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”)
Kensitas Silk Flowers
Truth in Advertising
Clubs & Associations
- North American Society of Pipe Collectors
- The Cigarette Pack Collectors' Association
- On The Lighter Side
- The Cigarette Packet Collectors Club of Great Britain
- The Rathkamp Matchcover Society
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Zippo Lighters
Source: Google News
Gifts For Boyfriends: 20 Stocking Stuffers Ideas For MenHuffington Post Canada, December 6th
The Personalized Smoker. <a href="http://www.thingsengraved.ca/Product/jack-daniels-logo-zippo-lighter/015969-2-115" target="_blank">Jack Daniels Logo Zippo Lighter, Things Engraved, $35</a> ...Read more
Zippo Introduces Outdoor Lifestyle Line to Accompany LightersJaunted, December 3rd
Last week, we were warmed when we read a few of the inscriptions found on the sides of a collection of 282 Zippo lighters that belonged to soldiers of the Vietnam War. They were recently sold at auction for about $35,000, making headlines and prompting ...Read more
Couple's fraud over Doctor Who Zippo lightersDaily Post North Wales, December 3rd
A married couple have received suspended sentences for selling Zippo lighters with licensed logos on. James Humphreys and his wife Paula Ellis were both also ordered to carry out unpaid work by Caernarfon Crown Court on December 2. The couple, from ...Read more
South Range home invasions investigatedDaily Mining Gazette, December 2nd
In the late October incident, thieves reportedly escaped with a small blue fireproof safe containing about $3,500 cash, as well as four silver Zippo lighters in a box set and a silver wolf bracelet with a single diamond. They also took blank checks...Read more
Zippo lighters from the Vietnam WarNew York Daily News, November 29th
A lot of 282 hand-carved Zippo lighters was recently auctioned off by Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati for $35,250. The lighters were collected by artist Bradford Edwards, who compiled them in a book called "Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers' Engravings...Read more
Wearing their hearts on their Zippos: The lighters engraved with the musings ...Daily Mail, November 29th
Some of the messages are amusing slogans but most are filled with a lonely despair only felt by a soldier experiencing the bloody horrors of war. These rather personal epigrams were engraved on to the side of the Zippo lighters of US soldiers, sailors...Read more
Rohit Bal collaborates with Zippo to design a lighterJagran Post, November 12th
The collection reflects Zippo's youthful and energetic values whilst combining them with Rohit Bal's chic and fashionable style to create the ultimate lifetime fashion accessory, feels David B Warfel, director, global marketing, Zippo Manufacturing...Read more
Rohit Bal launches Zippo lighter with India designNewstrack India, November 12th
Noted fashion designer Rohit Bal has unveiled a unique new collection of an iconic windproof lighter which will be available in limited edition but adorned with the signature lotus motifs in black and white. The Zippo, the iconic lifestyle brand...Read more