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 1973 Vietnam Us Navy Uss Midway Cva-41 Two Sided Enameled Zippo LighterNew Rare ZippoAwesome Zippo Trick Poker - Lighter Very Rare Special Edition Casino Edition Rare 2002 Z-series Copper Project Limited Edition Zippo Lighter Set 2915/10188 AVintage Nos Black Crackle Zippo Wwii- 203 Id Nib Town & Country Pheasant Zippo Lighter Unstruck Great Cond1996 Zippo Salesman Cigarette Lighter W/ Presentation Zippo Tin !!Vintage 1979 Marlboro Steer & Star Longhorn Zippo LighterRare Vintage Coca Cola Zippo Lighter!!!Marlboro Zippo Brass Cowboy Lighter In Box Vintage NewVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 2014~solid Sterling Silver" I Love Zippo " In BoxVintage World War Ii Black Crackle Zippo Engraved "tripoli" Cigarette Lighter1943-45 Zippo Wartime Black Crackle Lighter ~ 14 Hole Patent 2032695Zippo Roseart "franciscan" Copper Made Only 1 Year 1957 Marble Rare Lighter...Zippo Made In The Usa W/ Sterling Silver Guatemala Case & Gold InlayMib Copper 2003 Marlboro Blend No 27 Zippo Lighter Ships Worldwide UnfiredZippo Cigarette Brand Lighters: Marlboro, Salem, Camel, Winston, Lucky StrikeVintage Deco Style Sterling Silver Zippo LighterNew Rare 2 Sided ZippoZippo Marlboro Venetian Awesome Zippo Crusader Edition - The Complete Edition - All 8 Lighters1937-1950 Zippo-4 Barrel Lighter With Box-usedVintage Advertising Souvenir Zippo Cigarette Lighter Boy Scout Jamboree 19691994 D-day 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Collectible Zippo Lighter W/ DisplayVintage 1954/1955 Zippo Military Navy Lighter Commander Carrier Division SixZippo Contempo, No. 716 Tortoise, Butane, Usa, Near MibVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1949-1950's~leather Crafted~pat 2032695 In Box BottomZippo Marlboro Cowboy With LassoVintage Black Crackle Zippo Lighter 3 Barrel 14 Hole Insert With Box And PapersVintage Rare Zippo Lighter Nib 1953 " Aurora Inn " Steel Case~100% Mint In BoxVintage Mid Century Zippo Corinthian Table Lighter Never UsedNew Limited Release ZippoNew Limited Edition No. 1 Of 14000 ZippoVintage Rare Zippo Lighter 1960 Nib " Bowl-mor~10 Pin Machine"bowling~new In Box1998 Zippo , Very Rare Marlboro " Diamond " , Limited , New In BoxNew Employee Only 2 Sided Numbered 267 ZippoAwesome Zippo Limited - The Flame - Wonderful And Very Rare Collectible LighterVintage Zippo Reddy Kilowatt Tape Measure W/ Box !!Rare 1947-49 Unused 3 Barrel Zippo In Original Red Box. Must See7 Vintage Collectible Zippo Cigarette Lighters Florsheim Shoes Advertising & AlZippo Lighter With Box Marked 1939-45 Confederate Air Force Ghost Squadron **nrVintage 2-sided 3 Barrel Zippo1947 Zippo The Original Windproof Lighter Mint Unused With Box And Instructions3 Barrell World War Ii Zippo Zippo ~ Sterling Silver #23 ~~~ 1941 Replica ~~~ High Polish ChromeVintage Zippo Lighters Lot Of 5 Plus Two Zippo Tape MeasuresBreyer Traditional 2005 Zippo Pine Bar Chestnut AppaloosaVintage 1968 Vietnam Us Calvary 1-7 Military Zippo Lighter Garry Owen 2 SidedVintage Zippo Brass 1932 1992 60th Anniversary Commemorative Lighter Mint In Box2008 Apollo 11 Moon Landing July 20 1969 Ltd Ed 1/50 Hp Chrome Zippo Lighter NewMarlboro Cowboy - Bucking Bronco - Zippo Lighter 1994 - Solid BrassNew In Box ZippoZippo 1935 Replica Z-series Limited Edition 215/922Gene Autry Zippo Lighter, A Leslie-henry Co. 50's Or 60'sA Very Rare 1954 Line Drawing Zippo. Nice Hand Brush Finish!3 Unused~lucky Strike "luckies" Cigarettes Zippo Bradford Pa.lighters~pinup GirlZippo 1947-1948 Kaiser Frazer Motors Emblem Lighter 3 Barrel 16 Hole # 2032695Nice New Zippo 1996 Sterling Shimmer ZippoLot Of 6 Vintage Zippo Lighters 1947~3 Barrel~1953~1956-usn~1959~1967~1974~nice Nice New Zippo 2005 Sterling Heavy Armor Zippo

Recent News: Zippo Lighters

Source: Google News

A young lawyer's quest for truth
Oneindia, September 21st

The only clue Tara has to his identity is a Zippo lighter with a serpent carved on it. As events turn darker with back-to-back murders, Tara teeters on the verge of a collapse. What does the killer want from her? Is he hiding behind a familiar face...Read more

Methamphetamine bust lands three behind bars on $200K cash or surety bond
Logan Daily News, September 20th

SIU members allegedly found a cardboard Bud Light box containing two more one-pot vessels and several cut lithium batters, coffee filters, three cans of Zippo lighter fluid, receipts for lighter fluid, cold packs, empty boxes of Pseudoephedrine and...Read more

Cigarettes as Control
The Atlantic, September 15th

I loved the sound of a Zippo lighter snapping open. I loved having an excuse to strike up a conversation with people outside bars, or to break the monotony of a long work day with a few trips outside. I especially loved nights sitting on my stoop with...Read more

What Gave Zippo Its Best Year Ever
Forbes India, September 10th

He came up with a windproof chimney and the distinctive hinged lid—and guaranteed the lighter for life, meaning Zippo would continue to ?x the lighter as long as its owner sent it to the factory. After soldiers received the lighters in WWII, Zippo...Read more

Lorillard And Zippo In Legal Battle Over Patent Issues
Bidness ETC, September 4th

Since 2007, lighter-maker Zippo has produced a line of butane torch lighters called Zippo Blu. The company claims that the American tobacco giant's brand of e-cigarette creates confusion with its Zippo Blu. In the wake of such claims, two subsidiaries...Read more

How Quirky is Berkeley? Mark Olivier's Colusa Avenue beach trash sculpture ...
Berkeleyside, September 4th

The number of disposable butane lighters that Olivier has rescued and repurposed is staggering. The Zippo lighter was introduced in 1932. Great thought was put into its design and care was exercised in preserving and using a Zippo for years of smoking ...Read more

Futures client recognized for quick wick-packing at Zippo
Bradford Era, August 30th

Futures Rehabilitation in Bradford packages lighter wicks for Zippo Manufacturing, and since Futures client Jerrod Swanson has been on the job, at a much faster rate than ever before. And corporate management at Zippo has taken notice. Swanson, 23, has ...Read more

Zippo Marks
The Hub Magazine, August 28th

Zippo's claim to fame is, of course, its innovative and iconic cigarette lighter — developed "with a windproof chimney and a distinctive hinged lid" — in 1932. "After soldiers received the lighters in WWII, Zippo successfully marketed itself with a...Read more