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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Source: Google News
Man 'kidnaps' a woman's cigarette lighter and sends her hilarious HOSTAGE photosDaily Mail, February 9th
He then sent a note that the 'first demand' would be sent soon and for her not to call the 'Zippo police'. But soon the lighter was strapped to some cardboard and appeared to be shot, after which it was strapped to the plate inside his microwave. And...Read more
The man with the golden punsChortle, February 9th
The comic, from West Bromwich, took the title at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival last night, where he performed under the nickname 'General Punochet'. The festival invited eight comedians to battle it out over three rounds for the title in an event...Read more
RTS for Feb. 8, 2016Bradford Era, February 8th
A Zippo hand warmer was among five items featured in a brief item titled “The best of… winter comfort.” “The Week” had this to say about the device: ... Just soak the internal cotton padding with lighter fluid and ignite. The catalytic burner emits...Read more
Here Is Today's French Fiscal Horsepower History LessonMother Jones, February 6th
No one is going to care about this post. Too bad. I feel like writing, and on a weekend you take what you can get. Anyway, I was musing the other day about the fact that I've always owned foreign cars. Partly this is just chance, partly the fact that I...Read more
BushCraft: How to Start a Fire with Flint and SteelCANOE & KAYAK, February 4th
Then there are lighters. The opening, lighting and closing snick of a Zippo is permanently burned in our collective auditory memory, and I would use mine more if I could just keep it out of the washer. BIC lighters (3 for $4.95 at the checkout of any...Read more
'Round the Square for WednesdayBradford Era, February 3rd
LOOKING BACK: We have a Zippo sighting of our own to report — or maybe a piece of Zippo history? Looking back at this day in 2012, The Era's front page had a welcome sight, a headline reading “Zippo posts best January in its history.” ... As you may...Read more
Zippo that survived Vietnam is stolendailytelegraph.com.au, February 1st
overseas because his father had carried it during his two-year service with the army during the Vietnam War in 1969-1970. Mr Joiner's father had the Zippo lighter engraved with the words: “When I die, I will go to Heaven because I've spent my time...Read more
A Look At QuitBit, The Anti-Smoking Smart Cigarette LighterTech Times, January 10th
The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign launched halfway through 2014, the smart cigarette lighter started shipping to backers at the end of last year. The QuitBit is actually pretty sharp looking, so far as cigarette lighters go. It's got a...Read more