The Ronson lighter company started as The Art Metal Works in 1897 and was incorporated on July 20, 1898, by Max Hecht, Louis Vincent 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.
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.
Aronson had established himself as a safety-match development pioneer with his inventions of the “Non-Toxic Match” and the “All-Weather Match” in the 1890s. Another invention of Aronson was the wind-match, for which he applied for a patent December 29, 1896.
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. In the 1910s The Art Metal Works were producing very good quality Hood Ornaments and gained a reputation as a dependable supplier of same.
In the investigations conducted for the purpose of improving this Windmatch, Aronson discovered the method for making a white phosphorus-free match. This had been a long time goal for chemical investigators in the industrial world, white phosphorus’ necessity in match-making being the cause of the industrial disease called “phossy jaw.”