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Okay maybe not NANCY DREW, cuz she drives a convertable and has a big fratboy boyfriend and lets daddy pay for everything, and I am none of those things.  Nor do I have her kickin’ body and great hair.  But the crimefighting part? Nah, don’t have that either.  So really, nothing like nancy drew, sorry.

But what I DO have, is a mystery.  And, dearest interwebs, I need your help.  I can’t seem to take a good picture of this with my blackberry camera (dangit) – but maybe later I’ll edit the post to include photos from a real camera.

When my great uncle John died he left behind all sorts of crazy things.  He was the coolest guy, like ever – but that’s a whole other post – and build racecar engines and machines and fun stuff like that.  And had fun toys.

One of the fun toys is this thing called a “Computer Lighter” made by a company called “Chadwick”.  The title on the instruction page is “Chadwick #7825 Computer Lighter”.  There’s no company information on the instruction sheet, other than the sheet was printed in Japan. No year, but the “computer” part of the lighter includes a way to figure out what day of the week it is for every month in every year between 1950 and 1977.   So my guess is that the lighter is from pre-1977.

Here’s a (sorry, crappy) picture:

mystery ligher!

mystery ligher!

So one side will let you figure out what day of the week a day of the month is for any year in that 27 year span, and the other side is a “time-distance” computer.

Now, I’m not stupid… (shut up, I’m totally not) but the instructions on this thing confuse the crap out of me.  Here’s part of the instruction sheet. Maybe it makes sense to you.  If it does, please explain it to me. And yes, you can mock me for being a dumbass.

To Compute Time and Distance

The middle dial represents minutes, the inner dial indicates hours, the outside idal represents “Miles” or “Knots”, or “Kilometers” or “Gallons” — per hour depending on the problem on hand.

A simple example:  Distanced covered at 100 Miles per hour.  Set the 1 hour pointer at 10 of the outside scale (this now represents 100 miles).  Clockwise on the middle scale – in 12 minutes – you would cover 20 miles – just under the 12 but on the “inner” scale is 2:00 hours.   Therefore in 2 hours at 100MPH the 20 is read as 200 miles.  If the elapsed time were 2 hours and 15 minutes, you would read the 2 hours as 200 miles (from the inner scale to the outside scale) 15 minutes from the middle scale would equal 25 miles on the outside scale, therefore 2:15 = 225 miles.  To find “time” when speed and distance is known, the same settings are used but “read” in reverse.  Similarly, if distance and time were known – rate of travel would be found.


dunno ’bout you, but my brain sploded a bit.

Anyway – it’s about the size of a pocketwatch, and even has a place to attach a watch chain, and it’s a lighter. It’s pretty kickass and I think would make for a great accessory.  But I’d still like toknow a bit about it.  What year it’s from, if there were other styles, etc. etc.  But I cannot find ANYTHING about this lil’ lighter.

My Google-fu is apparently very poor.

But I know that you guys have GREAT Google-fu! (great googily-moogily!) – so … help? 🙂