Zippo Articles

Through The Years - Errr Flames

By Joanne Delos Reyes

Zippo has been lighting our cigars and cigarettes for 75 years now and who knows how many packs have we finished and how many have died of cigarette and fire related incidents. Just kidding!

Zippo’s well loved by all consumers and collectors. They have put on a vast variety of design through the years and they never failed any of the expectations.

It all began in 1932 when George G. Blaisdell watched a friend use an Austria-made lighter. And with any flaws, he decided to work on it and improve it. He let the chimney design stay, put on various modifications so as it is easy to operate and to handle. Then it was born 1933.

The same year saw the name Zippo. They stuck to it because it sounds cool and very much the epitome of modernity and success. $ 1.95 each was the retail price of the said baby. It came with a tag saying, “It works or we fix it freeTM.”. It was a guarantee Mr.Blaisdell had kept all this lifelong journey.

Kendall Refining Company placed an order for 500 Zippo lighters during the decade and they are believed to be the first company-advertised lighters produced by Zippo and are highly collectible.

World War II saw all major companies close to help bring out America’s best, including Zippo. They still continued to produce lighters and handed them out to soldiers. From this, Zippo was given the free advertisement and publicity. It was later known as one of America’s symbol. And after the war, Zippo was a class on its own.

Zippo established their Canada plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1949. Outside the USA, this is the only place in the world where Zippo lighters were made. To give proper due, Zippo included the Niagara Falls icon at the bottom of each lighter. Free trade policies in the 90s gave way to the closure of the said plant and bring back it’s entire production in Bradford Pennsylvania. The plant was closed in 2002.

Date codes were stamped on the bottom of every Zippo lighter. The codes have since become an invaluable tool for collectors. They keep track of everything! From here they launched the Slim model in 1956. The reason behind them were women. Other items saw the steel pocket tape measure, or “rule”. There were brought so as to promote the company. It includes key chains, pocket knives, golf greenskeepers, pen-and-pencil sets and the ZipLight pocket flashlight.

The 70’s and the 80’s saw Zippo expanding into 120 countries. Japan was their largest consumer outside the US. the company now is being run by the grandson of Mr.Blaisdell. Mr.Blaisdell passed away on October 3, 1978.

There are over four million collectors of Zippo lighters. They held a gathering called Zippo/Case Intl Swap Meet every odd year. Even years, the meet is held in Japan. Together with their commitment to bring collectors and fans, they opened the Zippo/Case Visitors Center in 1997. This facility houses a repair center, museum and a store.

Being famous required the presence of Zippo in Hollywood’s walk of fame. Thye were seen in countless movies depicting the character embodied by the lead actor or simply the era shown by the scene. Nevertheless, Zippo will never go out of line.

Zippo went out their way and make those multi purpose lighters handy. They even filed a patent to their lighter’s image. No more fake one’s!

Last year. Zippo surpassed the milestone of 425 million lighters. And they are still counting! Different cultures have been in the Zippo lighter. The style and design speaks of the unparalleled reach of Zippo throughout the world. One proof is the 98% of the people worldwide knows what a Zippo is. Also, they kept their promise! Not a single cent on repairs because, not a single one broke.

And now, they are offering three distinct and unique lighters worth every penny that you’ll be shelving. All of them comes in high polished chrome. One comes in gray metal finish with a symbolic 75 years 1932-2007. bearing the Zippo name on the cap, this piece comes in two tone silver and gold plated finish. They wont be complete without bearing a diamond.

The last masterpiece saw it in 18K gold. It sells for $4,000. the previously mentioned lighters comes at $75 and $45 respectively. They bore a certificate of authenticity and is available worldwide.

A piece of time is what you need to rekindle the passion brought by your desires.

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