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    

Vintage C.1942-45 Black Crackle Zippo Lighter..near Mint In Exc.cond.red Box.. Vintage Lot Of 20 Zippo Advertising Lighters Amoco Pennzoil & More Pat 2517191Vintage 1950's 10k Gold Filled Zippo Advertising Lighter W/ Orig Insert 2517191Vintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1957 "roger-meyers"57 Cadillac Ambulance~neww BoxRare Zippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Coca Cola High Polish Chrome 2002 NewThe Wailers Catch A Fire Og Uk Pink Rim Island Records Lp Zippo Sleeve 3u / 4uZippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Batman High Polish Chrome 2013 NewZippo Lighter Korea Genuin Wings Angel Gift Set(shipping,flint,wick) Amazon GoldUss New Jersey Lebanon Zippo Rare Zippo Lighter 1941 Replica "zippo Famous Guarantee" Silver/gold 2005 New1942 Wwii Zippo Lighter - 4 Barrel 14 Hole Black Crackle Finish With Box (used)Disney Rare Vintage Style Pie Eyed Mickey Mouse Authentic Zippo Souvenir Lighter1970 10k Gold Filled Zippo Lighter Gift Set (near Mint)Vintage Post Wwii Zippo Lighter Case Germany Us Zone 1950'sCopper Zippo Lighter Never Used Bradford Pa Usa MadeVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 2003~sterling Silver Plate~antique Artwork~w BoxLot 2 Vintage Zippo Lighter 1 With Box U.s.s. Stonewall Jackson Ssbn 643Vintage 1966 Zippo Advertising Lighter 'amoco' Gas / Oil Orig Insert Pat 25171911996 Camel Zippo Lighter 22k Gold Plated New Rare Double Sided B-xii W/sticker1969 Moonlanding Apollo 11 High Polish Chrome Zippo Lighter New In BoxNew Copper Zippo Lighter D 03 UsaVintage Zippo Advertising Lighter CarlingsVintage Rare Zippo~ Table Lighter Nib 1950's " Warner & Swasey " Heavy EquipmentVintage International Harvester Ih Zippo Knife File With Money ClipRare 1994 Five Zippo Four Schrade D Day Collectors Set Oak Display Case Must Vintage 1995 - Zippo - Superman - LighterVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1957 " Kelsey Hayes- Know How- Award " New In BoxBob Marley & The Wailers - Catch A Fire Ilps 9241 1973 Zippo Uk Lp Sleeve OnlyJack Daniels Zippo Antique Silver PlatedNew Rare 2 Sided ZippoUnfired 1975 Uss Shenandoah Ship Ad 26 Military Zippo Lighter In Box1986 Brass Zippo Marlboro Cowboy 3 Barrel Hinge C.1940s Nickel Zippo Lighter - Excellent+ ConditionVintage Zippo Lighter 1950 Desoto - Dodge Truck - Readers Digest Guelph TorontoVintage 1976 Nos Unused Zippo Gold Tone Burred Engraved Lighter W/original BoxChevrolet Zippo Genuine Parts Lighter Accessory Emblem Camaro Truck Corvette SsLot Of 6 Zippo Cigarette Lighers With Original BoxesVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1949 " Bf Goodrich "un-lit~auto Tires~new In BoxVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1965 " Bechtel~green Cross Safety Award"nmint No BoxHarley Davidson Iron Eagle Zippo Lighter Vintage 2001 Nos Unused Zippo Copper W/orange Seal Lighter Case *no Reserve*1950s Fancy Hinged Italian Silver Lighter - Beautiful Scrollwork & Zippo InsertBeautiful Mint Zippo Barcroft With Box And Papers!!Vintage 1940's Zippo Military Black Crackle Lighter Unused 3 Barrel 14 HolesSet Of 4 Brass Harley Davidson Zippo Lighters Gift Set #161 Hd161New One Of A Kind Hand Etched ZippoZippo Windproof Collectible Lighter Superman High Polish Chrome 2013 NewVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1950's Box Only ~100% Mint ! ~red Stripped & PapersVintage 1999 Zippo Lighter Jack Daniels 150th Birthday 1850-2000 Crackle PaintZippo Lighter.corniche Pol Lapeye (a Military School,st Cyr)solid Brass.e.w.cond1950s Zippo Bowling Sports Series Lighter In Red White Box Very Nice PaintVintage 1971 Marlboro Zippo Brass With Original Box Never UsedNew Numbered 63/100 ZippoAntique 950 Sterling Silver Full Size Lighter Uses Zippo InsertVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1953-55 " Kennedy " All Steel~un-lit ~new In BoxParappa The Rapper Limited Edition Chop Master Onion Zippo Lighter Box Set * PsVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1949~2 Sided "philo Rainier-ohio Ferro Alloys"mintboxZippo- Memorex Advertising - Barcroft Table Lighter Mint In Box!!Zippo 1935 Pre-patent 16 Hole Chimney 3 Hinge LighterZippo World War Ii Vol 1 A Remembrance Limited Edition Lighter Set

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

Alcohoot personal breathalyzer reviewed
AndroidGuys, 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 Murthy
Economic 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 House
Saugerties 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 Common
Adweek, 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 Poll
MainStreet, 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 Torch
halfwheel.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 Deals
Gizmodo, 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 In
MediaPost 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