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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Sent with honor, received back with disdainDaily Journal Online, September 3rd
In the meantime he sat in a bar enjoying a few beers. He recalls that he had a Zippo cigarette lighter that he carried. “On that lighter was a map of Vietnam and a couple of places that I had been,” said Barton. “I was drinking beer and after about my...Read more
Best Linguistic Jokes of the 2015 FringeChronicle of Higher Education (subscription) (blog), September 1st
What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter. (Masai Graham). A major linguistic staple of the humor business is the pun. This one plays on the everyday meaning of a word that also has a...Read more
Remember When Black Lips Almost Blew Up the 40 Watt?Flagpole Magazine, September 1st
That first performance, a now-legendary shitshow of shambolic madness complete with amateur pyrotechnics (aka firecrackers, lighter fluid and a Zippo) and a backstage admonishment preserved forever on the opening track of the band's first LP, was...Read more
Cops: East Bridgewater man arrested after struggling with Weymouth officers ...Wicked Local East Bridgewater, September 1st
Inside the backpack, police found bottles of alcohol, a Zippo lighter, an iPhone charger, a can of soda and two bags of chips that the homeowners said had been stolen from their home, according to police. Officers also found a cooler in a wooded area...Read more
Oculus Touch Hands-On Review: New Controller For Rift Puts Oculus VR Ahead of ...iDigitalTimes.com, August 29th
You can pick up a virtual zippo lighter with the controller and flick it open with ease. The Oculus Touch demo also allowed you to test your aim with a carnival-style shooting game. There were targets you had to hit where you physically had to aim your...Read more
Frank Sinatra, voice of the 20th CenturyVillages-News (registration), August 29th
Frank Sinatra was the most famous popular singer in the world from the 1940s on, with every performance accompanied by screaming and swooning teenagers. His countless friends included presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, members of ...Read more
Pennsylvania lighter maker to pay $186K for violationsWPXI Pittsburgh, August 27th
Zippo, the Pennsylvania maker of iconic cigarette lighters best known for their distinctive metal cases, has agreed to pay $186,000 to settle allegations it violated federal hazardous waste laws. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said this week...Read more
Zippo Kick-Starts “The Real Man” CampaignFinancial Express, August 26th
Spanning across three phases, the campaign aims to establish Zippo's characteristics as moving beyond iconic lighters. The campaign integrates the belief that having a story makes a man unique; having a Zippo lighter makes him a man. Starting with a ...Read more