Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, smoker, or neither of these, chances are pretty good that you have heard of Zippo lighters. This American made brand is the creme de la creme when it comes to lighters. Its history is just as captivating as the actual products themselves. Let's take a step back in history as we explore how Zippo got its start, why its products are American icons, and a look at the unique accessories offered by this legendary company.
The Birth of an American Legend
When anyone familiar with Zippo products hears the name, they instantly associate it with quality, dependability, sophisticated, rugged, and American made. In the early 1930s, in Bradford, Pennsylvania, George Blaisdell was watching a friend of his at a Country Club struggle to light a smoke with his cumbersome Austrian lighter. He was put-off by the inefficiency of the design, vulnerability of the exterior to damage, and the amount of effort it took to use it. You needed two hands and even with both hands, it wasn't easy to operate. However, he was impressed by how well the lighter worked even in windy conditions due to the unique chimney.
A short time later, in 1932, Blaisdell decided to create a better version of the Austrian lighter. He kept the components he liked and redesigned the ones he didn't. This resulted in a small rectangular case with a hinged-lid attached. He kept the chimney design due to its ability to protect a flame even in the worst conditions. Perhaps the most notable improvement he made is that you could operate this new lighter with one hand.
What's in a Name?
If you're thinking the name "Zippo" sounds a lot like "zipper", you're right. Blaisdell was fascinated by the word "zipper". He played around with different versions of the word until he landed on "Zippo". He liked the edginess combined with a modern feel.
World World II Alters Zippo's Course
World War II was a defining moment in the history of the Zippo Company. When America entered the war in 1941, Zippo halted the production of lighters in favor of dedicating all of its production resources to help the U.S. military. They ended up producing the first steel-case Zippo lighter with a black crackle finish that millions of American military personnel carried with them into battle.
This moment in Zippo's history not only made them an American icon throughout the entire world but gave them the financial stability to become the mega-success they are today.
In the mid-1950s, Zippo began stamping each Zippo lighter with a date code that was intended for quality control. With the date code, each lighter could be traced back to the date of production, batch, etc. What went unrealized at the time is that the date code would one day make Zippo lighters a collector's item whose history could be traced similar to that of a coin.
It was an accidentally genius idea that has greatly added to the value of Zippo Lighters today.
Remains a Family-Owned Business
Zippo has always been and remains a family-owned business. Since Blaisdell's passing, the company has been passed on through the generations and is now under the sole ownership of his grandson George B. Duke.
More than Lighters
The Zippo company began as a company that produced and sold world-class lighters. Today, while they still sell the same elite lighters to consumers all around the world, they also offer much more! Let's take a look at some of the most popular Zippo products available today.
Whether you are looking for a traditional lighter or a custom design such as the Celtic knot, Sons of Anarchy, aces high, or anything in between, you can find the design you are looking for on a Zippo lighter. Zippo lighters remain backed by its famous lifetime guarantee no matter the age or shape of your lighter!
Perfect for holding a standard Zippo lighter but also duals as a survival tool. It is made of 26 feet of woven nylon rope that is great in any number of survival situations.
Makes the perfect gift set for any type of celebration. The set comes complete with a reusable gold mini flex neck candle lighter, 18ml butane fuel canister, and 3 premium candles.
Zippo offers a variety of hand warmers in different shapes, colors, and sizes. These are great for making sure you stay warm no matter what situation you are in. As an added bonus, your hand warmers can be used to charge mobile devices with a USB port so that you can stay connected with the outside world.
This fire starter features a ferrocerium rod and striker to deliver a dependable spark in even the worst situations. This dependable firestarter is a must-have for any outdoor adventure.
You want your Zippo lighter in easy reach. This is why Zippo has created a line of genuine leather Zippo pouches with belt loops in a variety of colors to match any outfit and every occasion.
This weather-proof, water-resistant canister keeps matches dry and ready for use at a moment's notice. The canister has an airtight seal, floats on water, and is reusable. This is a must-have for every survivalist or outdoor adventurist.
Get Your Own Piece of History
Zippo is living history. It is tied to one of the most important wars this country has ever fought in. It has been immortalized through pop-culture, having graced the big screen, made countless appearances on Broadway, and become a staple in the music industry for good reason. They are known as the elite of the elite when it comes to high-quality lighters. We are proud to offer Zippo lighters and accessories and invite you to take a look at our collection.