Actually, five years ago I still saw them selling in some old surplus shops. You apply the glue (I don't know if it's the same glue or not), apply the patch, (then sometimes a bit of foil so it doesn't stick to the press), then apply a vice-like device that has a cup for some burning material (I suppose it's sorta like a hot-iron approach). A couple of minutes of burning and voila, the best seal ever.
Like Phidauex, I've got tubes with an embarasshingly large number of patches on them ... but, hey, they're good as new. Why use up the planet's resources and fill up landfills when you don't need to?
I think burnign patch thing is good for when you're caught in a torrential rain with a puncture and there ain't no way back home because you've used up your only spare tube and you're all wet and the leaves are wet and there ain't a dry thang around to wipe the bloody rain off the inner tube and you're thinking oh **** oh **** I'm gonna have to sleep out here in the rain and the mosquitoes are gonna murder me.
of course, you'd need dry matches or a lighter to light the darn thing