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    

Vintage 1934 Zippo Lighter 3 Barrel Outside Hinge Never Repaired All OriginalBob Marley & The Wailers - Catch A Fire Ilps 9241 1973 Zippo Uk Lp Sleeve OnlyVintage 1940s 1946 Zippo Lighter 3 Barrel 14 Hole Pat. 2032695 Zippo Mickey Mouse Pillbox - Very Rare Walt Disney Ultralite - Wow! Great Paint!Vintage 1940's Zippo 3 Barrel Hinge Lighter Orig Nickel Insert Pat 2032695Zippo Disney Mickey Mouse Lighter Mint In Box W/mellon Bank Lighter Lot Of 2Zippo 1935 Pre-patent 16 Hole Chimney 3 Hinge LighterVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1946 3 Barrel "international Harvester" In BoxVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 2003~sterling Silver Plate~antique Artwork~w BoxRare 1950's Zippo Windproof Lighter Advertising Dumont Television Dealer In BoxVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1940's Nickel Silver Case~14 Hole~3 Barrel~mintno BoxExtremely Rare Complete James Bond 007 Zippo Set With Store Display All UnusedLot Of 20 Knives - My Personal Collection 5.11 Browning Zippo Lansky & More! NewVintage Copper Zippo Marlboro Blend #27 Cigarette New Old Stock Never UsedLot Of 4 Vintage Zippo Lighters1995 Le Zippo Lighter Mysteries Of The Forest Jaguar & Cub At Turtle Falls NewNasa Zippo Lighter In Chrome Silver. Modern (1970-now) Space Is The PlaceZippo Camel Lighter Original Tin Case / Sleeve Mint Condition W/ Leather Pouch !Zippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Mythical Chinese Dragon 2003 Unused & BoxedVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1949 " Forbes Steel "cartoon Man Logo~new In Gray Box1943-45 Zippo Wartime Black Crackle Lighter ~ 14 Hole Patent 20326951941 Zippo Lighter ~ Bell Air CraftOriginal 1940s Zippo Advertising Cigarette Lighter & Box Patent 2032695Vintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1958 " C F & I Steel " New In Mint Stripped BoxNib Super Rare Zippo1954 Vintage Plain Zippo Lighter - Mint With BoxVintage 1969 Zippo Adv Cigarette Lighter: John Deere Dealer Sandusky MichiganLot 2 Vintage Zippo Lighter 1 With Box U.s.s. Stonewall Jackson Ssbn 643Vintage 1962 Collectible Reddy Kilowatt Zippo Lighter Good Paint Original Insert2003 ~ Phantasma - Hand Finsihed Solid Copper ~ Zippo Lighter ~mint - StickerVtg Atq Sterling Silver Western Engraved Case And Zippo Lighter Insert A Bundle Of Vintage And Recent Zippo Cigarette Lighters- Lot Of 191946 Zippo 3-barrel Lighter With Kl On Front & Owner's Name On Back & Red Box Zippo Lighter Unused 1939 - 1941 14 Hole 4 Barrel Rounded Corners Yale AdvNew 1950s 10k Gold Filled Phillips 66 Zippo Lighter In Box W/ Manual & PouchVintage Zippo Monogrammed Cigarette Lighter Leather Wrapped Custom Old 1950sZippo Lighter 1958 American Legion 40/8 Nm - Blue & White Candy Striped Box Rare9pc Lot Vintage Zippo Lighters - Advertising *no Reserve*New Super Rare 2 Sided ZippoJuly 20, 1969 ...moon Landing In Box...never FiredVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1960 " General Tire " 10kt Filled~new In Clam BoxVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1960~red Felt~"air Ag Inc"bulldozer Airplane WboxVintage Zippo Lighter 2004 Nib~ Japanese Dragon ~gold Inlay~mega Rare~new In BoxVintage 1966 Zippo - Unfired In Box - Vought Systems A-7d -usaf Corsair Aircraft1949 Uss Missouri 3-barrel Zippo Lighter, 2032695 KoreaZippo Lighter (the Original Windproof) In BoxVintage Apollo 13 Zippo Lighter.Vintage Zippo Lighter 1960 " Schlitz " Mint Unfired W/box & Papers1932-1989 94 95 Brass Zippo Lighter Lot Marlboro Bucking Bronco Select Trading Uss Kearsarge Cvs 33 Zippo Lighter Mint/box & Original GuaranteeZippo Lighter: Lot Of Beer (budweiser, Red Dog, O'doul's) & JdZippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Marlboro High Polish Brass 1997 NewZippo Lighter 1963 United States Hellenikon Air Force Base Athens Greece Nmib!New Super Rare 2 Sided Zippo12pc Dealer Lot Vintage Zippo Lighters - Various *no Reserve*Vintage 1950's Zippo Advertiser Tom Sawyer Meats Pat. 2032695 Very Nice GraphicZippo U.s.s. Davis Dd 937 Double Sided Mint In Box Barcroft Lighter!!!2014 Case Xx Hobo Knife/ Zippo Lighter Set New In BoxNib Super Rare Zippo1948-49 Zippo Hp Lighter ~ Patent 2032695

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Hellblazing Judgment: Constantine (TV Show) Pilot Review, October 30th

and instead of telling them to Fuck off (as Constantine might have) they decided to work around it. This is something you can clearly tell as well, because even though he is not smoking he spends a lot of screen time flicking a zippo lighter, opening...Read more

Nine Famous People and What They're Buried With
Smithsonian, October 29th

The “My Way” singer was buried his way, with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey, a pack of Camel cigarettes, a Zippo lighter, and a dollar's worth of dimes, according to contemporary news accounts. The dimes were reportedly in case he needed to use a...Read more

Zippo fires up Bradford: Not far by car
The Patriot-News -, 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

Get a BACtrack Vio keychain breathalyzer for $39.99
CNET, October 29th

BACtrack's products have been floating around for a while now, and you may recall that the last one resembled an oversize Zippo lighter. It was pocket-friendly, yes, but you had to remember to have it in your pocket. The Vio looks more like a flash...Read more

'Round the Square for Wednesday
Bradford Era, October 29th

“One scene, which I believe is unique among Zippo sightings, occurs in the last few seconds of the show. The main actor guts a Zippo and squeezes the lighter-fluid-saturated-cotton-like material, thus soaking his hands in lighter fluid. He then...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

The Old Flame That James Bond and Don Draper Have in Common
Adweek, October 19th

Specifically, the Zippo regular windproof lighter, patent number 2032695. There are lots of ways to light a cig—uh, sorry, we mean a campfire—but only one of them dispenses a heady cloud of American cool along with that whiff of lighter fluid. No...Read more

Building An Authentic Brand That People Believe In
MediaPost Communications, October 2nd

Zippo embraces their values throughout the company. Their personality reflects the nature of the brand at its very core. A Zippo lighter is considered an extension of one's personality, a reflection of their character down to the color and design of...Read more