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20 December 2023, 19:19

Debereiner's table lighter: the birth of an invention

Debereiner's table lighter: the birth of an invention
July 27, 1823 became significant in the history of science and technology thanks to the invention of Johann Wolfgang Deberainer, a German professor of chemistry at the University of Jena. At the age of 43, he made a discovery that changed the way lighters were used.

Debereiner discovered that hydrogen burns extremely rapidly in the presence of platinum. This discovery was recorded by the editors of five magazines and Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Within a week, Debereiner's discovery became the subject of widespread interest in the scientific world.
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
In August of the same year, Deberiner completed the creation of his device, which allowed the world to learn about the first full-fledged table lighter. Her work was based on the self-ignition of hydrogen in the presence of spongy platinum. This mechanism provided efficient and safe lighting, which was a significant step forward in the development of lighters.

The principle of operation of the Debereiner lighter was based on the following. An inner glass vessel without a bottom, in which a zinc plate is located, is built into the outer hermetic jar, into which sulfuric acid is poured. Upon contact with acid, zinc reacts with it, resulting in the release of hydrogen. When the exhaust valve is opened, the jet of hydrogen goes out, where it ignites in the air. Sponge platinum plays the role of a catalyst. Burning is stopped by closing the exhaust valve.
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Debereiner's findings were published in several established scientific journals, including Journal für Chemie und Physik, Annalen der Physik, Neues Journal der Farmacie, Isis, and the Geneva-based journal Bibliotheque Universelle. His discovery was also submitted to the Academy of Sciences for analysis and further research in this field.

Deberainer distinguished himself as a pioneer of chemical research and technical inventions. His table lighter became not only a symbol of progress in the field of lighting, but also a "bridge" for further innovations in the chemical and technical fields.
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Photo source: volker-putz-lighter-collection.de
Source: web.archive.org

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