What is Zippo: It is a brand of refillable, metal lighter manufactured by Zippo Manufacturing Company of Bradford, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Founder(s): George G Blaisdell
George G. Blaisdell produced the first Zippo lighter in early 1933, being inspired by an Austrian cigarette lighter of similar design.
- The company is named so because the founder liked the sound of ‘zipper’ and chose Zippo because it sounded more modern.
- The first lighter produced in 1933 had an attached note, written by Mr. Blaisdell, which read ‘First Zippo Lighter. Do Not Touch’.
- During WWII, the company ceased operation for civilians and dedicated all their output to the US military.
- A 500 piece order from Bradford’s Kendall Refinery marked the beginning of the advertising specialty business. The Kendall’s logo became the first logo to appear on the surface of the lighter.
- A museum called Case visitors center is located in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
- All parts of the lighter are replaceable. In all there are 22 parts, and the lighter requires 108 manufacturing operations.
- The personalization of these lighters was very common from 1930s to late 1980s. Every lighter was packaged with an order form for the consumer to return the lighter to be personalized.
- Slogans: The one-zip windproof lighter (1932-37), America’s number one business gift (1932-37), Guaranteed to work FOREVER, Use it to start something, The Name in Flame (2006-Present)