In keeping with the age-old tradition of inventing by juxtaposition (see, for example, hamburger earmuffs), this highly functional and aesthetically pleasing invention “Cigar Lighter and Perfumery Ejector Combined,” which was patented on August 31, 1886, and combines the lighting of cigars with the dispensing of perfume. So if you’re a cigar and perfume enthusiast on a budget, it’s nice to know you have the option of getting a device that addresses all your cigar-lighting and perfume-spraying needs in one. And as the inventor Henry Munk of Fremont, Ohio points out, you can now put perfume on your cigars “to enhance the odor and consequent value of the cigar.”
One item of particular note for patent aficionados might be the relative simplicity of the claims. Munk’s patent, with a totality of 1 page of disclosure, claims:
As a new article of manufacture, the cigar lighter and perfume-sprayer, consisting of a statuette holding in one hand a lighted lamp and in the other a tray, and a perfumery-sprayer connected by a tube passing through the body of the statuette, with the mouth of said statuette for ejecting a spray, substantially as shown, and for the purpose stated.
You just don’t see claims like this in patent claims like this any more.
There is one possible flaw in the design, however. In combining these two functions Mr. Munk may have neglected an important reason why they had never been combined before: perfume is mostly alcohol. Therefore, in the course of intended use, you could very easily set yourself on fire — hardly a beneficial outcome.
I suspect this patent never yielded a marketable product. But perhaps Mr. Munk moved on to dream up other brilliant ideas that didn’t involve of self-immolation.