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    

Amazon Ni Free Gift Set(shipping,flint,wick) Zippo Lighter Korea Wings AngelWwii Original Zippo 3 Barrel 1943 - 45 Black Crackle Trench Art Ww2 Nazi CoinsZippo 110 Solid Titanium Case LighterNew Old Stock 2003 Zippo Solid Titanium Lighter1965 Texaco Zippo Lighter Un-used Town & Country Gas & Oil Near Mint No Reserve Vintage 1952 Zippo Brushed Chrome Unfired Cigarette Lighter W/boxVintage Zippo-4 Barrel Hinge-1938- Zippo Factory Reverse Engraved!!!!!!* 1940 * 4 Barrel Hinge Diagonal Lines 7 Hole Blank Insert Zippo Lighter Vintage 1940's ?? Woody Woodpecker Walter Lantz Studio Engraved Zippo Lighter Zippo Lighter Lot Of 10 Lighters New And Used, Harley Davidson Marlboro SteelersVintage Zippo Lighter; The Original Windproof Lighter, New In A Box.1994 Zippo Lighter Rare Brass Forest Mystery Of Emblem Great Graphics New In BoxVintage All Original 1946-47 Zippo Lighter - 3 Brl Hng 14 Hole InsertVintage All Original 1955 Zippo Lighter - Us Air Force Thunderbirds1950s Zippo Lighter With Winchester And Western Trade Marks. Used In Box1991 Zippo Lighter 6 Piece Set Wild West Series Wyatt Earp , Trailboss Etc Mint1998 Zippo Lighter With Money Clip Brushed Chrome W Reddy Kilowatt Character Mib~ 1952 ~ Leather Wrap #41 A5 Moroccan Black Pat#203 Zippo Lighter UnlitVintage All Original 1948-49 Zippo Lighter - 3 Barrel HingeNever Been Fired, Solid Copper Zippo D-03 Lighter W Matching D-03 Ins, Rare VtgVintage Military Nfl Casino Harley Davidson Zippo Lighter Mixed Lot Beer Nude Us2003 Zippo Lighter W Pack Of Camel Cigarette Rare 3d Look On Midnight Chrome MibZippo Keyhole Looking Throug Lighter - Emblem Collectible 1972 Vintage Zippo Lighter W/ Presidential Seal - Mint W/box - NosZippo 10k Gold Filled, Original Box, Dugdale Packing Co., Solid Fuel Cell InsertZippo Keyhole Emblem Lighter - Brand New And Rare Collectible 2003 Zippo Lighter Marlboro Solid Copper Finish. New In BoxVintage Zippo Lighter 1950-1957 New In Box Mint Collector Candy Striped Box RareZippo, Pat. 251 Union Carbide 1958 In BoxVintage Copper E 03 Zippo LighterC.1951 Vintage Zippo Lighter - Mint Condition Never Lit1958 Rose Art Table Zippo Table LighterVintage Boy Scouts Of America Zippo Cigarette Lighter In Box W/ Bsa Emblem 1993 Sterling Silver Engine Turned Slim Zippo Lighter With Felt Case UnusedVintage All Original 1948-49 Zippo Lighter - 3 Barrel Hinge1956 Vintage Zippo Lighter, Excellent ConditionZippo Lighter Detroit Ball Bearing Co 40th Anniversary 1917-1957 With Box1950's Zippo Slim-lighter Counter Top Display Case W/ Instructions + Brochure! Collection Of 23 Zippo Items, Zippo Fuel Canister, 10 Zippo Boxes, Zippo Flints Vintage 1966 Iiii Iiii Vietnam War Era Zippo Lighter Map HelicopterTriumph Zippo Brass Lighter Tr2 Tr3 Tr4 Tr6 1990's Original2005 Zippo Lighter Japanese Pagoda Very Beautiful Nice Detail MibVintage 1950's Brush Metal Zippo Lighter Pat 2032695 Near Mint In BoxRare Zippo Lighter Marlboro Bull Steer Star Never Used Unopened Solid Brass2006 Zippo Lighter Rare Marlboro Japanese Market Mint In BoxRare Vintage 1997 Marlboro Red Roof Promotional Zippo Lighter Absolutely Mint!!!1975 Zippo Lighter Venetian Design Chrome New In Box1977 Vintage Plain Zippo -- Mint W/ Box & Paper -- New Old StockOriginal Vietnam War Zippo Lighter Viet Nam 68-691995 Zippo Lighter Brass W Southwest Skull Scene Mint In Box Nice Art2002 Zippo Lighter With Usa Map Lights In Wind Or Rain New In Box Vintage 1996 Zippo Entire Out Doors Collection Display 8 Lighters Lot With Nib!!Zippo Windy Limited Edition Rare 0256Vintage Un-used 1956 Zippo Lighter W/original Box Excellent +niagara Falls Ny NrZippo Lighter Spawn The Movie Japan Rare!!!Vintage Lighter Lot Mostly Zippo & Ronson Leather Holder Ziplights Table LighterVintage Zippo Lighter 1950-1951 2032695 Cartoon Dog Trench Art Korean War Rare Zippo Lighter 3 Barrel Hinge 1946-49 Pat 2032695 W/ Free Mason Emblem Nr1950's Zippo Lighter Stainless Inc North Wales Pa Used No Box 1993 Zippo Lighter W Silver Plate Finish Gold Inlaid Cattails 2 Sided Nice Mib

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
dailytelegraph.com.au, 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