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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Are tiki torches the best surving symbol of tiki (next to tikis themselves)?
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Are tiki torches the best surving symbol of tiki (next to tikis themselves)?
tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2695
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-04-25 12:54 pm   Permalink

BigBroTiki wrote :

"I have no idea what market this was supposed to be published for, but I am not complaining! "

Me neither, but I would hazard a guess that it was for some sort of convention for patio decor and such...Think about it...1960's...guy's in Fezzes dropping water balloons out of hotel windows....no women, because this was a "Business trip". Naked woman = great way to sell anything.



 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2008-04-25 2:11 pm   Permalink









 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-25 2:56 pm   Permalink

Actually, you have more ads than I do, by a long shot. And I'd forgotten that the Tongas were the smaller model! I bought a boxed set of copper Tiki models a few years ago at an estate sale, never opened - I'm betting they were a gift, i.e. "Ooh, honey, look! Tiki torches! <mutters> Go put these in the back of the closet". The set contained a catalog, a yellow page printed on both sides. I'm sure it's in my boxes somewhere, but I have no idea where. If/when I find it, I'll scan and post it.

Aside from that, I could photograph the box, and my collection of torches, which is very small so far. I have one Owl Lite, on it's original display card - they were similar in construction to the fish lights you pictured, save that the metal container itself was decorated. I'd love to get my paws on one of those Tiki-bachis! And as for the fantastic hula girl ad, I see the gold anodized torch, but also a red anodized! I wonder just how many colors were available... At some point the company was actually Tiki Torch Corp.

Yes, that fuel can looks exactly like mine, minus a number of small rust spots. Mine was found in the basement of an abandoned house! Thanks for posting all the nifty ads and photos... Here are a few of my photos, most saved from eBay auctions.

A pair of yellow enameled torches in the bowl shape, with black poles and snuffer caps and silver fill caps. Unlike Tiki brand conical models wherein the entire top is the lid, these (both those made by Tiki and others) had a small fill cap as the wick holder.


Here are some spun aluminum torches of the same basic form, but not quite the same - Tahiti Torches by Belco Lites Corp. of New Jersey.

And out of the box. Two torches, fill caps, snuffer caps with chains, wicks, and two four-section poles.


Here's a group of the authentic Hawaiian Luau Torches by Durant-Irvine of Honolulu - the black model - in the box! I wish I had a few of these.

And a closeup of two torches, with a pack of Tiki Torch brand woven wicks at lower left.

Last, a detail shot of the label on the mounting cuff.


I'm planning to build a patio later this summer or over the winter. My collection of torches will figure in the design, and I plan to buy color flame oil and wicks to use in them. Tiki wicks are much, much thicker, so I'll be buying the small black oil canisters that are sold alongside the color oil, and the wicks that fit them, and fitting these inside the Tiki torch bodies. In my next post, I'll put up a shot of my small collection.


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-25 3:04 pm   Permalink

As my budget is currently zero, I can't afford these. And as craigslist ads don't last long, I figure I should pass on these and let another someone on here grab some for their own use. It's rare to see good torches on Craigslist.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/for/654757057.html
A pair of silver-finished Luau Torches, of the bowl style (may be Belco Lites product) in the box, in Montrose, CA for $5!

http://denver.craigslist.org/hsh/633658358.html
In Denver, a set of gold anodized Tiki brand torches, of the 1-quart Tonga size, dating to the 80s or 90s, in a nice red, black and white themed box, for $10. With wicks.

These can burn the standard citronella torch fuel sold in stores for the bamboo torches.


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TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 320
Posted: 2008-04-25 6:41 pm   Permalink

Hello all here’s my contribution sorry for the inferior picture quality but they’ll give you some idea of what was is still there to be found. Tiki torch still sealed in the box with the almost Witco influenced Tiki’s for the logo, we have one in a white also.

Also a gallon can of Tahiti torch fuel, cool full color graphics it was still capped when I found it at a yard sale. Since I didn’t want a gallon of combustible material sitting in the bar I used it in our torches last summer and I must say it burned way bigger and more colorful than the stuff you buy today.





Bosko


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-26 12:51 am   Permalink

Droooooool... Is there any possibility I could beseech you to consider selling the green torches? I'd do almost anything for some colored ones. All I've ever seen personally are my silver, copper, black and brass anodized models. The red anodized, the yellow (and now green) enamel, I've seen in photos, and the red and white enamel I've only heard about. If I got hold of these, yes, I would open them and use them, but the box would be displayed, and the torches would be used gently (with inner canisters holding color flame oil) and would be brought indoors when not in use to remove them from the weather. Seattle is a wet place at times.

 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-26 12:57 am   Permalink

I see now, the green is a single torch. I'm still extremely interested, and possibly in the white too, though only if you're willing. I'll be able to afford purchases in late June or mid July.

Was the Tahiti Torch fuel also the color of green Chartreuse, smelled like a combination of kerosene and bug spray, and burned with big orange flare while producing huge volumes of black smoke? My Tiki fuel says "Approved by the US Dept. of Agriculture", though I wonder if Tiki got it approved as intended-to-be-diluted insecticide, as it's nasty stuff. As noted above, I started my BBQ (a generic hibachi, sadly not a John Charles Tiki-Bachi) with the stuff, using it like lighter fluid to start the charcoal, and the burgers I cooked tasted like the smoke smelled - like poison. I junked the whole batch and started over.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-26 09:38 am   Permalink

But it chases away insects!
Thanks for all those images, guys, here are two more from my own yard that I forgot:



These technically are not torches, because they hold candles, but the concept is so Poly Pop: Colored float glass balls with fishnet corks encased in rod iron poles. Gottem at an estate sale, have no idea of their vintage.

And how could I forget this fine new Marquesan Tiki torch, currently offered by Oceanic Arts! It's so new that I have not used it yet:



That concrete Tiki Head torch I mentioned earlier is on page 184 of the Book of Tiki. It came with a concrete China-man's hat to snuff it out. Maybe someone can scan it, I am out of time, leaving to Germany in a couple of hours, til then, Sven




 
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Mr&Mrs BPHoptiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2006
Posts: 128
From: Burbank,Ca.
Posted: 2008-04-26 1:40 pm   Permalink

Great thread guys. Brings back more tiki memories for me. These are the ones my dad always used. The combination of these torches and the different colored Malibu lights we had made our backyard look magical awesome. I’m going to have to scrounge around in my parents pool house and see if I can find any torches still there.


MrsHoptiki


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-26 3:36 pm   Permalink

Those glass chimneys with white netting over them are usually made as tabletop candles, such as are placed on tables in Italian restaurants, but I've not seen them used like this. As torches,. assembled as such, they're very cool!

 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-27 04:26 am   Permalink

Here's my collection, assembled for the shot. Not everything is shown.

-- Two large Tiki Torches, dating to the 60s or 70s, brass anodized with matching pole. They came in a beautiful box, have the snuff caps (but no chain) and have only the three sections of pole shown, one of them rusty.

-- Five Tonga Torches by Tiki - four black (three complete with snuffer caps and chains) and one gold torch with wick. These were bought new by me in the 90s. I have most of the pole sections for the black ones - four sections shown. Each torch had four sections.

-- One Owl Lite on its display card, unused, with wick. There were six different faces available: Mine is cross-eyed; the others were slanted eyes ("Oriental" I assume) plus-sign pupils (drunk?) half-closed (sleepy or crafty?) right-looking (shifty) and normal. Also available were ground stakes and tree or eave type hooks for these.

-- Two Tahiti Torch type units, one shown, in unfinished aluminum.

-- One woven Tiki size wick. It is HUGE, as you can see.



The two big brass Tiki sized torches, and possibly the Tahitis, will be outfitted with electric lights. The Tongas, and any other torches I can grab (green or white...?) will be retrofitted with small canisters with cotton wicks, for use with colored flame oil, thus not damaging the torches or getting them charred and blackened. PVC pipes will be sunk in concrete blocks at the proper slope, and when in use (and only then) the torches will be brought out and placed into the PVC bases. Mr. Owl Lite will simply sit on my picnic table and look pretty, possibly fitted with a flickering yellow LED tealight flame.

In June, I'll have a budget again, though very small, and I'll be seeking out complete torch heads, with or without chains and/or caps. I have these five... The black ones will be used in crossed pairs, and the brass (and, if the Tiki board member is open to selling the green and/or white Tongas) those as well will be singles. If I DO get white and green, I may hunt for a third colored enamel Tonga and do a trio grouping. I saw and loved the double and triple clusters of gas torches in Kona. I may also have a lead on a few more pairs of brass ones, not certain yet...

My garden isn't planned as a Poly place per se, though I would like to find (locally) a small wooden tiki to put in a corner, kind of hidden, for guests to "discover" as they wander. It'll be more of a Pacific Northwest/Pacific Rim 60s look: dark wood narrow vertical-pole screen fence, small Japanese maples (shrub sized) tiki torches, a small sculptural fountain, lots of little lights (I have one of the fiberglass rocks with a hole in one end to hide a spotlight that were big here in the 60s) etc.


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-04-27 11:40 am   Permalink

Wow. This is great stuff! I had completely forgotten that when I grew up (as if) my folks always had about six of the Tahiti type torches. We kept kerosene around just for that purpose. We had a big front-side-and-back yard, so whenever a lot of company came over for a barbecue they'd all like to hang out outside until long after dark. We'd always whipped out these torches. I forget what the folks used to call them, but it was nothing exotic, maybe just "torches."

 
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BrickHorn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 03, 2005
Posts: 178
From: Texas
Posted: 2008-04-27 7:53 pm   Permalink

I swung by the local Wal-Mart today and - lo and behold! - the evil megastore stocks a full line of Tiki-brand torches. $15 will buy you a pretty nice-looking torch. I think I need to stock up before the summer drinkin' season commences.

 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 202
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2008-04-27 8:33 pm   Permalink

I'll have to check that out. Last I saw their product line, the only torches Tiki was making that were metal were cylindrical or bullet-shaped metal canisters sitting in bent wire holders... Then of course they have bamboo ones, and the extremely expensive new ones which selling point is their huge flame. Huge flame? Bigger than the bamboo and little metal/wire ones with a tiny wick, yes, but not bigger than the metal conical ones available into the mid-90s.

Ehh, sorry for the rant. I'm just a bit spoiled on the older ones. The new designs aren't to my personal taste, but they work well enough. And the bamboo ones are often cheap, if you like a lot of torches.


 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1528
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2008-04-29 5:47 pm   Permalink

Some Bali torches in blue...



Tiki torches in a square orange style...





 
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