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I think this new-old-stock (NOS) arm lift lighter is quite intriguing. It is simply marked "ORA U.L.", stamped on the surface between the wick and hinged arm mount. I've seen the U.L. marking used for other arm lift lighters from this era. I believe it's an acronym for "Up Lift", a general instruction for use. To light, you lift up its arm to expose the wick and strike the spark wheel with your thumb. Then, lower the arm with a simple finger-flick to snuff out the flame. The ORA's outer slip case is covered in a black textured finish specifically chosen for military use. The black color was used so soldiers could smoke covertly, reducing the likelihood of light reflecting off a polished metallic finish that could inadvertently disclosing their location in the field. And, the textured finish made the lighter easier to grip and hold in the trenches of battle.

The collector I acquired this piece from tells me it was made in Germany for the British lighter manufacturer Orlik. Founded by brothers Alfred and Louis Orlik in 1899, Orlik began as a English tobaccanist and pipe company. Around 1916, the company began manufacturing some of the earliest known windproof lighters - nearly two decades before the first Zippo was patented. Orlik lighters are renowned for their well-made dependability. Though not branded as an Orlik, there are obvious similarities between this German-made ORA and London-made Orlik Matchless model. Considering the overlap of Orlik's foray into lighter manufacturing with the beginning of World War 1 (1914-1919), I speculate Orlik may have imported these lighters for resale in the years before the company's domestic lighter production began. The ORA's crackle finish adds an interesting, extra wrinkle. It stands to reason this lighter was intended for military use. It's possible Orlik purchased German military surplus or these lighters were specifically commissioned for British military use. (If a fellow collector knows more about this piece, I'd greatly appreciate their insights.)

This ORA is in like-new working condition. It sparks strongly and will be shipped with a flint and without fluid. (If you plan to only display this lighter, please remove the flint so it does not deteriorate and become impacted over time.) Because it is clearly in new condition, I have not fuel test fired this piece -- thinking I'd preserve that honor for its new owner. This ORA is guaranteed to work. It does show signs of age: a small split in the seam of the outer slip sleeve, a bit of corrosion on one side of the inner fuel chamber, and a few minor chips in the black crackle finish. I've provided high quality photos to offer the best preview of this lighter. Please take a look and feel free to ask any questions.

Shipping cost is for delivery in a USPS Small-Size Priority Mail box. FREE SHIPPING if you order more than one item (U.S. customers only) and free local pick-up from my shop on Antique Row in Baltimore. Non-US customers, please contact me for shipping options/costs to countries not listed below. Thanks for looking and please check out other items in my shop.

World War 1 ORA Arm Lift Lighter With Crackle Finish NOS