White House Ronson Lighter, a gift from President Richard Nixon. Presidential seal on side panel, in gold.
Measures (6.5 x 4.0 cm). Light wear to side panels. Housed in original Ronson clamshell case, lined in silk and felt. Includes the manufacturer’s warning on using butane lighters, affixed to side of lighter. From the private collection of John E. Swearingen, the CEO of Standard Oil of Indiana. Auction tag affixed to bottom panel of clamshell case.
From the estate of John E. Swearingen, the president of Standard Oil of Indiana and one of the most influential oil executives of the 20th century. When he became CEO in 1960, he deemed Indiana Standard Oil to be a “second-rate company.” Through aggressive research and oil exploration, Indiana Standard quickly became one of the most profitable companies in the United States. Swearingen was vocal about his dislike for federal regulators, often supporting Republicans who shared his views on limited government. In retirement, he was a close friend of presidents Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon. Swearingen died in 2007, survived by his wife, Bonnie Swearingen, who passed away in 2020.