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    

Zippo Lighter Korea Emblem Wings Angel Gift Set(shipping,flint,wick) Amazon NiLot Of 7 Modern Zippo Lighters- Copper- Untested As Is #4Rare Apollo 11 Launch Viewing Pass + 1968 Nasa Zippo Lighter & More!Genuine Unstruck Unused Military Wwii Zippo Black Crinkle Lighter W/ Box 1943-45Vintage 1950s Tiffany & Co Sterling Cigarette Lighter W Zippo InsVintage Men's Jewelry Lot~rings~cufflinks~gold Filled~sterling~zippo~junk DrawerLimited Edition Zippo - Spider On EdgeUss Missouri Bb63 Navy Ship Zippo Lighter 2012 Sterling Silver 2 Sided Mint BoxLot Of 3 Rare Design Copper Top Zippo -black- Brass-chrome Unused BoxedZippo Pin Up "keyhole Beauty" By Peter Driben Limited Edition Of 100 Mega RareRare Early Vintage Zippo Military Wwii Ww2 With Many Military Badges MedicVintage Brass Native American Indian Chief Head Zippo Lighter12pc Dealer Lot Vintage Zippo Lighters - Various *no Reserve*Rare Vintage 1980's Zippo Lighter With Real Diamond In LogoVintage 1955 Pepsi Cola Zippo Lighter Pat. 2517191 Pat PendVintage Zippo Display Case Counter Display Case #4Vintage Rare Zippo Lighter With Original Red Box And Insert/instructions 1946 0-2014 Sterling Silver I (heart) Love Zippo Lighter Rare! Beautiful New W/boxVintage Zippo Lighter,empire Electric Advertising,reddy Kilowatt,original Box Sterling Silver Zippo Lighter-1996 Engraved & Space For Personalized Name/initalSpyderco Zippo Lighter,#49 Of Only 100 Made !!! Very CollectableZippo Harley Davidson "since 1903-woody Plate" Special Edition Ultra Rare Box !Lot Of 10 Modern Zippo Lighters- Chrome & Silver Untested As Is #1 Apollo 11 Moon Landing Zippo Lighter 1969 With Original Box. In Nice ShapeRk251 1972 Zippo Rare Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Logo On #200 Lighter, New In BoxVintage Zippo Lighter,camel Cigarettes 1932 Replica Second Release,new In Box!!1975 Zippo Lighter 1776 Liberty Bell Brushed Chrome New In Original Box 1996 Zippo Lighter - Marlboro Green Roof Black Matte Finish (nib)Zippo Table Top Lighter Model 1 Barcroft Very Rare Made In The 40'sVintage Cigarette Lighter Lot 36pc - Zippo 3 & 4 Barrel, Storm King, Figural ++Antique 950 Sterling Silver 3 Barrel Lighter 2005 Zippo Insert Engraved Mt FujiZippo ~ Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary Set / 1st & 2nd Edition Black Crackle1948-49 Zippo Hp Lighter ~ Patent 20326951998 Polished Chrome Zippo Lucky Strike Bullseye1955 Zippo Elastic Web Co Cigarette Lighter Mint W/ Box !!Wow, Zippo- Lucky Strike " Coleen" Limited - Two Sides,only 75 Made. New In BoxVintage 1950's Lighted Zippo Display Case Counter Display Case #5Mixed Lot Of 9 Modern Zippo Lighters- Varied Logos-untested & As Is #3Zippo Lighter Copper 2003 Rare Collectible Mint New In Box CamelCigarette Lighters,ash Cup Misc, Ronson. Zippo, Antique/vintage, Lot/lots Of 20Zippo: Nascar Lighter Lot (11): Daytona, Winston, Roush & MoreEarly 1950's Zippo Lighter Advertising Shell Oil Company,excellent ConditionCollectible - Marlboro No. 27 Copper Zippo Lighter 2003-never Used E03Rk247 1974 Zippo Lighterbrushed Chrome Exxon Oil Chemical Division, New In Box1991 Zippo Lighter Coca Cola Wagon With Story Brass Used With No BoxZippo Camel Wides Group LightersZippo: Nascar Lot, Collectors Tin, Gordon, Petty, Joe Camel, Earnhardt & MoreBeautiful Rare! 1958 Zippo Lighter Mint! Allstates Co. Un Struck! Wow!Vintage Cigarette Lighter Parts Lot Zippo, Empress Pin-up, Evans, Regens +Zippo / Armor / Jack Daniel's ~~ 2014/15 Choice SelectionZippo 14k Solid Gold Lighter, Rare Vintage ,limited Edition SeriesVintage Marlboro Longhorn & Star Bronze Zippo Lighter W/ BoxVintage Advertising Zippo Lighter Collection 4 Standard Size New In BoxesZippo Barcroft Table Lighter Advertising Cadillac AutomobilesZippo 1996 Windy Limited Ediition Very Rare 0571Rare 1964 Zippo Lighter Mint In Box! Mr. Fullwell Moters! Must See! Wow!A Sexy "headliner" Pin-up Zippo By Jennifer Janesko Limited Edition #54 Of 100Vintage~1976 Zippo~salem Tool 75th Anniversary~u.s.a. Bicentennial~nos~box&paperZippo Lighter Native American Indian Two Feathers Turquoise Southwest Sealed MibZippo ~~~ Harley Davidson ~~~ Willie G Skull Etched

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Rod, Gun & Game: Lake Erie walleye study in progress
Springvillejournal, 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 Friday
Bradford 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 Guide
WFLA, 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 and select retailers, starting at $19.95. The Crystal...Read more

How To Smoke A Cigar Without Looking Like A Total Amateur
Business 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 Life
Gothamist, 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 Zippo
The 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 Zippo
News & 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 Years
ABC 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