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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Have you heard the one about the hippo?Bangkok Post, August 29th
Then there was: “What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter.” Sorry about that, but they were the winners, even if they all sound like the jokes you get in cheap Christmas crackers. Maybe it's...Read more
What I Learned About Leadership Working the Graveyard ShiftPulse, August 29th
He had a big belly and his eyes were often bloodshot. He smoked two to three packs of Lucky Strikes a day, and he lit them with a worn Zippo lighter that he used to light his cigarettes as a grunt in Vietnam. Vic swore in a way that was magical and...Read more
Local woman jailed on drug-related chargesLogan Daily News, August 28th
Lutz reportedly gave SIU members permission to search her home where they allegedly found two trash bags on the front porch along with a one-pot reaction vessel, two cans of Zippo lighter fluid, coffee filters, an empty pack of lithium batteries...Read more
What To Do: Enjoy an old fashioned circusThe Unionville Times, August 28th
The original vinyl release was encased in a sleeve depicting a Zippo lighter. The sleeve functioned like a real Zippo lighter case, opening at a side hinge to reveal the record within. “Catch a Fire,” which is Jamaican patois for “catching on fire...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
Master the art and science of the brand stretchPackaging World, August 27th
Since 1933, Zippo has sold more than 500 million lighters across the globe. According to the company, “98 out of every 100 people surveyed have knowledge of the Zippo name and lighter without being coached in any manner.” Is this level of global brand ...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
Hippos, custard and tapas: the 10 funniest jokes of the Edinburgh fringeThe Guardian, August 24th
Masai Graham: What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter. 5. Dave Green: If I could take just one thing to a desert island, I probably wouldn't go. 6. Mark Nelson: Jesus fed 5,000 people with...Read more