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    

1940s Era 3 Barrel Shriners Logo On Vintage Zippo Lighter Rare Red Box W BannerVintage Metallique Zippo From 1936 With Initials - Pat# 2032695 - 4 Barrel HingeCollectible Rare New 2003 Solid Titanium Zippo All Original Last Year Made1946 Era 3 Barrel Zippo Lighter Line Drawn Baseball Player John Oleksa Used Wbox1969 Zippo Lighter Nasa Moonlanding Apollo 11 Scene Hp Chrome New In Box1965 Zippo Lighter Nasa Recovery Of 4 Astronauts By Uss Wasp 2 Sided New In Box1946 Era 3 Barrel Zippo Lighter Line New In Box Perot Malting Co Beer Ad NibLate 1946 14 Hole Zippo Lighter ~ Patent # 20326951946 Era 3 Barrel Spring Garden Brick Co Vintage Zippo Lighter Excellent W BoxNyjewel Zippo 925 Sterling Silver Vintage Lighter1960s Zippo Lighter Rare Clamshell Gift Box Silver Filled Finish New Old Stock C.1955 Vintage Sterling Silver Zippo W/ Unusual Design1969 Zippo Lighter With Walt Disney Productions On Front Rare Model Used Cond.Vintage Zippo Barcroft Table Lighter,w/ Original Box,Zippo Lighter Brass Uss Iowa Bb-61 Usn Navy Ship Battleship 1932-1990 1943-1984Very Rare Set Zippo Lighter D-day 70th Anniversary Set Limited To 7000 New 1940 Graphic Devil / Macabre Sterling Silver Lighter-3 Barrel Hinge-zippo InsertRare Zippo Windproof Lighter Vintage 1950s Brushed Chrome In Box Used1950s Zippo Leather Crafted Lighter Box - 550 Brown Alligator1949-50 Zippo Lighter Town & Country SetterLot Of 11 Vintage Zippo Lighters All Unstruck Hawaii 25th Aniv. Select Trading +1959 Zippo Gift Set W Lead Nipple Top Fuel Can Steel Plant 25 Year Service Mib1948 Vintage Zippo Lighter W/ 3 Barrel Hinge - Excellent Condition Zippo Lighter, 1972, New Never Fired, 40 Year Anniversary1986 Zippo Lighter Rare Marlboro Man On Horse Brushed Chrome Zippo : Solid Brass ~ 1932-19841976 Vintage Zippo Lighter - Mint W/ Box - Tug Boat CoVintage 1950's Zippo Lighter In Box Nos New Old StockCirca 1943 Zippo Black Crackle Lighter ~ Patent 2032695New ! Zippo Limited "collectible Of The Year 2016" #660/750 Armor Case LighterVintage .800 Sterling Silver Western Etched Engraved Zippo Cigarette Lighter1979 Zippo Lighter Slim Denim With Minnie Mouse Disney Character Used In Box1957 Vintage Zippo Leather Wrap Lighter - Never Fired, Mint Condition2015 Collectible Of The Year "full Circle Armor" Zippo Lighter From 20151968 Zippo -coastal Division 12 -vietnam War Era Lighter 45402Vintage Zippo 1932-1992 Commemorative Lighter Set Collectible Anniversary Series1937 Zippo Lighter - 4 Barrel Hinge - 14 Hole Chimney - Lt. Ray Wyatt1975 Zippo Lighter Rare Pittsburgh Paint W Colorful Peacock Slim Hp Chrome NibVintage Zippo Lighter LotRare Zippo Windproof Lighter 1941 Replica Kessack Reveler Black Ice 2014 NewSolid Titanium Zippo Made In 2001Unfired Nos Vintage Old 1950's Borden Milk Co. Zippo Lighter With Original BoxVintage 1969 Lunar Landing Zippo Lighter Mib NosCamel 1932 2nd Release Zippo Lighter New Old Stock 96 In Original Tin Rare 1998 Brass Zippo Lighter Harley- Davidson, New In Box.Vintage Rca Cigarette Lighter Zippo Loves Park Il Ill Cigar Advertising Radio TvRare Vintage 1989 Marlboro Cigarettes Red Roof Filter Pack Box Zippo Lighter2 Vtg Lot Zippo 3 Barrel Hinge Lighters1940s Era Zippo Lighter Used With 3 Barrel Hinge With Pam On Front 1960 Zippo Lighter Pepsi Cola Bottle Cap Near Mint Condition Never Used Not CokeVintage 1950 Zippo Lighter Mint In Box Atlanta Steel Erectors1948-50 Chrome On Brass Zippo Lighter Town And Country T&c Sailboat 5-barrel 203 Zippo Lighter, 1970, New Never FiredNever Used Vintage 1983 Zippo Pennzoil Lighter //// /// N Mint Oil Advertising1940s Era Zippo Lighter Used With 3 Barrel Hinge With B On Front Huge Vintage Lighter Lot/50+ Lighters/zippo, Ronson, & More/great VarietyVintage Zippo Lighter 1958, Winchester Duck With LanyardVintage 1961 Zippo Lighter W/ Box Never Used Reddy Kilowatt - Unfired - NiceVintage 1989 Lossproof Zippo Lighter Uscg Loran Station Italy Never Fired In BoxCollectible Vintage Marlboro Lights Zippo