Zippo

A Zippo is a refillable, metal lighter manufactured by the Zippo Manufacturing Company. They are highly collectible and hundreds of different styles and design have been made in the last 70 years.

Zippos are typically rectangular in design with a hinged flip-top lid. Unlike plastic lighters that are used and thrown away, Zippos are refilled with liquid lighter fluid. By sliding the inner component out of the outer shell you are able to pour lighter fluid into a cotton packing that holds a wick. The flint that produces the spark to ignite the wick is also replaceable.

Zippos gained popularity as “windproof” lighters—able to stay lit in harsh weather. They became popular in the United States military, especially during World War II when nearly all Zippo lighters produced went to the Allied war effort. Additionally, Zippos are known for the lifetime guarantee they carry. If a Zippo breaks, no matter how old, the company will replace or fix the lighter for free.

George G. Blaisdell founded the Zippo Manufacturing Company (located in Bradford, Pennsylvania) in 1932 and produced the first Zippo in early 1933. It got its name as a play on the word zipper that was invented in nearby Meadville, Pennsylvania.

By 1936 the first patent was granted for the Zippo lighter.

Since 1933, over 325,000,000 Zippos have been produced.

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