WITT, Frank. Spotlite: Self-Lighting Cigarettes.

(San Carlos, CA): Commercial Tobacco Corp., no date. (C. 1954). A small archive pertaining to the production, of “Spotlite”, the self-lighting cigarette. Frank Witt a barber-shop owner, formed the company, Commercial Tobacco Corp, to produce the self-lighting cigarette. With the investment of friends, a half million dollar factory over 3.5 acres was built. It was hoped that two billion cigarettes would be sold in the first year and there were plans to reveal the process to other cigarette companies under a fractional royalty arrangement. It would appear, however, that the cigarette failed to catch on with the public and the company’s demise followed quickly after. Surprisingly there is very little information regarding the “Spotlite” affair on the internet. The cigarettes have chemicals similar to a match in the tip of the cigarette and a striking pad on the side of the pack. This archive comprises three unopened packet of twenty cigarettes, each box a different shape and size, one box of self-lighting cigarette caps; A photo album containing 31 full-size photographs measuring approx 8″ by 10″ and one photograph measuring approx, 3.5″ by 3.5″, that show the factory, and cigarette manufacturing process. Together with the original paint and collage artwork for a “Spotlite” advertisement. The image measuring 9″ by 19″ on board measuring 14″ by 20″. An important and scarce archive of tobaccoania.


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