Early Masonic Goat Matchstick-Lighter

This tobacco lighter is circa 1915 and plays on the Masonic humor of riding the Goat!  Although is simply a joke to ride the goat in Masonic Lodges, but Woodmen of the World and a few other Orders would engage their new candidates in a moment of this humorous sport!   Many of the Lodge Goat jokes can be found in this book "The Lodge Goat and Goat Rides"  and a real Goat Riding Tricycle can be seen (here) This kitschy knickknack is made of metal and is copper/bronze in color.  The frame is intact but the striker strip is missing.  On both sides of the ram's saddle is the Square and Compass with the Letter "G". The tail of the ram is the permanent match and removes from the ram revealing the original wick.  This item measures 3" tall x 5" long x 2 1/8" wide. The match/tail measures 2.75" long.   It was made by the Ronson lighter company started as The Art Metal Works in 1897 and was incorporated on July 20, 1898, by Max Hecht, Louis V. Aronson and Leopold Herzig, in Newark, New Jersey.

Louis V. Aronson was a huge creative driving force for the company; and, with a few business adjustments, including the addition of Alexander Harris (1910-11) as Business Manager, the company soon became World Famous!

All accounts state that Louis Aronson was a gifted man, who at 16 years old set-up a money making shop in his parents' home - before receiving a U.S. patent for a commercially valuable metal-plating process he developed when he was 24 years old, and he sold half the rights while retaining the Right to Use. "His experiments, which he has been conducting since his early youth, resulted in 1893 in the discovery of a process for electrically producing tinplate. Much money was expended upon improving the process... and has been of great practical value to the whole industry. Retaining its rights, he sold half the patent rights, and later used part of the proceeds to open the Art Metal Works in Newark, N.J.  Soon the company was producing a variety of high-quality Lamps, Book ends, Art Statues and other decorative items, prized today for their detail in the collector marketplace.

For further reading on the Lodge goat-riding  (click here)




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