E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Lucifer-matches; selflighting cigars were so called in North America in 1834. (Latin, loco-foci, in lieu of fire.)
In 1835 during an excited meeting of the party in Tammany Hall, New York, when the candles had been blown out to increase the confusion, they were lighted with matches then called locofocos.Gilman: The American People, chap. xxi.
Locofocos. Ultra-Radicals, so called in America because, at a grand meeting in Tammany Hall, New York, in 1835, the chairman left his seat, and the lights were suddenly extinguished, with the hope of breaking up the turbulent assembly; but those who were in favour of extreme measures instantly drew from their pockets their locofocos, and relighted the gas. The meeting was continued, and the Radicals had their way. (See Gilman: The American People, chap. xxi.)