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
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Alcohoot personal breathalyzer reviewedAndroidGuys, October 23rd
The Alcohoot is just a bit bigger than a Zippo lighter so it can fit in just about any pocket or purse. It should work with any Android or iOS device, as long as you have a 3.5mm port and download the companion app. This really makes the Alcohoot easy...Read more
How Zippos became a passion for Pepperfry's Ambareesh MurthyEconomic 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
History Day at Kiersted HouseSaugerties Times, October 21st
dressed in period garb, showed his collection of antique household items and implements, including quill pens and inkpots, home decorations and – to the fascination of at least one young visitor – a fire lighter that could have been a precursor to...Read more
The Old Flame That James Bond and Don Draper Have in CommonAdweek, 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
Men and Women Still Prefer a Male Boss: It's Still 1953 According to PollMainStreet, October 15th
Then, task completed, he would light a Lucky Strike cigarette with his Zippo lighter and enjoy a smoke break at his desk. And yes, the boss was likely a man. Tastes and technology have certainly changed since then, but how much has the workplace really ...Read more
SOTO Outdoors PT-14SB Pocket Torchhalfwheel.com, October 13th
Every cigar smoker knows that there are a number of ways you can light your cigar, some traditional and recommended, such as butane lighters, wood matches and cedar spills, and a number that aren't, such as Zippo lighters, candles, barbecues and so on...Read more
Keep Your Hands Warm with this Discounted Zippo, and More DealsGizmodo, October 9th
those chemical hand warmers every winter, this Zippo alternative will pay for itself while looking really cool, and doing less damage to the environment. It features solid reviews, a sub-$13 price tag, and can run for 12 hours on a single ounce of...Read more
Building An Authentic Brand That People Believe InMediaPost 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