The Zippo Manufacturing Company was founded by George Blaisdell in Bradford, PA, in 1932. That same year he created the first Zippo lighter, in an attempt to make cigarette lighters easier to use. He moved the chimney, added a sturdy hinged metal case, and offered the world an affordable $1.95 price tag. Zippos soon became very popular.

Zippos originally had the hinge on the outside, but shortly after they moved it to the inside of the case. These early models are very rare today.

Zippos were standard issue during WWII, as their sturdy windproof construction made them ideal for soldiers. But these wartime Zippos are hard to find, as many were left behind or lost. Many of the lighters made for soldiers were covered in a 'black crackle' finish that soldiers could carve names and drawings into with knives or pins. This 'trench art' can increase the value of a Zippo lighter significantly.

Zippo became an aesthetic icon, and by the 1950s was making custom-decorated lighters for different companies, clubs, and teams to be used as advertising or gifts. Businesses gave monogrammed lighters to their employees for celebrations of service or retirements. Introduced in 1956, the Zippo Slim added a thinner, sleeker lighter to the company’s lineup. Today, Zippos can be found with any number of designs, ranging from sports team logos to tattoo-style art.

In addition to the wide variety available, Zippos are popular among collectors because each lighter since 1955 has been stamped with a date code, and for pre-1955 lighters, the year can be identified by a number of features of the stamping.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Match World

Match World

This ambitious site showcases the 20,000-item Rankei Library matchbook collection, owned by the Japan Match Manufac… [read review or visit site]

Kensitas Silk Flowers

Kensitas Silk Flowers

Don Wearmouth and his wife showcase the 230 beautiful silk designs that were distributed free with Kensitas cigaret… [read review or visit site]

Matchbox Labels

Matchbox Labels

Jane McDevitt's huge Flickr photoset of matchbox labels, primarily Eastern European, from the 1950s and 60s. These … [read review or visit site]

Truth in Advertising

Truth in Advertising

This gallery of cigarette magazine advertising from the 1940s and 50s contains no surgeon general's warning, just p… [read review or visit site]

Matchbook Museum

Matchbook Museum

James Lileks' gallery of 400 matchbooks from coffee shops, hotels, motels, bars, banks, restaurants and more. Lilek… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Zippo Lighter Marlboro C Russell Cowboy Sterling Silver With BoxVintage Rare 1953 Zippo Brown Alligator Leather Wrap Lighter In Original Box NrZippo 14k Solid Gold Lighter, Vintage Limited Edition SeriesOld Zippo Lighter Display Lossproof Sportsman Fishing Cardboard Advertising SignVintage 1940s Zippo Lighter Texaco Oils Gasoline 3 Barrel Hinge 2032695 PatentJ-1958 Li'l Abner's Daisy Mae/great Seal Of Us - Employees Special - Zippo Used Yuengling's Ice Cream Vintage Zippo Cigarette Lighter Pottsville Pennsylvania Zippo , Extremely Rare Project Copper , Z-series , Limited , Numb ,new In BoxO-5 Year Service Award Zippo Employee 10k Gold & Ruby Tie Tack New W/boxBreyer * Western Elegancetack Set * Fits Zippo, Etc Saddle & Bridle Model HorseVintage July 20th 1969 Zippo Lighter - Bradford - Moon Landing - ApolloJ-1950's Mallard Town & Country Zippo Lighter Used No BoxBreyer * Western Elegance Zippo Pine Bar * Paint Stallion Dun Pinto Model HorseZippo Cent Never Spent Z-series Solid Copper Lighter Mistake ErrorO-35 Year Service Award Zippo Employee 10k Gold,diamond,ruby Tie Tack New W/boxO-1981 Wonder Gal Set Of 2 - 1 Solid Brass & 1 Chrome Zippo Lighters New No BoxVintage 1958 Zippo Lighter 25th Anniversary 1932-57Lot Of 31 Vintage Cigarette Lighters, Zippo, Sterling Advertising Novelty OtherJ-1940's Employee Designed Rare 3 Barrel Hinge Zippo Lighter Used No BoxVintage 1980 Town & Country Zippo Lighter In Lossproof Sportsman's No. 275 BoxRare Marlboro Solid Brass Longhorn Zippo Lighter With Original BoxJ-1937 Antique Yale/ T S Mcc Brushed Chrome Zippo Lighter Rare Used No BoxOriginal 1930's Zippo, Double Slash 4 Barrel 2032695 1936, 14 Hole1946 Rare 3 Barrel Hinge Zippo Lighter Red Box & Orig Paperwork Engine Turned Vintage Zippo Lighter 1957 "kenmore Ranges~for Quota Buster In 56 "new~candy BoxVtg Rare Red Zippo The Original Windproof Lighter Empty Box W/instructions O-1970 Zippo With Gardner's Sof-twist Bread 3-d Very Cool, Colorful New No BoxVintage Wwii Zippo Black Crackle 3 Barrel Hinge 14 Hole Chimney Lighter 1942 BoxVtg Rare 1955 10k Gold Filled Zippo Roy Rogers Rr Yellow Jacket Boats Co LighterO-1991 Rare Sterling Silver History Of Zippo Presidents Lighter Used No Box1996 Zippo Lighter. Bosnia No. 2 Sfor W/applied Bulldog Emblem. New In Rare BoxEarly 1938 ~ 4 Barrel ~ Zippo Pat 203 Engraved W.e. Beatty Used Nr AmazingO-1983 Zippo Solid Brass Tarnished Light Wear From Handling Never Used No BoxJ-1950 Zippo Canada Woman Bowler Sports Chrome Lighter Rare Used No BoxZippo Lighter Marlboro Blend No. 27 Copper Pm Usa 2003 *smooth * Rich * Mellow*Rare Vintage Marlboro Cowboy On Horse Bottom Pic Brass Windproof Zippo LighterVintage Rare 1970 "rath" Advertising Zippo Lighter W/box Never Fired Or CarriedO-10k Gold & Diamond 10 Year Zippo Service Award Women's Lapel Pin New No BoxRare Sterling Silver Harley Davidson Zippo 100th Anniversary#609 Of 2003J-1953-57 Mobil Premier Award Brushed Chrome Zippo Lighter Used No BoxVintage Zippo Lighter 1940's 3 Barrel~ All Silver/nickel~including Insert~no BoxOriginal Zippo Crusader Edition - The Complete Edition - All 8 LightersVintage Zippo Lighter Walt Disney Donald Duck Advertising Nice Clean Graphics 1986 Zippo Lighter Marlboro Man On Horse Lightly Used In Box No ReserveVintage/antique Sterling Silver Siam Lighter Fits Zippo Insert Vintage Rare 1960 "bell System" Zippo Lighter With Box Lightly Used ConditionO-1978 Acapulco Gold Cannabis Co-op Brushed Chrome Zippo Lighter New No BoxVintage (1976) Zippo Lighter Featuring The C.b. Operator2 Zippo Lighters Harley Davidson Tank Fuel Surprise & Made In Usa In Orig Tin NrVery Rare Zippo Pat. 2032695 1941 Four 4 Barrel Brass Lighter With SlashesO-5 Year Service Award Zippo Employee 10k Gold & Ruby Bracelet New W/boxLot (7) Vintage Lighters Zippo Ronson Douglass LighterVintage Marlboro Blend 27 Zippo Brand Copper Lighter A-03 Nib Vintage 1959 Zippo Sportman's Lossproof Hunter & Dog Sports Series Lighter NoboxUs Military Vintage Zippo Lighter (3 Bbl Hinge)Genuine Marlboro Zippo Lighter In BrassVintage Zippo Lighter Bell Air Craft Corp. Bell Helicopters Fort Worth TexasVintage Zippo Lighter With Blue & White Stripe Box Unused Unfired Advertising 2-sided Error Stamp Vintage 1955 Zippo Lighter Caravan Truck Axles Trucking MibSuper Rare!! New Old Stock!! Vintage "zippo Lighter" 'hellenic Lines Ltd'..nr!!

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Liam Rudden: Miss Scarlet, with the dagger, in the library
Edinburgh Evening News, April 23rd

Others I've yet to track down include an absinthe spoon (although thanks to Twitter, I am now in the process of locating one) and an old, battered Zippo-style lighter. That shouldn't prove to hard to find. The biggest struggle is finding convincing...Read more

Zippo's personalised campaign taps into consumer desire "to be famous, even if ...
The Drum, April 22nd

American lighter brand Zippo has created a new brand ambassador Jax 'No Pain' McFlame to front its global integrated campaign #ShareThePain which taps into consumers' expected sense of loss when they lose their beloved Zippo. The campaign, created ...Read more

Special Zippo lighter being made for Derby Gala
Bradford Era, April 21st

Dave Dalton, a design specialist in the Design Center at Zippo Manufacturing Co., works on a one-of-a-kind lighter that will be auctioned off to benefit the Bradford Area Public Library. The bidding will culminate at the Derby Gala, which is slated for...Read more

Zippo Lost Stories: Frozen Fire
MensXP.com, April 20th

Pushing aside dozens of boxes of ice creams, he spotted his Zippo - frozen inside a solid cake of ice! Seeing his lost Zippo freezing in the ice, he chipped at the block to free the Zippo. To his amazement, the Zippo lighter flamed in the very first try!...Read more

Zippo is opening its first US locations in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Weekly, April 11th

In addition to its line of windproof lighters, Zippo stores will also feature the company's expanding line of products, including apparel, bags, fragrances and small leather goods. In addition, the stores will feature lighters exclusive to that location...Read more

Lost Lighter? Zippo Shares The Pain With New Microsite
MediaPost Communications, April 8th

For instance, losing a cigarette lighter isn't funny. Okay, maybe it is funny if you are one of the growing crowd of e-cigarette fans who aren't also survivalists. But the Zippo people say owners of the brand's iconic lighter are bummed when they lose...Read more

Zippo launches virtual support system for owners of lost lighters
Bradford Era, April 4th

In response to the thousands of messages received from forlorn owners of lost Zippo lighters, the eponymous maker of iconic windproof lighters has announced the launch of the website www.ShareThePain.com. Through this new online community, ...Read more

Zippo launches ad push to capture 'Old Spice' style 'irreverence'
Marketing Week, April 2nd

Lighter manufacturer Zippo is looking to capture the “irreverence and flair” of the Old Spice Guy marketing stunts with its own brand mascot, a move it hopes will keep it relevant with younger consumers worldwide...Read more