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    

* 2002 Zippo Lighter Solid Copper Hand Finished Euro Phantasma Rare Mint In Box* Rare Zippo Lighter 1932 Replica Zippo Mint In Original Box Hard To Find* 2001 Zippo Lighter Rarest Modern Production Titanium Hard To Find Mint In BoxU.s. Navy Wwii Lighter 3 Barrel Possible Sterile Prototype Zippo 14 Hole Insert* 1996 Zippo Lighter Silver Plate W Vintage Fishing Fly Wooly Worm Etc MibSolid Titanium Zippo, Sealed, 100% Mint, Never Touched By Human Hands.Ww 2 Zippo Black Crackle Lighter Nib Serial #2032695* Zippo Rare Kendall Oil Butane Contempo Mint In Box Hard To Find* Very Rare Zippo Coca Cola Horse & Wagon Red Only 50 Made From 2000Vintage 1969 Zippo Lossproof Lighter Horse Sports Series In Original Box NewZippo , Marlboro . Set 5 Pieces Lighter Zippo & Pough . Secial Edition In Box Vintage Zippo Lighter W/ Pontiac Advertising - Still In Box1943 Ww-2 Zippo Black Crackle Lighter Pat 2032695 Sterling Zippo Lighter, Needs Repair Or Use For Parts 1982 Zippo 50th Anniversary 1932 - 1982 Brass Lighter Mint In Box * 1987 Zippo Lighter Rare Marlboro Cigarettes Man On Horse Rare Mint In Box^ 1997 Zippo Lighter 32 Model W/ Reveler Drunk Mint Condition Rare In TinMinty 1948-1949 Nickel Silver Zippo Lighter Red Feather Community Chest AwardNib Extremely Rare Zippo®2000 Camel Davinci "dissection" 100 Made - Cream Matte* 1997 Zippo Lighter Rare Camel Rjr Camel Wife Woman 1920s Rare Mint In Box* 1995 Very Rare Charlie Chaplin Film Actor Zippo European Red White Box MintZippo Orig. 1946 Tall Case ... 3 Barrel ... 14 Hole ... Adv ... LifetimeZippo 2001~rare Solid Titanium!! With Different Insert Unfired With Plastic Box.Zippo 1940's International Harvester ( Ih ) Lighter 3-barrel Case Pat. 2032695Extremely Rare Vintage1950-57 Whirlpool Advertising Brushed Chrome Zippo LighterVery Rare Vintage1973 Mack Truck Advertising New Condtion Zippo Lighter In Box!* Rare 1989 Lucky Strike Zippo Bullseye MibRare Vtg Ge General Electric Commercial Aircraft Gas Turbines Dept Zippo LighterThe Wailers Catch A Fire Original Zippo Vg+ Bob Marley Lighter*rare Classic 1933 "first Release" Replica Zippo Mib W Grey Felt Box Euro* Classic 1932 "second Release" Replica Zippo Rare Mint In Box Must Have New & Rare Coca Cola Horse&wagon Zippo From 1999 Rare Mint In Box* 1990s Zippo Lighter Rare European 4 Piece Marlboro Set Ltd Edition Rare MibVintage Mega Huge Lot 140, Lighters And Stuff,evans,colibri,ronson,thorens,zippoVintage Rare 1958 Zippo Lighter "1955 Musicarnival" Advertising Struck Few Times* 1997 Marlboro Zippo Lighter And Keychain Set New In Gift Tin New Old Stock* Rare 1997 Volkswagen Advertiser Zippo Don´t Miss It!! New In Box Very Rare Vintage1974 Mcdonald's Advertising Brushed Chrome Slim Zippo Lighter!Rare & Mint Coca Cola Wagon Chrome Brushed Zippo From 1995Vintage 1989 Zippo Lossproof Advertsing "psa" New/mint Condition! No ReserveVintage 1996 Popeye Limited Edition Zippo Lighter! Unstuck New Condition N/rRare 1932 1982 Zippo Lighter Brass 50th Aniversary Mint Unfired Beauty With Box Nib Super Rare Zippo®cz674 2005 Camel Armor 100 Made - High Polished ChromeRare Date Code Error 1979 Zippo Advertising Dentron Ham Radios Lighter In Box1950's Zippo Original Windproof Lighter VintageVintage Zippo Lighter 1943-1946 Ww2Vintage Wwii U.s.s Canberra Memorabilia Unused Zippo Lighter* 1994 Zippo Lighter Rare James Bond 007 Special Agent Hard To Find Mint In BoxVintage Walt Disney World Epcot Center Zippo LighterVintage Rare Zippo Windproof Lighter New In Box Unused Nib MintZippo #15 Sterling Silver Lighters Carving Egyptian Culture Z-01Zippo Barcroft=military Navy Desk Table Lighter~uss Hull Dd 945 W/box & Pouch!Zippo Sterling Silver Satin 1941 Replica Armor Lighter 2013Vintage Rare 1998 Zippo Lighter Texaco Advertising Gas Oil Brushed Chrome Nib!!!Vintage Zippo Lighter Very Rare Harley Davidson Limited To 1,000 New W/box 1960s Rare Zippo Lighter Sports Series 2 Panel Golfer In Box W Outer Box Pacbell Service Award Zippo Lighter W/10k Emblem With Stones - UnlitRare 1940s 3 Barrel Zippo Akers Trucking Free Shipping Old Truck *rare Classic 1933 "first Release" Replica Zippo Mib Must Have For Any Collector1971 Vintage Zippo, Mint With Box & Paper - New Old Stock

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Sent with honor, received back with disdain
Daily Journal Online, September 3rd

In the meantime he sat in a bar enjoying a few beers. He recalls that he had a Zippo cigarette lighter that he carried. “On that lighter was a map of Vietnam and a couple of places that I had been,” said Barton. “I was drinking beer and after about my...Read more

Best Linguistic Jokes of the 2015 Fringe
Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) (blog), September 1st

What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter. (Masai Graham). A major linguistic staple of the humor business is the pun. This one plays on the everyday meaning of a word that also has a...Read more

Remember When Black Lips Almost Blew Up the 40 Watt?
Flagpole Magazine, September 1st

That first performance, a now-legendary shitshow of shambolic madness complete with amateur pyrotechnics (aka firecrackers, lighter fluid and a Zippo) and a backstage admonishment preserved forever on the opening track of the band's first LP, was...Read more

Cops: East Bridgewater man arrested after struggling with Weymouth officers ...
Wicked Local East Bridgewater, September 1st

Inside the backpack, police found bottles of alcohol, a Zippo lighter, an iPhone charger, a can of soda and two bags of chips that the homeowners said had been stolen from their home, according to police. Officers also found a cooler in a wooded area...Read more

Oculus Touch Hands-On Review: New Controller For Rift Puts Oculus VR Ahead of ..., August 29th

You can pick up a virtual zippo lighter with the controller and flick it open with ease. The Oculus Touch demo also allowed you to test your aim with a carnival-style shooting game. There were targets you had to hit where you physically had to aim your...Read more

Frank Sinatra, voice of the 20th Century
Villages-News (registration), August 29th

Frank Sinatra was the most famous popular singer in the world from the 1940s on, with every performance accompanied by screaming and swooning teenagers. His countless friends included presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, members of ...Read more

Pennsylvania lighter maker to pay $186K for violations
WPXI Pittsburgh, August 27th

Zippo, the Pennsylvania maker of iconic cigarette lighters best known for their distinctive metal cases, has agreed to pay $186,000 to settle allegations it violated federal hazardous waste laws. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said this week...Read more

Zippo Kick-Starts “The Real Man” Campaign
Financial Express, August 26th

Spanning across three phases, the campaign aims to establish Zippo's characteristics as moving beyond iconic lighters. The campaign integrates the belief that having a story makes a man unique; having a Zippo lighter makes him a man. Starting with a ...Read more