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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Recent News: Zippo Lighters
Source: Google News
Rod, Gun & Game: Lake Erie walleye study in progressSpringvillejournal, December 20th
Found these Zippo hand warmers that provide about 10-12 hours of gentle, consistent, odorless heat, which was longer than the disposable warmers, and they're refillable with simple lighter fluid so they don't end up in landfills. This hand warmer is...Read more
'Round the Square for FridayBradford Era, December 19th
19, 1949, and included tidbits like a story about a Zippo lighter found by a restaurant operator in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a round-up of local Christmas doings and a happy anniversary wish for the police chief of the time. This explanation of the...Read more
Daytime Winter Survival GuideWFLA, December 19th
Zippo, the brand made famous by their iconic Windproof Lighter, also offers a diverse line of products designed to enhance the outdoor experience. Zippo Hand Warmers are available at Zippo.com and select retailers, starting at $19.95. The Crystal...Read more
How To Smoke A Cigar Without Looking Like A Total AmateurBusiness Insider, December 18th
Wooden matches are desirable. butane lighters work, but Zippos do not. Herklots warns that you DO NOT, under any circumstances, want to introduce foreign substances into your cigar. This will greatly affect the taste and your bosses will look at you...Read more
Last-Chance Gifts For The Discerning Guy In Your LifeGothamist, December 16th
Zippo Hand Warmer, $16.71 (sale). The Zippo Hand ... ice skating, you name it. The Hand Warmer features a compact design that fits easily into pockets, gloves and pants without extra bulk, plus its lighter fluid-fueled heat lasts for up to 12 roasty...Read more
BRIEF: Giveaway: For the guys, gifts from ZippoThe State, December 10th
Today we have some manly gifts courtesy of Zippo. First up, a refillable Zippo Windproof Lighter --- this one a particularly awesome gift if you have a U.S. Marine on your shopping list. The lighter sports a full-face emblem that says "oorah!" and...Read more
Giveaway: For the guys, gifts from ZippoNews & Observer, December 10th
Today we have some manly gifts courtesy of Zippo. First up, a refillable Zippo Windproof Lighter – this one a particularly awesome gift if you have a U.S. Marine on your shopping list. The lighter sports a full-face emblem that says “oorah!” and “First...Read more
Zippo Through The YearsABC News, July 4th
Since the Zippo lighter's first prototype in the 1930s, Zippo's success has been closely tied with American history. The company manufactures all lighters in Bradford, Pennsylvania. The image of The Statue of Liberty is the most reproduced image that...Read more