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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Witness tells court that childhood sex attacks by Walden man 'wrecked' his lifeHerts and Essex Observer, June 30th
He claimed that on one occasion near Littlebury, Gibbs said he would give him and another boy 200 Benson and Hedges cigarettes and a Zippo lighter if they let him pull down their trousers. He said they both agreed. He continued: "He did me first...Read more
Alison Martino's Saving a Candle From Rat Pack Hangout Dino's LodgeLA 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 SitesThe 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 prisonWZZM, 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 2015halfwheel.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 TouchMashable, 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 onLos 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' TourBLABBERMOUTH.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