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    

Early 1936 Style Vintage Zippo Lighter Four Barrel Patent Pending 16 Hole1971 Zippo Copper Kennecott Copper Mine Copper Lighter Full Size Ultra Rare1940s Vintage Wwii Zippo Black Crackle Cigarette Lighter - OriginalNew/vintage/rare 1970's Mickey Mouse Walt Disney Goldtone Zippo Lighter W/boxVintage Italy Firenze 800 Silver Enamel Mandolin Courting 2. Zippo Lighter Case Lot Of 23 Vintage Used Brass Zippo Lighters Lot #19Zippo Lighter Antique 1950 Sterling Silver Niagra Falls Collectable Chrome1957 Texaco 4 Dot Zippo Lighter Nib Unused1940s Vintage Wwii Zippo Black Crackle Cigarette LighterSuper Nice Vintage Zippo Lighter Revolving Lighted Display Case Lucite ChromeVintage 1958 Zippo Lighter Advertising Pepperidge Farms Bakery Mib1948 Zippo Plain Cigarette Lighter - 3 Barrel Hinge - Excellent ConditionPrototype Zippo Lighter Gold Leaf Inlaid Don Quixote By Toledo Marto 1995 NewSet Of 2 Zippo's 10kt Gold Filled W/eagle 1940's Zippo Full Size Lighter With 3 Barrel Hinge/very Rare!Camel Zippo Butterfly Red Matte No Reserve1960s Sterling Silver Zippo W/ Gold U.s.presidential Seal - Near Mint W/ Box1975 Brass Zippo With Box1968 Zippo Lighter Apollo Moon Landing -town And Country Process - MibZippo Commemorative Wind Proof Lighter 1982 Solid Brass New In Box!Windy Varga Girl Figure Zippo Collection Limited Edition Super Rare Only 1000!!Mint Unused Zippo Lighter Scrimshaw & Case Trapper Knife American Eagle Set MibVintage 1955 Zippo Lighter Advertising People's Drug Stores Washington Dc NibA Brand New (but Flawed) Zippo Lighter For Winchester WesternVintage Carling's Zippo Flip Top LighterVintage New Zippo Lighter Uss Leary Ddr 879 Navy Destroyer ShipPopeye Zippo Family Cartoon 1996 New Very Rare!!Original 1940's Zippo Table 2nd Model Barcroft Tight Four Barrel Hinge1960's Rare 10k Gold Fill Zippo Heinz Employee Award Used In Rare Box 1992 (viii) Barrett Smythe "leopard" Zippo Lighter Midnight Chrome New In BoxVintage 3 Barrel Zippo Pat. 2032695 Black Crackle W/ 14 Hole InsertVintage 1953 Zippo Town And Country Lighter Mallard With Box New Mib Never Used Vintage Sterling Silver Hot Enamel Pocket Lighter W/zippo Insert1972 Zippo Lighter Nos Presented By Commandant Of Marine CorpsVintage Lot Of 31 Zippo Lighters Marlboro Camel Us Customs Service & MoreZippo Harley Davidson 90 Th Anniv Limited Edition #361 Of 3000.in Walnut Case Nib Super Rare Zippo®2006 Lucky Strike "bullseye" - Midnight Chrome FinishZippo TitaniumVintage Mack Truck Fire Truck Engine Advertising Zippo Lighter 1972 Old RetroZippo Uss Forrestal Cv-59 Cargo Ship Military Lighter BoxedLot Of 10 Vintage Used Zippo Lighters Lot #5Brass Marlboro Zippo Lighter Bnib Vintage Nos 1970's Zippo Lighters 5 Total Never UsedVintage 1932-1989 Solid Brass U.s.s. Whipple Ff-1062 Zippo Lighter. Never Fired!Lot Of 11 Vintage Used Zippo Lighters W/ Duck & 2 Copper Lot #61966 Gardners Bread Zippo Lighter Used Great Graphics With Box Rare2003 D Copper Zippo LighterLot Of 14 Vintage Used Zippo Lighters Lot #7Nib Rare 2 Sided Zippo®cz716 2006 Camel French Pack "80th Birthday" 100 MadeWw2 Red Crackle Zippo LighterModel H Xv Jack Daniels Whiskey Enameled 150th Birthday 1850-2000 Zippo Lighter Zippo Unused No BoxZippo Lighter Mr. Jack Daniel's 150th Birthday With Box 1850-2000 NewVintage 1950s Sterling Silver Decorative Etched Chased Lighter Zippo InsertSunoco Gasoline Dx Sunmark Insutries Trucking Co. Zippo Lighter, MintZippo Lighter Marlboro 03 Used1997 Zippo Camel Midnight Chrome Full Size Table Advertising Lighter/nib/rare!Rare Mint Zippo Advertising Lighter White Cliffs Of Dover Poultry Baltimore Md. Zippo Unused No BoxLot Of 10 Vintage Used Zippo Lighters Lot #2

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Zazz! is so much more than a place to fill up
Detroit Metro Times, June 30th

Need a new lighter? Zazz! has a fine selection of Zippo's on display. They also have plenty of incense sticks to ignite with your new favorite lighter. Basically, this place has everything you need to set up the pad you lived in during your second year...Read more

Alison Martino's Saving a Candle From Rat Pack Hangout Dino's Lodge
LA Magazine (blog), June 29th

I was recently asked what I would grab in an earthquake, and it took me mere seconds to reply: my vintage candle from Dino's Lodge. In the late '50s and '60s, candles just like it sat on every table in the long-gone restaurant. I've seen several menus...Read more

Flag Is Disappearing From Online Sites
The Ledger, June 26th

And this quote: "Then, sir, we will give them the bayonet." Amazon used to carry a Zippo Confederate lighter, with the flag covering both flat sides of the lighter. Entering the term "Confederate lighter" on the Amazon website now yields a Zippo...Read more

Meth-cooking Cedar Springs man sentenced to prison
WZZM, June 26th

He admitted to buying pseudoephedrine and Zippo lighter fluid at Meijer and taking them back to his apartment on South First Street to make meth, a probable cause affidavit shows. Police found a one pot methamphetamine lab in his apartment and a small ...Read more

Lotus Expanding Lighter Portfolio at IPCPR 2015
halfwheel.com, June 19th

Integral Logistics (Lotus) has nearly a dozen new products for this year's IPCPR Trade Show & Convention. While the company isn't likely to reveal what exactly its new products looks like until closer to the mid-July show, it has indicated what's...Read more

Grab on to virtual reality and hold tight with the Oculus Touch
Mashable, June 19th

The things we did in Toy Box were often very simple activities, but there was so much surprise and delight of firing a slingshot with both hands, or throwing a ball, or — my favorite — flipping open a Zippo lighter to light a sparkler. (Using the...Read more

Ernie Pyle, still telling the stories of soldiers, 70 years on
Los Angeles Times, June 17th

There are Pyle artifacts too, copies of two of his books, "Brave Men" and "Here Is Your War," and a Zippo lighter Pyle gave to a friend who helped him answer fan mail. "For Reed Switzer in gratefulness for everything you've done for me," he wrote...Read more

SLIPKNOT To Design Collection Of ZIPPO Lighters For 'Summer's Last Stand' Tour
BLABBERMOUTH.NET, April 18th

SLIPKNOT and Zippo Encore — the music program created by Zippo — have partnered for the band's upcoming "Summer's Last Stand" U.S. tour. The members of SLIPKNOT will be working with Zippo to design a collection of exclusive Zippo lighters that will ...Read more