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Just to be absolutely clear, this piece is not a functional camera. This modestly historic lighter set was manufactured in Japan while occupied by U.S. and Allied military forces from the end of World War II in 1945 until April 1952, when the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in 1951 came into force. The "camera" base is clearly marked "Made In Occupied Japan" (see photo #4). Because of international hostility toward Japan in the aftermath of World War II, the trademark “Occupied Japan” was intended to assure consumers that their purchase was in no way contributing to the reviled powers of the pre-war era. This Oriental Photo-Lite is a wonderfully detailed table lighter from this era. Shaped like a 35 mm camera, the lighter is fired by simply pushing the camera's shutter release button. The camera body holds its fluid, which is filled by unscrewing the front lens. Much like a real camera, the lighter includes a bottom threaded insert to mount the camera onto its tripod. Other functional details include a working mini compass and red safety lock to prevent the lighter from accidentally firing, both mounted on the face of the camera, and a reserve flint chamber mounted on top of the camera disguised as an ASA dial. It also includes a simulated front view finder and side eyelet for a camera strap. Mounted on the tripod, this lighter stands just over 3 inches tall.

This Photo-Lite is working and looks to have only been lightly used. It will be shipped with a flint and without fluid. I've removed an impacted flint, cleaned the file wheel, trimmed an tested the original wick, and installed a new fuel cap washer to return this lighter to working condition. It works well, but occasionally misfires (i.e. sparks, but does not light). Nothing to be concerned about though -- misfires are pretty common with this sort of firing mechanism. Cosmetically, the actual camera is nearly flawless. There are one or two minor flaws in the chrome plating, the sort of imperfections you really have to search for to see. 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.

Working Occupied Japan Camera Lighter With Tripod

Overview