Flame gun ad from 1972


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Mike Lorenz says

My wife recently acquired a box full of old TV Week supplements to the Philadelphia Inquirer, those small TV listing magazines for those who were too cheap to buy a TV Guide.

I was browsing the issues when I came across this incredible full-page ad on the back cover of the January 23, 1972 issue.

There are just so many gems on this page, it seems like a joke, but it's really not. "The gun of 1000-and-1 uses", "Dial-a-flame Action", "Clear stairs (except wood)", "So easy even your wife can use it."

If I saw that gal outside her suburban home with a flame gun, I'm not sure whether I'd want to call the police or ask her to marry me.


  1. my favorite is “…reach up to 12 feet off the ground without using a ladder.”

    especially good for dealing with that irritating “cat stuck up a tree” problems.

  2. The stars must be in allignment or something. Not only did I just receive a baby gas mask as posted over on BBGadgets but my dad still regularly uses the the same heavy duty burner shown in this ad! Works a treat for the weeds, he swears by it. I’m going to buy a lottery ticket.

  3. I used to live in Buffalo, NY where we would get a lot of snow and ice. I would occasionally see these being used. They are still available for purchase and everyone that uses them swears by them for cleaning sidewalks and nonflammable steps. I never saw one being used for driveways.

  4. Smaller versions of this can be used very effectively for killing weeds without herbicides; I’ve had endless hours of relaxing weed-burning fun with a Weed Wand. I’ve also used something similar to the largest kerosene burner pictured in the “see why no other gun can compare” section to sterilise earth after an area of lawn had been lifted. Even more fun, in a “I can destroy anything with this!” kind of way.

    Never ever considered using one to melt snow though…

  5. “Works indoors”….Sweet! It ought to come in handy during our next power outage…nothing says “roasted marshmallows” like a personal flamethrower.

  6. Unless the operator is really thorough, using a torch to clear a walkway of snow turns the snow-cover into an ice-cover. Not an improvement.

  7. I have something very similar to this. It uses propane instead of kerosene though. It was sold to kill weeds and repair asphalt, but I have also used it to ignite wet brush for a controlled burn of woody yard waste (stuff that doesn’t compost well), and to (carefully) melt through ice dams on my roof.

    Seems like a waste of fuel to melt walkway ice with it though… Cheaper to just throw some rock salt on it. Additionally, when you aim it at the ground you have to be very careful. 80,000 BTUs will ignite shoes and pants cuffs in a fraction of a second.

  8. My grandfather built one of those out of some propane torch parts and pipe. He uses it to kill the nasty desert weeds on his property.

  9. “no karate chopping icy pavements” Whew, thank god for that, I’ve broken my hand 47 times already.

  10. Great for stripping oil paint. My mother uses one every time the garage door needs painting. You have to be careful not to set the driveway ashfault(sp?) on fire with it tho – it doesn’t spread but you can’t just stamp the fire out or you get bits of driveway melted to the bottom of your shoe which is no good.

    Also good for killing dandelions, or any weeds that grow up through a brick patio. Cooks them, and it leaves the taproot of a dandelion more vulnerable than just beheading it. I think rot in the cooked leaves must work its way down the root or something.

  11. Harbor Freight provided me with a similar device ($20 de-icer) that uses standard camping propane containers, they also carry a larger version suitable for use as a flamethrower in your next homemade war/ sci-fi movie.

    Both of these would make pretty decent anti-infantry weapons and it makes me smile, especially in our current age, to know that they are on the shelf at a store around the corner.

  12. I live in Texas and own the propane version of that tool. We call it a pear burner and use it to burn the needles off prickly pear cactus during droughts so the cattle can eat them.
    It’s also great for firing up the BBQ pit.

  13. A little bit off topic, but the best non herbicide weed killer I’ve ever used is this devices mortal enemy, boiling hot water.

  14. The single BEST thing about this whole ad is that the torch is produced by a division of Bevis Industries. Hehehehe…..fire…FIRE….FIRE!

  15. I’ve used leftover liquid nitrogen (from science demonstrations) to kill weeds around my fence and sidewalk, it works like a charm. Freaks the neighbors out too.

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