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

Source: Google News

The Application And Limits Of First-Sale Doctrine Against The Distribution Of ...
Mondaq News Alerts (registration), February 3rd

Zippo Manufacturing Company, a world renowned lighter manufacturer, manufactures and distributes lighters with or without carved patterns in the US and Japan (referred to as 'the US version' and 'Japan version'). The defendant Mr. Li purchased Zippo ...Read more

'Round the Square for Wednesday
Bradford Era, February 3rd

LOOKING BACK: We have a Zippo sighting of our own to report — or maybe a piece of Zippo history? Looking back at this day in 2012, The Era's front page had a welcome sight, a headline reading “Zippo posts best January in its history.” ... As you may...Read more

The Walking Dead: Amusing moments from 6A
Undead Walking, February 1st

History of the world by lighter. Do I need to say more? Okay. Reading a history book by Zippo while walker hands are pawing at the glass panes on the garage door and Tara and Rosita are hatching a survival plan. Perhaps, the Moors or the Vikings have ...Read more

Zippo that survived Vietnam is stolen, February 1st

overseas because his father had carried it during his two-year service with the army during the Vietnam War in 1969-1970. Mr Joiner's father had the Zippo lighter engraved with the words: “When I die, I will go to Heaven because I've spent my time...Read more

Ditch The Disposable. 3 Of The Coolest Ways To Make Fire
Civilized, January 30th

An elegant option with slim, classic lines: available in brass, nickel, or black nickel, this elongated flame has a cotton wick; fluid not included (be sure to fill with Zippo-style lighter fluid: butane does NOT work in these babies). Made in Japan...Read more

Campus Crime starting on Jan. 1
The Herald, January 26th

Along with traces of marijuana throughout the car, he found two devices used to smoke marijuana, one disguised as a Zippo lighter. Thrasher also found a cut portion of a drinking straw, consistent with something used to ingest narcotics. When asked...Read more

15 Lessons From the Start-Up Scene
PC Magazine, January 25th

For example, in 2008 I was at a show and people were using their cell phones at concerts to wave around images of a lighter. Our company had long sold static lighter images for that purpose. So we started working on the Virtual Zippo Lighter app...Read more

A Look At QuitBit, The Anti-Smoking Smart Cigarette Lighter
Tech Times, January 10th

The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign launched halfway through 2014, the smart cigarette lighter started shipping to backers at the end of last year. The QuitBit is actually pretty sharp looking, so far as cigarette lighters go. It's got a...Read more