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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Oozing with machismo? Hongkongers rate city's gents as the 'manliest in Asia ...South China Morning Post (subscription), July 30th
Pitted against India, Japan, mainland China and others, Hong Kong came out on top with a score of 6.13 out of 10 for manliness, based on the survey conducted by Hong Kong Baptist University and commissioned by lighter company Zippo. More than 1,000 ...Read more
Hong Kong men are the manliest in Asia, says Zippo surveyCoconuts Hong Kong, July 29th
If surveys are to be believed, then Hong Kong is home to some of the most unattractive people, and, according to new data, some of the manliest men in Asia. They go hand-in-hand, we guess. Commissioned by lighter company Zippo and conducted by the ...Read more
BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and peopleThe Bakersfield Californian, July 28th
It looks like the long slump in the energy sector is not about to end anytime soon. The big oil service companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes (they plan to merge) are signaling yet more layoffs as the price slump continues. Energy prices are down...Read more
Like a Pro: 25 Car-Camping Gear EssentialsHuffington Post, July 28th
Better yet, grab Zippo's 4-in-1 Woodsman multi-tool ($75), which combines hammer, axe, saw, and tent stake-puller. It's hands-down one of my favorite things to use when setting up or striking camp. Inside the tent, I make my ... queen-sized Coleman...Read more
Greg Booth to retire as Zippo CEO, Mark Paup named successorWashington Times, July 22nd
Zippo's chairman of the board says Booth has boosted sales of Zippo lighters by pushing the brand internationally as smoking has waned in the United States. Booth also expanded its selection by featuring customized designs and artwork on its lighter...Read more
Man Accused Of Stealing Lighter, Assaulting Walmart EmployeeLEX18 Lexington KY News, July 21st
Lexington police arrested a man accused of trying to steal a Zippo lighter and assaulting a Walmart loss prevention officer Monday. According to court documents, the loss prevention officer spotted Caleb M. Rust, 21, trying to hide the $12.98 lighter...Read more
Great Lakes Lighter Club swap event to host auction todayBradford Era, July 18th
Great Lakes Lighter Club President Bill Kolk displays just some of his large collection of Zippo Manufacturing Co. lighters and memorabilia at the group's swap meet Friday. Area residents are welcome to join dozens of vendors at the Masonic Lodge on...Read more
Great Lakes Lighter Club slates Zippo/Case swap in BradfordBradford Era, July 10th
This monument of the Zippo Manufacturing Co. founding family, located outside of the Zippo/Case Museum, was chosen to adorn the Great Lakes Lighter Club Swap Meet's lighter this year. Collectors will display their prized lighters and be on hand for ...Read more