Peter Florjancic put his success as an inventor down to being in the right place at the right time. In the summer of 1947, he was lounging by the pool at Monte Carlo’s Beach Hotel when his daughter accidentally splashed water over Ilhamy Hussein, the Pasha of Egypt and a wealthy associate of King Farouk. The next day, the childless Pasha invited Florjancic to dine in his hotel room and casually offered to buy the girl from him. Coughing on his caviar, Florjancic politely declined. Instead he suggested they go into business together.

By that point Florjancic already had several patents under his belt. These included designs for a six-color pencil, ski bindings and a stylish cigarette lighter with a side-mounted ignition, which he sold to Dunhill and was later used by Sean Connery as 007 in Dr No. Once he secured the Pasha’s backing, he set about trying some of his bolder ideas. “With such access to royal funds,” he recalled, “I could invent and develop anything I wanted.”

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