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    

Zippo Lighters 12.oz Can Fuel Fluid And 1 Flint & 1 Wick Value Pack Combo Vintage C.1942-45 Black Crackle Zippo Lighter..near Mint In Exc.cond.red Box.. Antique Sterling Silver Carved Zippo Lighter Case Made In Italy Vintage Lot Of 20 Zippo Advertising Lighters Amoco Pennzoil & More Pat 2517191Large 800 Silver Vintage Floral Pattern Zippo Element LighterHuge Collection Of Vintage Lighters Lot Of 46 - Barlow Zippo Ronson NimrodRare Zippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Coca Cola High Polish Chrome 2002 NewRare Zippo Lighter 1941 Replica "zippo Famous Guarantee" Silver/gold 2005 NewHuge Collection Of Only Zippo Lighters Lot Of 32 Marlboro Blu AdvertisingUss New Jersey Lebanon Zippo Camel Zippo Lighter Sureshot 22k Gold Plated Apa Pool Player New With Label1947 Zippo Lighter With Original Box International Harvester Logo Disney Rare Vintage Style Pie Eyed Mickey Mouse Authentic Zippo Souvenir LighterLucky Strike Japan 2005 Original Zippo Collection Series SetThe Wailers Catch A Fire Og Uk Pink Rim Island Records Lp Zippo Sleeve 3u / 4uOriginal Vintage 1982 Zippo Brass 50th Anniversary Cigarette Lighter €Vintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1957 "roger-meyers"57 Cadillac Ambulance~neww Box1980 Nikon Camera Nasa Space Shuttle Choice Of Professionals Zippo Lighter Mint Lot 2 Vintage Zippo Lighter 1 With Box U.s.s. Stonewall Jackson Ssbn 643Zippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Batman High Polish Chrome 2013 NewRare Limited Edition Sands Of Normandy 60th Anniversary D-day Zippo - Free Shpn!Harley Davidson 105th Anniversary Zippo Lighter New In Box. Z-24398Vintage 1950's 10k Gold Filled Zippo Advertising Lighter W/ Orig Insert 2517191Vintage Post Wwii Zippo Lighter Case Germany Us Zone 1950'sNew Super Rare ZippoMarlboro Solid Brass Bull And Star Zippo LighterNice Hms Nelson Badge Crest Rn Royal Navy Zippo Lighter 1960s Or 1970s MilitaryVintage Zippo Advertising Lighter Carlings36-37? Zippo Cigarette Lighter-4 Barrel, 14 Hole-usedVintage 1971 Marlboro Zippo Brass With Original Box Never UsedNew Numbered 63/100 Zippo1969 Moonlanding Apollo 11 High Polish Chrome Zippo Lighter New In BoxVintage Rare Zippo~ Table Lighter Nib 1950's " Warner & Swasey " Heavy EquipmentVtg Zippo 10k Gf Gold Filled 30 Year Service Award For Heublein 1960'sJack Daniels Zippo Antique Silver PlatedZippo Marlboro Brass Cowboy Lighter 2003Parappa The Rapper Limited Edition Chop Master Onion Zippo Lighter Box Set * PsZippo Lighter 1982 Anniversary Uss Peleliu In BoxNew Rare ZippoEarly 1950's Zippo Lighter 2032695 Box Included International HarvesterRare 1994 Five Zippo Four Schrade D Day Collectors Set Oak Display Case Must Vintage Zippo Lighter 1962 " Reddy Kilowatt " W/box,niceNew Super Rare Vintage Zippo1986 Brass Zippo Marlboro Cowboy New Copper Zippo Lighter D 03 UsaUnfired 1975 Uss Shenandoah Ship Ad 26 Military Zippo Lighter In BoxVintage 1966 Zippo Advertising Lighter 'amoco' Gas / Oil Orig Insert Pat 2517191Zippo Lighter.corniche Pol Lapeye (a Military School,st Cyr)solid Brass.e.w.condSet Of 4 Brass Harley Davidson Zippo Lighters Gift Set #161 Hd161Viintage ** 1976 Zippo New ** Salem Tool 75th Anniversary U.s.a. BicentennialVintage 1969 Zippo Lighter Rare Georgia Bulldogs Uga Rare 1977 Zippo Usarp Palmer Station Antarctica Research Program- Unused- In BoxJack Daniels Zippo All Goods Worth PriceCopper Zippo Lighter Never Used Bradford Pa Usa Made2001 Barrett Smythe Seat Belt Trick Lighter Witg Mg Car Ad Zippo Brass Lighter1976 Little Persuader Sales Sample Zippo Lighter Mint In Small Box Vintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1949 " Bf Goodrich "un-lit~auto Tires~new In Box1980s Rare Zippo Butane Model Chrome Contempo Mint In Original Box.Vtg 1946 Zippo Lighter St. Croix Virgin Islands Advertisement 3 Barrel Hinge Ex!Vintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1950's Box Only ~100% Mint ! ~red Stripped & Papers

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Matthew Coley, marimbas – Cicularity [TrackList follows] – self
Audiophile Audition, October 21st

Metamorposis, by Brett William Dietz, is a six-movement work with the titles: zippo lighter, walking bass, feldman's last memory, tomb, bells… and contagion. The pieces are intended by the composer to be performed separately or in any order. All the...Read more

Colin Firth's Kingsman is a superspy story built on the 007 tradition of ...
MetroNews Canada, October 21st

Firth and his fellow agents — Michael Caine and Mark Strong — have umbrellas that deflect bullets and Zippo lighter hand grenades among other thingamajigs that no spy should leave home without. Ever since 007 was kitted out with an attaché briefcase ...Read more

History Day at Kiersted House
Saugerties Times, October 21st

dressed in period garb, showed his collection of antique household items and implements, including quill pens and inkpots, home decorations and – to the fascination of at least one young visitor – a fire lighter that could have been a precursor to...Read more

The Old Flame That James Bond and Don Draper Have in Common
Adweek, October 19th

The Zippo lighter, stupid. Specifically, the Zippo regular windproof lighter, patent number 2032695. There are lots of ways to light a cig—uh, sorry, we mean a campfire—but only one of them dispenses a heady cloud of American cool along with that...Read more

Men and Women Still Prefer a Male Boss: It's Still 1953 According to Poll
MainStreet, October 15th

Then, task completed, he would light a Lucky Strike cigarette with his Zippo lighter and enjoy a smoke break at his desk. And yes, the boss was likely a man. Tastes and technology have certainly changed since then, but how much has the workplace really ...Read more

SOTO Outdoors PT-14SB Pocket Torch
halfwheel.com, October 13th

Every cigar smoker knows that there are a number of ways you can light your cigar, some traditional and recommended, such as butane lighters, wood matches and cedar spills, and a number that aren't, such as Zippo lighters, candles, barbecues and so on...Read more

Did you hear?
Waynesboro Record Herald, October 3rd

24, when they found a Zippo lighter (from around 1960). “When I cleaned it off, on the front was Glideline Corp. of Waynesboro, Pa.,” Joe said. “I cleaned the back on Thursday and the name Buck Sheldon was engraved on the back. My first thought was...Read more

Building An Authentic Brand That People Believe In
MediaPost Communications, October 2nd

Zippo embraces their values throughout the company. Their personality reflects the nature of the brand at its very core. A Zippo lighter is considered an extension of one's personality, a reflection of their character down to the color and design of...Read more