As smoking was a popular activity during the heyday of railroads it was only natural that railroads would produce lighters as promotional items at smoking stands and as giveaways. Disposable lighters weren’t produced on a large scale until well into the 1900s, with Ronson beginning production of lighters in 1910 and Zippo in 1932. This means that generally lighters are going to be more recent than many other categories of railroadiana which were around since the beginning of the railroads. Before lighters, people used matches which were carried in a match safe, or from a wall-mounted match safe. Lighters are typically decorated with enamel on metal, but sometimes have celluloid over paper. Rarer versions are sometimes engraved and can be silver or gold.
Value for railroad lighters generally ranges up to $100 for exceptional items.