The Light For Our Age

Our Company

Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner

Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner was born in 1780 in Hof an der Saale, Germany (Bayreuth). His beginnings were simple. The son of a coachman, he was apprenticed to a pharmacist in his teens. He soon discovered however, that this was not his calling. Chemistry was the true love of his life. Reading widely and attending science lectures, he was largely self-educated. His talents were quickly recognized and in 1810, at the mere age of 29, he was appointed to a professorship in Jena.

Döbereiners discoveries in chemistry were extensive. For instance, he observed in 1823 that when platinum metal in a finely dispersed form, was exposed to hydrogen, much heat was generated. If more hydrogen were supplied, it would burst into a hot but nearly colorless flame. Within days Döbereiner turned this beautiful observation into what we today call Döbereiner’s lamp, the world’s first lighter.

Döbereiner’s lamp became a common way to light fires in industrial settings in the first half of the 19th century. Within five years of its invention, 20,000 lamps were in use in Germany and England. In time the safety match, the cigarette lighter and the gas stove lighter put Döbereiner’s lamp into the museum. Today however, we have reached the next step in the evolution of lighters.

Today, the name J. Wolfgang lives on as a brand of fine crafted lighters. Our lighters apply the mastery technique from Döbereiner’s lamp to today’s modern age. A lighter from J. Wolfgang, is a lighter that does not pollute the environment with butane or lighter fluids. A lighter from J. Wolfgang is a rechargeable electronic lighter, and will not add to the 1,5 billion plastic lighters that end up on landfills every year. A lighter from J. Wolfgang, is in other words, a lighter worthy of the future.



The lighter industry has remained largely unchanged for decades. Zippo, Bic and a handful of other companies have dominated the landscape since the 60’s. Disposable lighters are an industry standard, and considering the cheap price of such lighters one might ask if there is truly a need for change?

We often face this attitude, and we usually ask people who question our motives: If the lighter was invented today, would it look the way it currently does? If you answer is yes, we ask you to consider this:

1 500 000 000 lighters end up on landfills every year. These lighters in turn contain almost 7000 tons of butane gas that that released into the atmosphere. In an age where sustainability is becoming more and more urgent for every day that goes by, every industry needs to change and adapt. That fact is what drives us at J Wolfgang to do what we are doing.