Despite the fact that lighters have transformed greatly over the years when considering technological innovation, one particular company is practically unchanged given it was formed over 75 years ago. The Zippo Manufacturing Company was created by George Blaisdell in Bradford, PA, in 1932. Presumably Blaisdell appreciated the sound of the term ‘zipper,’ and considered ‘Zippo’ seemed modern and hi-tech. Influenced by an Austrian lighter which claimed for being windproof, Blaisdell improved upon on the style, resulting in a product more or less the same as the Zippo we all know nowadays.
Zippos turned out to be vastly well-liked over the next several years, and their sturdy, windproof design made them perfect for members of the military. They were common issue in World war 2, and once supplies ran short, small lighters were built from two top halves, salvaging metal. This classic of Zippos is hard to locate, as many were left behind or misplaced, and those that survive are really priceless. Many of the lighters made for soldiers were coated in a ‘black crackle’ finish that soldiers may carve names and sketches into with blades or pins. ‘Trench art,’ as it has been known, boosts the value of a Zippo lighter tremendously.
Zippo had become an aesthetic symbol, and even one among efficiency and quality. Through the 1950′s Zippo was generating custom-decorated lighters for several corporations, golf clubs, and teams to use as advertisements or gift ideas. It had not been uncommon for corporations to provide monogrammed lighters for their workers for celebrations of service or retirements. Introduced in 1956, the Zippo Slim was another advancement, adding a finer, sleeker lighter to the company’s lineup.
These days, Zippos can be purchased with lots of types, which range from sports teams’ emblems to tattoo-style artwork. What makes Zippo unique is its layout which has stayed almost unrevised for over 75 years, and also its life-time warranties. If a Zippo breaks, it may be brought to the manufacturing plant for free restoration. As a hobbyist myself, I like having all my parts working. Zippos are well-liked by collectors because each lighter since 1955 has been stamped which includes a date code, and for pre ’55 lighters, the year may be recognized by a number of attributes of the stamping. This information is easy to find using the web, that makes it easier for a collector to begin.
While Zippo is considered an unique category throughout the lighter-collecting community, non-Zippo enthusiasts have equally as much to work with. Dunhill lighters, for example, had been launched in Britain in 1923 to speedy results. Ever since, Dunhills have already been considered the cream of the lighter crop, with new products selling as much as a thousand dollars. Older units are even more valuable, beginning with the single-wheel flint and naptha styles dating through the 1920′s, plus the single and double-wheel butane lighters in the 1930′s. Even though WWII stunted business considerably, Dunhill made a recovery in the 1950′s because of their thumbroller-ignition lighters, a style which happens to be virtually unchanged today.
For additional information on Zippo Lighters, check out Zippo Fluid or Cigarette Box