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 1930s Coca Cola Lighter Mib Nos Windy Girl Crackle Box Mint OriginalVintage Zippo Lighter Nib 2001 Early * Copper *-flat Bottom~mega Rare~new In BoxVintage 1936-1937 Zippo Lighter LotVtg 1969 Zippo Lighter Uss Bon Homme Richard Cva-31 Usn Navy Ship Vietnam WarVtg 1978 Zippo Lighter Bmw Motorcycle Luftmeister Fairings Unfired Unused W/box!Vintage 1947 Zippo Original Windproof Lighter, Never Used, * Mint In Box*D Vtg 1930's Zippo Lighter 4 Barrel Internal Hinge Flat Bottom W/patent # 1950s Zippo Lighter Mint Engine Turned Gold Fill 10k In Gold Clam Shell Gift BoxPearl Jam Eddie Vedder White Uke Tour Zippo Lighter. New! Rare! Hat!Vintage 1950s Tiffany & Co Sterling Ladies Cigarette Lighter W Zippo InsZippo Sonderedition Rocky Mountain!!! Neu!!! RaritVtg 1962 Zippo Lighter Pacific Power Utilities Co. Wyoming Reddy Kilowatt Ex!Vtg Wwii 1942-46 Zippo Lighter W/3 Barrel Hinge Canned Bottom W/insert #2032695Vintage 1950's Etched Italian Sterling Silver Zippo Lighter Case Art Nouveau NrVitrine Aus Zippo, Benzin, Sturmfeuerzeug - SammlungWwii Zippo Lighter Black Crackle 3 Barrel 14 Hole Unused Skelly Sheetz EstateZippo Sammlung GroVtg 1950's Sterling Silver Slim Zippo Lighter Hand Italian Etched Art Deco NrZippo-vintage Zippo-4 Barrel-1938-1941-frasse Mechanical Steels Engraved!!!!!!!!Old Vtg Lighter Lot Zippo Ronson Evans Flat Ad Figurals Tin Orig Box 100+extraLot Of 14 Lighters 1990's Zippo, Joe Camel, Sturgis, Plus One Vintage TeecoZippo Copper Lighters Refillable Vntg Collectible C 03 Classic Tobacciana SexyVintage Us Navy Merit Zippo Lighter Solid Brass 1932 To 1985Vtg 1950's Zippo Table "barcroft" Lighter Mid Century Modern Eames Era #1Bob Marley & The Wailers - "catch A Fire" Uk Zippo Cover - Ilps 9241Vtg 1973 Zippo Lighter United States Sixth 6th Fleet Usn Navy Ship Vietnam WarVtg 1953 Zippo Lighter Uss Franklin D. Roosevelt Cv-42 Navy Ship Korean War EraVtg 1995 "american Frontier" Zippo Lighter 1935 Indian Heak Nickel Unused W/box!Vintage Rare 1977 Zippo Salesman Sample Advertising Burger Chef UnfiredWorld War 2 Era Sterling Silver Case Zippo Lighter 2032695 Insert Italian SilverOriginal Vietnam Zippo Uss Richard S Edwards Dd-950 1967-1968 Made In 1967Vtg 1963 Uss Kitty Hawk Ship Presidential President John Kennedy Zippo LighterVtg 1950's Uss United States Steel Co. Zippo Table Barcroft Lighter AdvertisingNib Rare Super Collectible ZippoNib Rare 2 Side 1937 Replica ZippoVtg 1981 Zippo Lighter Uss Koelsch Ff-1049 Navy Ship Usn Unfired Unused W/box!Vtg '55 Zippo Lighter 525th Fighter Squadron 86th Bomber Group Korean Wwii PilotVtg 1971 Zippo Lighter Uss Okinawa Recovery Ship For Apollo 15 Rocket Nasa Mint!Zippo-vintage Zippo-ww2-black Crackle-3 Barrel Hinge-1943!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1932-1982 Commemorative Zippo Lighter - Brass - W/box & Paperwork - Cut CornerVintage Lot 100pc.+ Tobacco Cigarette Lighters + Zippo Matches Park Fumalux +*nrVtg 1950's Zippo Table "barcroft" Lighter Mid Century Modern Eames Era #2Eddie Vedder Lighter Knievel 2008 April Fools Tour ZippoVtg 1962 Zippo Lighter Beechcraft Bonanza Airplane Aircraft Advertisement Orig!Zippo Limited Edition Templer Vol. 1 - Top SammlerstAwesome Zippo Golden Stocking Girl - Sexy Limited Special Edition Brass ZippoVintage Zippo Lighter - Sterling Silver - Liberty Or Death *no Reserve*Vtg 1959 Zippo Lighter Cummins Diesel Engines Trucks Tractors Advertising W/box!Vintage 1953 Zippo Lighter Oldsmobile 88 98 Rocket Culver City Not UsedNib Super Rare Collectible ZippoVtg 1963 Zippo Lighter Fitzgerald Automotive Gaskets Advertising Hot Rod W/box!Vintage 1992 Zippo Lighter Marlboro Brass Longhorn Steer Bull Star Original WorkNib Number 59/100 ZippoA Mint Afl-cio Zippo From 1958.Vtg 1960's Zippo Table "corinthian" Lighter Blue Enamel & Chrome Mid CenturyZippo Lighter 14 Hole With 3 Barrel Sterling Case1932 Zippo Lighter Replica - Second Release - Camel Cigarettes - W/box Vtg 1947-48 Zippo Lighter Desoto Plymouth Brighton Motors Venice Ca. DealershipVtg 1950's Zippo 10k Gold Filled Lighter Stripe Pattern W/insert Cms Initials1970 Vintage Zippo Salesman Sample Lighter Holiday Inn Advertising L@@k Nr Rare

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Apple iPad Air 2 in 24K gold looks as gaudy as expected
GSMArena.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 charger
The 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 Wednesday
Bradford 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 Museum
Bradford 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 life
KSN-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 ceremonies
Bradford 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 car
The 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 Murthy
Economic 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