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    

Never Used~1973~zippo Cigarette Lighter~camel Gt Challenge~5 Color Graphics~mib!1982 50th Anniversary Zippo Lighter Gift Set Brass 37 Model Fuel Can Flints Box1940s Zippo Cigarette Lighter W 3 Barrel Hinge + Patent DateRare Zippo Lilly Pads & Dragonfly Town & Country 40's 3 Barrel Hinge Pat.2032695Employee Only 75th Anniversary Zippo Lighter Mint In Box Very LimitedZippo Lighter Brass Special Edition Uss Iowa Bb-61 Usn Navy Ship Battleship1937+ Zippo Insert - 14 Hole - 2032695 Zippo R.i.p. Vintage Skulls Lighter Emblem Rare And Awesome CollectibleVintage Zippo 3 Barrel Lug Lighter 2032695 American Steel & Wire Co Uss In BoxFantastic Unused Smkw Presidents Day Tom Arrowsmith Solid Copper Zippo 59/100 Vintage Zippo 3 Barrel Chrome Lighter Pat 2032695Snap On Zippo® Collector's 8pc. Lighter Set W/ Display/carrying Case Brand NewFantastic Rare 1951-53 3-barrel Town & Country Setter Zippo Pat. 20326951967 $3.50 Priced Mint Brushed Chrome Zippo Lighter MibVintage Zippo Lighter Lot 37 Bodies 11 Inserts Brass 3 Barrel Parts Or RestoreFantastic Unused Smkw Presidents Day Kevin Pipes Solid Copper Zippo 59/100 Vintage Ww2 Zippo Black Crackle 3 Barrel Hinge 14 Holes 1943-45 1987 Vintage Zippo Solid Brass Lighter-san Francisco Golden Gate Bridge-nmib1940's Zippo Town And Country " Geese " LighterCamel 1932 2nd Release Zippo Lighter New Old Stock 96 In Original Tin Rare Vintage 1956 1st Zippo Slim Cobra Head Dennison Co. Display Box & Lighter!!!Vintage 1950's Silver Nickel 3 Barrel Zippo LighterFantastic Unused Smkw Presidents Day Greg Booth Solid Copper Zippo 59/100 Fantastic Unused Winchester Zippo Lighter With BoxVintage 1960 Sterling Silver Slim Zippo1998 Zippo Marlboro Green Rooftop Lighter In Original Open Box - Used Vintage Zippo Windproof Cigarette Lighter Plastic Store Advertising DisplayZippo Marlboro Star 1989 - Used Lighter1996 Zippo Lighter Limited Edition #5 Of 50 Lossproof 50's Box Mint In BoxFantastic Unused Silver Plate Winchester Zippo Lighter #471/500 With Walnut BoxZippo Golden Gothic Skull Vol. 2 - Limited High Polished Brass In Special Box1995 Zippo Lighter Silver Plated Varga Girl In Wood Box Mint Condition Vintage Circa 1950's Zippo Lighter Marathon, The Ohio Oil Co. New In Box Very RaVintage Sterling Silver Zippo Cigarette Lighter1996 Zippo Lighter Robot Zippo Limited Edition #5/50 Brushed Chrome Mint In Box1997 Zippo Lighter Limited Edition #5 Of 50 Slim Green Silver Box Mint In BoxRare Zippo Ww2 Black Crackle, 3 Barrel Hinge, 14 Hole Insert 1943-1945Wwii (pat. 1937) Zippo Round Bottom 3 Barrel 14 Hole Cigarette Lighter Fantastic Unused Winchester Model 1886 Zippo Lighter With BoxRare Unfired 3 Barrel Hinge Zippo Cigarette Lighter Lossproof Tach-a-loop SportVintage Texaco Fuel Oil Company Advertising Zippo Barcroft Table Lighter 1953 Vintage Zippo Lighter Mint W/boxVintage Zippo Sterling Silver Case Pat Pend 251719 Cigarette LighterVintage 1950 Zippo Advertising Lighter White Rose Oil1940's Boeing Pat 2032695 Zippo LighterLine Drawn 1948 Zippo Lighter 203 Patent- 3 Barrel Hinge–dalco Appliance CompanyZippo Limited Golden Stocking Girl Lighter - Stunning Brass Brushed Emblem Camel Zippo LighterC1950-57 Nib Lossproof Zippo With Box And Papers237) Zippo Lighter D-day 60th Anniv 'sands Of Normandy' 3 Pc. Set New Unstruck1960 Zippo Lighter #200 Brushed Chrome Plain Mint In Box $3.50 Sticker Zippo Marlboro Logo Solid Brass 80's Near Mint ConditionZippo Anne Stokes Special Edition Mirror Skull Very Rare Collectible Lighter Zippo Razor-sharp Dragon On Flame Special Edition Rare And Awesome Collectible235) Very Special Zippo Lighter Z-series Copper Project Numbered New Unstruck Armor Solid .925 Sterling Silver Zippo Lighter #27 Brushed Satin Finish - Luxury1961 Cf&i Steel Zippo Lighter - Mint In The Box - Nice GraphicsVintage 1950's 3 Barrel Pat 2032695 Zippo LighterSealed Sands Of Normandy Zippo Lighter Set!!!Vintage Zippo Lighters Table Revolving Lights Up Display