The Bic company came out with the Bic lighter in 1973 in an effort to compete with a new disposable lighter introduced by Gillette in 1972. Bic's lighter was cheaper and superior to Gillette's Cricket. In 1984, Gillette sold its lighter design to a European company.
Bic was founded by Marcel Bich in 1945. He and his partner, Edouard Buffard began manufacturing pens and pencils in France. In 1958, the company moved into the United States with the purchase of the Waterman Pen Company, based in Connecticut. Since then, Bic has introduced additional products such as disposable razors, drawing pencils, Wite-Out, a Bic phone and fuel cells.