Piezo - Piezoelectric

with reference to an ignition system used for cigarette lighters:

In 1962 the first patent application for a piezoelectric lighter was submitted. This ushers in the piezoelectric ignition that was supposed to replace flint. Many, many piezoelectric lighters were made in the mid-1960s through the 1970s. Still very much in use, they are no longer as common as they once were.

The name 'piezo' derives from the Greek 'piezen' meaning 'to press'. A piezoelectric device consists of a small, spring-loaded hammer which, when a button is pressed, hits a crystal of PZT or quartz crystal.

Quartz is piezoelectric, which means that it creates a voltage when deformed. This sudden forceful deformation produces a high voltage and subsequent electrical discharge, which ignites the gas.

The discovery of and earliest research on the phenomenon of piezoelectricity was in the mid-1800s. Many synthetic materials have also been produced to generate the piezoelectric effect.

Vintage Cigarette Lighters