. To start, shut off the car and fuse to stop power from reaching the lighter. Then, you can get a socket out of the dashboard or the lower half of your vehicle by removing interior panels. Remove a lighter socket to replace it with a new one or an alternative to charge any device you need while driving.

History of Lighters - How Lighter Was Made?

With the increased focus on creating self-igniting friction matches during 19th century, European scientists, engineers and chemist also focused much of their attention to developing lighters -portable devices that generate stable and consistent flame by combining flammable liquids of pressurized gasses with a spark. This early attempts marked the start of the new industry of devices that would soon become so advanced, easy to manufacture, easy to use and cheap that they will reach all four corners of the world, enabling us all to create fire from small reliable device.

First lighter was invented in 1823 with the effort of the famous German chemist Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner (1780 - 1849). His lamp which was soon named as “Döbereiner's lamp” marked the start of an era where fire could reliably be created in an instant. This device had simple design – zinc metal reacts with sulfuric acid, creating flammable gas hydrogen that burst to flame when it meets sparks at the mouth of the container. Because the device was very large, hard to, use and highly dangerous, it never managed to gain large popularity and was produced only in limited quantities during its lifetime from 1823 to the end of 19th century.

Before modern day lighter could be made, many inventors spent years of their life developing various techniques of improving ordinary match. English chemist John Walker created first friction match in 1826, Hungarian chemistry student Janos Irinyi invented “Noisleless Match” in 1836, Frenchman Charles Sauria added dangerous white phosphor as main ingredient, and Gustaf Erik Pasch discovered “Safety Match” in 1844. However, the first significant innovation in lighter industry after Döbereiner's lamp came in 1880 with the patenting of patenting of ferrocerium by Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1903. This creation enabled the birth of modern small and portable lighters, and its small flint that could create tremendous amount of sparks played a crucial role in its popularization.

After creation of ferrocerium, many manufacturers around the world started creating their own lighter design using naphtha, gasoline and kerosene. One of the first popular models of lighters came from company Ronson, which started produced large quantities of their Pist-O-Liter (1910) and Wonderlite (1913). They both used naphtha as a fuel source. In 1932, famous company called “Zippo” was founded by George G. Blaisdell, and their legendary lighter immediately become instant success. By claiming to have unmatched reliability, life time warranty and “wind-proof” flames, this lighter remained infused itself into the popular culture of North America, where it remains highly popular even today.

The first truly “automatic” lighter came in 1926 form the Ronson Company. This model called “Banjo” enabled users to press button which will create flame, and release button which will extinguish the flame. By late 1920s, there were four main types of lighter in use – manual strikers, semi-automatic, automatic, and striker lighters.

In the 1950s, the main fuel source for lighters became butane. This enabled creation of really light and disposable lighters that quickly spread all around the world. Another modern innovation came in the form of piezoelectric spark, which replaced flint wheel.

Workers assemble first Corvette in Flint, Michigan

On June 28, 1953, workers at a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, assemble the first Corvette, a two-seater sports car that would become an American icon. The first completed production car rolled off the assembly line two days later, one of just 300 Corvettes made that year.

The idea for the Corvette originated with General Motors’ pioneering designer Harley J. Earl, who in 1951 began developing plans for a low-cost American sports car that could compete with Europe’s MGs, Jaguars and Ferraris. The project was eventually code-named “Opel.” In January 1953, GM debuted the Corvette concept car at its Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It featured a fiberglass body and a six-cylinder engine and according to GM, was named for the “trim, fleet naval vessel that performed heroic escort and patrol duties during World War II.” The Corvette was a big hit with the public at Motorama and GM soon put the roadster into production.

On June 30, 1953, the first Corvette came off the production line in Flint. It was hand-assembled and featured a Polo White exterior and red interior, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, a wraparound windshield, whitewall tires and detachable plastic curtains instead of side windows. The earliest Corvettes were designed to be opened from the inside and lacked exterior door handles. Other components included a clock, cigarette lighter and red warning light that activated when the parking brake was applied𠄺 new feature at the time. The car carried an initial price tag of $3,490 and could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 11 or 12 seconds, then considered a fairly average speed.

In 1954, the Corvette went into mass production at a Chevy plant in St. Louis, Missouri. Sales were lackluster in the beginning and GM considered discontinuing the line. However, rival company Ford had introduced the two-seater Thunderbird around the same time and GM did not want to be seen bowing to the competition. Another critical development in the Corvette’s survival came in 1955, when it was equipped with the more powerful V-8 engine. Its performance and appeal steadily improved after that and it went on to earn the nickname 𠇊merica’s sports car” and become ingrained in pop culture through multiple references in movies, television and music.


In the fall of 2002, Zippo obtained trademark registration for the shape of the Zippo lighter. This was a major milestone to help protect the brand from counterfeiters.

Also in the early 2000’s Zippo launched the first Zippo MPL® , multi-purpose lighter, a refillable utility-style lighter.




Whatever Happened to Car Ashtrays?

When was the last time you worked on a new car that came equipped with a stock lighter and ashtray? If you’re anything like me, you don’t even know. That’s because automakers started to silently phase them out sometime in the mid 90’s. By the 2000’s, most cars only offered them as optional features. Today, many cars don’t even do that.

In the course of researching why that is, I came across two articles that are definitely worth a read.

In November of 2000, The Nevada Daily Mail published an article titled “Automakers Drop Ashtrays, Lighters from New Cars” that explained the disappearance of these one-time automotive staples on a change in consumer demands.

Honda and other manufacturers are designing ashtrays and lighters out of many new models, both to please consumers and cut costs. […]

“You respond to consumer demand,” said Art Garner, a spokesman for American Honda Motor Col, the Torrance, Calif., subsidiary of the Japanese manufacturer. “Consumers say, ‘I don’t need an ashtray. What I would like is a little storage place here. I don’t need a lighter. What I would like is a place to plug in my cell phone.’”

Eliminating lighters and ashtrays as standard equipment on millions of cars also saves money for automakers, most who now sell optional “smoker’s packages” for $15 to $100 for items once included with every new car. […]

The changes reflect a continuing evolution in dashboards and interiors, said Jeffrey Rose, vice president of technology at Textron Automotive Co., a Troy, Mich., company that is one of the leading providers of interior components for new cars.

Travelers in the 1950s and ‘60s were never far from an ashtray – many cars came with both lighters and ashtrays fitted into every door. But that was before the arrival of multiple cup holders and storage spaces, switches for power windows and door locks, outlets for cell phones and amenities like garage-door openers fitted into sun visors.

Australia’s The Daily Telegraph, however, attributes the disappearance of cabin lighters and ashtrays to a better social and legal understanding of the health risks associated with smoking, as well as a clamp down on distracted driving. In a 2007 article titled “No Ash Therefore No Tray“, the newspaper reported:

The phasing out of cigarette lighters and ashtrays is expected to pick up pace as rules tighten around the world on smoking while driving.

Since the introduction of Queensland’s smokefree workplaces in 2002, there has been a ban on smoking in work vehicles when more than one person is present.

In July, Health Minister Stephen Robertson foreshadowed a prohibition on smoking in cars carrying children during the review of tobacco legislation expected to start soon.

But Queensland is not alone in a clamp down on smoke-driving.

Earlier this month, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill to come into effect in January banning anyone smoking in a car with a person under the age of 18 present. The fine is $US200.

Cyprus and three other US states have similar bans, while several countries including Ireland and South Africa plan to introduce the smokefree cars with children reform.

South Australia implemented a ban on smoke-driving while children are present in May and since then, police have issued 29 on-the-spot fines and 11 cautions.

Tasmania will introduce the ban in January and NSW has flagged smoke-free cars carrying children as the next area of reform. But the issue is not just a matter of health.

Last month, the new UK Highway Code declared offenders could be charged with driving without due care and attention and New Delhi has a total ban on smoking while driving as a road safety driver-distraction issue.

Personally, I like the fact that cars no longer come equipped with lighters and ashtrays. With all that we know about the dangers of second-hand smoke, I find it irresponsible of folks to smoke in cars that carry passengers who don’t.

There is one major downside though: without ashtrays, I often find myself having to leave screws and clips on a car’s floor where they either get lost or stepped on.

The Best Car Ashtray

Takavu Easy Clean Up Car Ashtray

This ashtray is built from heavy-duty and durable stainless steel and comes with a lid. It’s designed to fit most vehicles on the market. The compact and sleek nature of this ashtray makes it one of the top gift options for family and friends. Included in the design is a cool blue light that illuminates as the lid of the ashtray is opened. The lid securely closes, keeping all scents within the ashtray and away from people with sensitive nostrils.

Besides the ability to keep smells from lingering, the Takavu Car Ashtray features a removable cigarette lighter. This feature allows you to light your cigarette quickly at any time. When your ashtray is full or almost full, you can clear out its content and clean the container in a matter of seconds, thanks to its removable design liner system.

  • Easy cleanup
  • Detachable
  • Stainless car ashtray with lid
  • For most car cup holder

Roadpro Self-Extinguishing Ashtray

The RoadPro is an incredible unit thanks to its detailed design, friendly operation, and durability. It seeks to make every smoking experience better than the last and lasts a very long time, no matter how often it is used. We love that the unit is designed to be versatile in its placement.

It’s easy to place the unit into any car cup holder of your choice. Besides its universal design and construction, this ashtray makes the disposal of your cigarette butts very easy. You don’t have to stub out your cigarettes before disposal you drop them in and watch as they’re extinguished. The RoadPro X-Large is an excellent tool. It prevents any health issues that may occur with anyone who uses your car with you. If you need a self-extinguishing ashtray for your smoking needs, try the RoadPro X-Large.

  • Self-extinguishing
  • Fits most cup holders
  • Trap the smoke inside
  • The purchase comes with one astray

Vimvip Portable Cigarette Ashtray

The VIMVIP Cigarette Ashtray puts your safety first and ensures that no matter what, no one suffers from your guilty pleasure. This ashtray is portable, and this makes it comfortable to move from one car to the other and for disposal. The design allows it to fit into most car cup holders.

The auto car cigarette ashtray has a classic and premium design. It is very convenient to use at all times, which is made possible thanks to the unit’s inner LED system. The system works in dark areas to provide you with greater visibility whenever it is needed. The design of every VIMVIP product is such that it can reduce the effects of second-hand smoke effectively and within a short period.

  • Portable
  • Stainless steel
  • Premium luxury design
  • Reduce the harm of second-hand smoke

QI Car Ashtray

One way to make the best out of your car smoking sessions is by using the Stinky Cigar-Car Ashtray. We love this unit for so many reasons, and we highly recommend it for all vehicle owners. It is a one-of-a-kind unit designed to prevent health issues to both the smoker and the onlooker, who might be a family member or friend. We love that this unit is built from heavy-duty and durable steel. It will not rust even with regular use.

The Stinky Cigar-Car smokeless ashtray features a system that accommodates different types of cigars to appeal to different types of smokers. It holds your cigar in place gently while you drive and causes no harm to your interior. if you enjoy, appreciate and understand the most exquisite cigars around, you will love this ashtray. It is an outstanding system designed by a cigar enthusiast to appeal to all cigar lovers and those that have a great passion for the art of smoking.

  • Holds all sizes of cigars
  • Polished stainless steel finish
  • The cigar is held in-place
  • Lid is attached

Custom Accessories Smokeless Ashtray

Meet the Custom Accessories 93365D Ashtray, a great and innovative unit. The design accommodates many cup holder models, and such versatility increases its usefullness. Besides its construction, the unit does an excellent job of eliminating interior smoke and smells to keep your car feeling fresh and clean.

This ashtray keeps your cigarette butts safe in its receptacle. It also makes operation more straightforward. The fittings can be customized to suit your preferences and the vehicle you drive. You can’t go wrong with this line of products. They&rsquore reliable, durable and functional.

  • Black Smokeless
  • Fits most cup holders
  • Eliminates Interior smells
  • Ideal receptacle design

Newness Focus On Stainless Steel Car Ashtray

Be open to new and more innovative ways of enjoying your favorite pastime with the Newness Car Ashtray. Not only is the Newness ashtray functional, but it is also durable. It is made from polished steel, and it features a classic, modern design that fits into the interior of all cars. The design exudes simplicity yet echoes a lot of elegance.

If you love to smoke in your car, chances are you hate having the smell of smoke linger as you entertain friends and family. Besides the health risks, the smell is highly unpleasant to many. With the Newness cigarette ashtray, you’re assured that no remnant of smoke stays inside your car. It leaves the air in your vehicle fresh for everybody’s comfort. Concerning its size, the unit is small and compact, and it can fit into many cup holders. It is lightweight and easy to handle and relocate. You can use your Newness ashtray anywhere you please: in your car, at home, or in your office. It is well suited for indoor and outdoor spaces, and it comes with an exciting guarantee.

  • Stainless steel
  • Modern car ashtray with lid
  • Simple but elegant
  • Narrow opening for windproof

Bell Automotive Portable Ashtrays for Cars

Make smoking an enjoyable activity at little to no additional cost. The Bell Automotive Ashtray is designed to fit flawlessly into your vehicle and cater to all your needs. It is made from durable aluminum and features a highly reliable design you can count on. We love that it can be placed into your cup holder without an issue, as this ensures that your vehicle remains free from cigarette butts and other nuisances. The Bell Automotive tray is a blue, aluminum canister with a sporty look.

Besides its functionality, it is also effortless and straightforward to clean, since it doesn’t fit tightly into any space it is placed. The merging of fashion with function is a highlight. We recommend the Bell Ashtray to individuals who love to smoke and also enjoy their cars to look clean and smell good.

  • Converts extra cup holder into an ashtray
  • Sporty blue aluminum canister
  • Chrome accents
  • Easy cleaning

VIP Home Essentials Cup Holder Ashtray

Here is the VIP Home Essentials Glow in the Dark Ashtray. Such a feature is unique to this brand, and it is hard for many competitors to follow. The VIP ashtray is made from durable, heavy-duty materials, which enhance its lifespan. Also, it is easy to clean because of the material. You can make use of this unit in your car or home.

The VIP Home Essentials car ashtray with lid doubles as a cup holder, which means you enjoy versatility, depending on your mood. On the rim of this ashtray are three holders. They aid in easy cleaning of the unit to keep your car fresh and presentable. The storage capacity of this product is fantastic. It has a large volume for your cigarette butts.

  • Stub Out Glow in The Dark
  • Heavy-duty plastic.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Super convenient cup design

Utsauto Stainless Steel Car Ashtray

We recommend the UTSAUTO Ashtray and cup holder. It is made of stainless steel and doubles as a cup holder. You can get this ashtray from UTSAUTO as a gift for your family members and friends.

This ashtray comes with a productive lid system that allows you to move your tray around and reposition it to suit your preferences. The lid opens to display an LED system that emits blue lights to make smoking in dark areas easier. The steel is high density and fireproof. This saves you from potential damage associated with vehicular fires.

  • Stainless steel
  • Blue led light indicator
  • Clamshell design
  • Premium quality

Bell Automotive Car Ashtray

We have another ashtray from the Bell family in our list. It is an outstanding product designed by professionals with in-depth knowledge of the needs of car owners who smoke. Every item it creates is tested rigorously before it is sold. We love that the Bell Automotive Ashtray has a different aesthetic. Also referred to as the Pink Diamond ashtray, this unit features aluminum construction with a pink exterior color and white rhinestones for detailing.

You can fit your Pink Diamond smokeless ashtray into any cup holder, no matter the size. It is also straightforward and easy to clean, and it has a top lid that allows you to regulate the scents that come into your vehicle. From function to fashion and even durability, the Bell Pink Diamond ticks all boxes without much effort.

  • Aluminum construction
  • Fits most cup holders
  • Easy to clean
  • Controls scent with top lid

Final tips

To keep things safe, remember to disconnect any extra load when you’re not using the inverter to prevent overheating. Even better, disconnect the inverter itself so as not to drain your battery. Or, if you’re using a secondary battery, make sure to place it in a sealed but well-ventilated area.

Furthermore, never place the battery and power inverter in direct sunlight or anywhere near heat and moisture. Also, ensure that you start your engine first before turning on the inverter, and if you use it with the engine off, limit your use to under an hour.

Watch the video: Πως θα ξέρω αν ο κινητήρας μου έκαψε φλάντζα.


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