Historical information

This cigarette or pipe lighter was in use in the mid 1900's when the majority of users were men. Ladies did smoke but mainly not in "public" The activity was still regarded as a male activity. Middle to Upper "Class" of women nearly always had a gentleman "at hand" that would "light up" her cigarette. This was seen as a "social" activity only but later in the mid 1900's onward it was quite acceptable for both sexes to "smoke" at anytime.


This type of lighter was male orientated due to the degree of lighting the flint with the horizontal movement required a strong thumb action across the lighting wheel. It is significant to rural areas such as the Kiewa Valley as the majority of men (especially during and after World War II) regarded smoking as a way to ease off the "tension" of hard work. The socio-economics of the Australian work place changed after the emancipation of women in the "workforce" after the World War II depleted the male workforce for the duration of the War and changed the Australian ethics of women in all aspects of both city and rural working "so called" male only occupations.

Physical description

This Polo Swift lift arm cigarette/pipe lighter has a chrome plated shell and is fueled by petrol. To operate this lighter you lift the "snuffer" arm exposing the wick, then scrape the flint wheel to create a spark from the adjacent flint(resting on the brass ignition wheel).

Inscriptions & markings

At the bottom of the lift arm station "POLO". Each side of the lighter are "Art Deco line running from the top of the lighter to the bottom. Between these is a rectangular box with "diamond crossed lines"