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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Recent News: Zippo Lighters
Source: Google News
Apple iPad Air 2 in 24K gold looks as gaudy as expectedGSMArena.com (blog), November 20th
Karalux will reward customers who pick up one of their creations by the end of the month with a gold-plated tie pin or a Zippo lighter with the same finish. Customers with money to burn can also order iPad mini 3 with 24K gold finish. Earlier this...Read more
This belt and buckle are actually a phone chargerThe Verge, November 18th
Last year, an inventor named Avi Gailor tried to get a version of this out that put everything in a removable, Zippo lighter-like belt buckle, however that project failed to meet its funding goals on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. There's also the Volt...Read more
'Round the Square for WednesdayBradford Era, November 12th
“Not Lost for Long” by David Gotham of Rochester, N.Y., tells how he lost his Zippo lighter — a keepsake he purchased in Vietnam while serving in the Marine Corps in 1968 — in an unfortunate place and thought it was lost forever. Details of his...Read more
American made: War heroes join in ceremony at Zippo/Case MuseumBradford Era, November 12th
Greg Booth, chief executive officer of Zippo and Case, hands a “Defenders of Freedom” Zippo lighter to Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Davis, foreground, during a ceremony at the Zippo/Case Museum Tuesday. He presented a similar lighter to Medal of ...Read more
WWII veteran shares the story of how a lighter saved his lifeKSN-TV, November 9th
As the gunfire rang out, one bullet ricocheted through the ship, hitting Helm. “Suddenly I felt something hit my chest and I reached in to feel how much blood there was and I felt the lighter.” The bullet lodged halfway through the Zippo lighter in his...Read more
Medal of Honor recipients to join Bradford Veterans Day ceremoniesBradford Era, November 6th
Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Sammy Davis and Harold Fritz will take part in Bradford's annual ceremony in Veterans Square at 11 a.m. And that afternoon, the two will install the prototype of a commemorative Medal of Honor Zippo lighter and ...Read more
Zippo fires up Bradford: Not far by carThe Patriot-News - PennLive.com, October 29th
Two years ago, the 500 millionth Zippo lighter rolled off the production line. And although the iconic lighters are sold in 160 countries, every one of them was made in Bradford, Pennsylvania, where Zippo began 82 years ago. zippo-IMG_3855.jpg View...Read more
How Zippos became a passion for Pepperfry's Ambareesh MurthyEconomic Times, October 23rd
On a sunny afternoon, Ambareesh Murthy is sitting next to a neat line of Zippos on a wooden chest in his Mumbai office. Although he started smoking early on, Murthy's interest in Zippo lighters was ignited a decade ago when a close friend gifted him a...Read more