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.
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Need to do some shopping? Try the Kilgore catalogMuskogee Daily Phoenix, November 26th
Ranging in price from $19.95 to $39.95, Zippo Hand Warmers provide 12 hours of gentle, consistent, odorless heat in a solidly constructed compact metal unit. And they run on easy to find Zippo Premium Lighter Fluid. When it's cold in the deer stand...Read more
Jesus Junk: 10 of the weirdest messiah-inspired products on the marketChristianToday, November 26th
Not content with being the Light of the World, he's now also the lighter! Eternally cool cigarette-lighter manufacturer Zippo have taken a foray into the lucrative Christian market with this fish-branded offering, which enables the owner to start...Read more
The Aston Martin Vantage GT Is About Far More Than NumbersRoadandTrack.com, November 26th
Squat into the low, heavily bolstered seats, push in the Zippo lighter shaped key, and the racy V-8 barks to life. It sounds equal parts symphony and Metallica—complex and sonorous, yet menacing and raspy. At the test track, the chassis wasn't quite...Read more
In Las Vegas, a trio of places to celebrate Frank Sinatra's centennial -- his wayLos Angeles Times, November 25th
Frank Sinatra sang about New York (“I want to be a part of it”) and Chicago (“My kind of town”), but he'll also be remembered fondly in Las Vegas on what would have been his 100th birthday. Sinatra, born Dec. 12, 1915 in Hoboken, N.J., was a fixture in...Read more
A few new gift ideas for sports fans and outdoor sports enthusiastsWilkes Barre Times-Leader, November 24th
Zippo makes hand warmers that produce consistent heat for 12 hours and work on the same lighter fluid that fuels your trusty Zippo lighter. Available at www.zippo.com, they start around $20, come in a variety of styles including camouflage print, and...Read more
You can eat where Sinatra did — on his birthdayLas Vegas Review-Journal, November 24th
Those who purchase the $100 package also will get a Zippo lighter that commemorates both the restaurant and the birthday and a ticket to The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. They can even sit in Sinatra's ...Read more
Box Sets From Bruce, Bob, Aretha and More for the HolidaysNew York Times, November 24th
The collectors' edition, which is cleverly packaged in an individually numbered velvet-lined silver metal box set replicating a Zippo lighter and comes with two prints and a turntable slip mat, clocks in at $650. The more economical regular edition...Read more
Zippo Announces Discontinuation of Branded Butane LightersThe Cigar Authority, November 5th
Earlier in 2015, Zippo Manufacturing Company sold the trademark rights and usage of the Zippo “BLU” brand to Lorillard Tobacco Company. Since then Zippo has continued to manufacturer and sell the lighter as, the Zippo Butane Pocket Lighter. According...Read more