Illustrated History of Zippo 1932-2008

How has Zippo since the invention to the present day

Last modified on 2009-08-20 13:08:07 GMT. 10 comments . Top .

The history of Zippo Manufacturing company and the invention of George Grant Blaisdell - lighters Zippo - has more than 75 years. For the first time in Russian gathered detailed illustrated chronology of these years: the most significant events in the history of the company and its products.


Founded Zippo Manufacturing Company. 1932 marked the first experiments with lighters when created numerous prototypes, until George finally settled on what has become the world's first Zippo. In a rented room that housed the studio, initially worked only 6 people. Today is the world's first Zippo lighter Zippo kept in a museum in Bradford. It is attached to a note written by hand by George Blaisdell: «First Zippo lighter. Do not touch ».


Earlier this year, the market produced the first production Lighter Zippo. The earliest models were made of lighter profile rectangular themselves were rectangular, with square corners and no graffiti. In January 1933, was released 82 lighters. These models lighters are the most valuable collector's item, officially known to exist in the collections of no more than 50 remaining authentic models of production in 1933. You know yourself how much they are now :) By the end of model year was shortened to 1/4 inches high (0.6 cm).


At the corners of the body become lighter engraved decorative oblique lines. Now this can be seen engraved on the copies model 1935 ("1935 replica») and 1937 ("1937 vintage replica»).

May 17, 1934 have been filed papers to receive the first patent for a pocket of Zippo petrol lighter.


The appearance of advertising on the Zippo. In 1935, at the first began to appear lighters promotional posters. They are either engraved or glued to the hull. The very first company to order advertising was oil company «Kendall Oil». It was in 1935 were released on lot of 500 lighters with its logo.


The company first began to make Zippo lighters for engraving and logo inscribed with the initials of the customer.

March 3, 1936 the company Zippo was issued U.S. patent number 2,032,695 for a pocket petrol lighter. Number of patents published on the bottoms of the lighter up to 1953.


The company has changed the technology of making a little lighter and they have taken a new shape with rounded corners, so that can be seen to this day. However, rectangular lighters also continued to be issued a couple of years.

There was a sports series Zippo.

In December 1937, in the journal «Esquire» appeared the first printed advertising Zippo . And that's when the artist Enoch Bollesom created the famous Windy Girl, glorified Zippo itself has become part of history.


Zippo company bought a building on Barbour Street in Bradford, where he moved production of lighters. This building was first acquired by the company.

There was the first desktop model lighters called «Barcroft». It was big and heavy, with lots of inserts, can hold about 4-5 times more fuel than normal. Desktop Zippo first model remained very small, so that they are respectively - a four dollar amount.


Released lighters made of silver and gold 583rd test.


The widespread use of the pantograph for use on lighter images and inscriptions. Ended the era of the metal plates on the body - the so-called metallique.


The plant switched to production of Zippo lighters made of steel, as all other metals were considered strategic and are used only for military purposes. Almost 100% of the products sold in the Zippo U.S. forces. Steel used in the manufacture of Zippo to 1945 inclusive. Lighters that period painted with black paint and then baked paint, forming the so-called Black Crackle - Black pautinchaty drawing.

Issued 1,000,000 th Lighter Zippo.


We first made a dent lighter bottom, it exists to this day on most production models.


Issued 10,000,000 th Lighter Zippo.

The company was acquired by Zippo car Chrysler Saratoga New Yorker, which soon became famous Zippomobilem (Zippo Car).

There was a table model Barcroft 2. Compared to the first model it was slightly reduced body and reshaped pedestal.


Published a series of lighters «Town and Country», on which were depicted animals, birds and pictures of hunting theme, with the first was to test a new method of drawing images on metal: contour image is first engraved on the lighter to a depth of a few thousandths of an inch, then the circuit inside colorable by hand airbrushing and image solidified by heating to a high temperature. Lighters these series are considered to be among the most beautiful in the entire history and are highly prized by collectors.

August 1, 1949 opened a branch Zippo factory in Canada, who worked until 2002.


Produced lighter-coated leather in different colors

Released a desktop model Lady Bradford.

The Company has been granted a new patent for the design of the petrol lighter with the number 2517191.

Released a desktop model Zippo Barcroft 3 - slightly shortened version of the second model.


At the time of the Korean War, the company moved again Zippo lighters for manufacturing of steel (up to end of 1953).


Zippo Lighter first appeared in advertising Marlboro cigarettes simultaneously with another style icon - the cowboy Marlboro. C since they were practically inseparable, and became part of the Zippo product advertising Marlboro.

There was a table model Barcroft 4. This model has become a kind of long-lived and was produced until 1979. Its design was such that she was using a standard insert, as well as other serial lighters, but a large body was inside the container with cotton, which could also add fuel. As a result, even with the normal insert Zippo Barcroft 4 will run 3-4 times longer than ordinary pocket lighters.


Issued with a gold lighter (gold filled) and silver (silver filled) sputtering.

Zippo company moved to a new building at 33 Barbour street - this address is stored in the company to this day.


June 8, 1956 released narrow model lighters (Slim), which was positioned as an elegant lighter for women.


In 1957, a system was developed to display the stamp issue date lighters lighters produced farther identified model year. Date code on the bottom of a Zippo in 1957 designated points.


There are desktop models Zippo Moderne and Corinthian.

A first narrow model Slim, made of gold.

Issued 50,000,000 th Lighter Zippo.

First appeared on the market other products under the brand Zippo - the first was roulette. Outwardly, her body looked exactly the same as the body of the lighter, and almost immediately appeared and gift sets, which included paired Lighter and measuring tape with the same pattern.


Date code on the bottom of a Zippo was designated vertical stripes |.


In commemoration of the landing of American astronauts to the moon issued a series of lighters «Moon Landing». This is the last serial lighters, in the technique «Town and Country». Issue lighter space-themed periodically go on and on, until the 1990's.

First issued lighter red copper (copper). It was an order of Kennecott, which owns copper mines in the U.S.. Copper for the first batch of lighters was produced exactly the mines of the company.


Was presented to design a series of Venetian, which proved so successful that the lighters are available in this design to this day.

Date code on the bottom of a Zippo was denoted by slashes /.


George Grant Blaisdell died at the age of 83 years. Control of the company passed to his daughter, Sarah Dorn (Sarah Dorn).


Released a desktop model Zippo Handilite. It was an ordinary cigarette lighter to attach to the bottom of her stand.


In the market for the first time presented a pipe model Zippo, which are characterized in that windproof part has one large hole on each side and the top of the windshield covered plate for easy lighting a pipe a lighter.

Started using brass (solid brass) for the series production of lighters.

Date code on the bottom of a Zippo was designated backslash \.


Released a copy of the model in 1937 - the first official "replica", ie copy the model of previous years.

Produced gas lighters series Contempo. This was the first step in the direction of Zippo from traditional petrol lighters.


Date code on the bottom of a Zippo became an alphanumeric using Roman numerals of the year. Virtually all production lighters (excluding special series) issued after July 1986, marked the year and month of release.


Released a copy of the model 1932.

September 23, 1988 issued 200,000,000 th Zippo Lighter


The company celebrated its 60th anniversary this year and was produced in limited series of collectible lighters «Collectible of the Year», produced annually by 2002.


Zippo Company Acquires WR Case & Sons - Manufacturer of pocket knives.


June 7, 1994 in Bradford, a museum of Zippo.

August 5, 1994 held the first National Day of Zippo (National Zippo Day).


July 21 and 22 in Bradford, the first international meeting of collectors (Zippo / Case International Swap Meet). In the future such meetings became annual.


February 29, 1996, opened the first Web site Zippo, who had address

April 5, 1996 issued 300,000,000 th Lighter Zippo.


In celebration of the 65th anniversary of the founding of the company was represented by a desktop model Lady Barbara. It was a stand in the form of a model very similar to Lady Bradford, in the stand was his lighter model Antique Silver.

Visitor center is open Zippo / Case (Zippo / Case Visitors Center). This complex includes a retail store, museum and hospital Zippo Zippo, where any visitor can observe the repair lighters.


Created soveremnnaya copy Zippomobilya (Zippo Car), which is in service to this day.


Date code on the bottom of a Zippo became an alphanumeric using Arabic figures for the year.


Released model 1941 - a copy of the 1941 model with flat faces and rounded body. This form lighters many collectors as the most perfect and unmatched in the history of the production of Zippo.

Held the first meeting of the Japanese collectors Zippo (Zippo Tokyo Swap Meet).


Launched its official collectors club ZippoClick.

July 21, 2002 closing Canadian Zippo factory in Niagara Falls.

World's first domestic gas lighter Zippo Multi-Purpose Lighter (MPL).

Zippo lighters form registered in the U.S. as an independent trademark.


September 3, 2003 issued 400,000,000 th Lighter Zippo. This event was marked by the release of a special limited collector's series and other souvenirs.


The company buys the Italian company Zippo Zippo Fashion Italia, is engaged in production of leather goods and handbags.


Developed and released gas lighter Zippo Blu. Officially, she has appeared on the market only in 2006, but there are instances of pilot marked 2005.


75-year anniversary of Zippo Manufacturing Company.

Released model 1935 replica - replica model 1935 with external hinges.


December 3, 2008 The site :))

But in what order to appear on the market various products under the brand Zippo - everything except the actual lighters:

1960: Roulette (rule)

1965: a small pocket knife (pocket knife)

1965: golf ball (golf ball)

1966: buckle belt (belt buckle)
1968: badge holder Course (greenskeeper)

1969: Knife with Clip for notes (money clip knife)

1970: Table ashtray (Out-A-Matic Ashtray)
1971: The first model of the transmitter (zip-a-part keychain)

1973: key rings (key holder)
1976: The Loop (magnifier)
1976: greenskeeper clamp for notes (greenskeeper money clip)
1978: a knife for opening letters (letter opener)
1980: The case for tablet (pill box)

1980: Playing Cards (deck sets)

1982: large pocket knife (cut-about pocket knife)
1990: leather belt covers lighter (lighter pouch)
1996: The pen (writing instrument)

And this is the official slogan of the company Zippo, which have been used in advertising its products, printed in advertisements and packaging, lighters:

1933: A week's trial, then all the while.
1951: The One-Zip Windproof Lighter.
1953: America's Number One Business Gift.
1954: Always works - or we fix it free.
1954: Guaranteed to Work FOREVER.
1958: The Lighter that WORKS.
1961: Works always ... or we fix them free.
1968: It works or we fix it free.
1994: Lifetime Guarantee Made in USA.
1998: Use it to start something.
1999: When you need it, it works.
2001: Zippo. For Real.
2006: The Name In Flame.

Add-on chronology Zippo accepted online .