What is the history of the Zippo lighter?

What is the history of the Zippo lighter featured

The Origins of Zippo Lighters

The story of the Zippo lighter begins with a man named George G. Blaisdell, who was inspired by an Austrian windproof lighter. Blaisdell saw the potential for such a product in the American market and set out to create his own version. After a series of prototypes, he finally landed on the design we know today – a rectangular case with a hinged lid and a striking wheel. The first Zippo lighter was produced in Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1933 and quickly gained popularity amongst smokers.

Zippo Lighters in World War II

The Zippo lighter’s popularity soared during World War II, as soldiers overseas used them for their durability and reliability. Zippo even stopped production of their civilian lighters in order to focus solely on the production of military models. These models were stamped with the phrase “Bradford, PA” on the bottom to ensure that servicemen could return them for repair, no matter where they were in the world.

The Zippo Lighter Today

Today, Zippo lighters are not just a smoking accessory – they have become a collector’s item as well. The company’s website boasts a range of limited edition lighters that feature everything from popular TV shows to famous artists. Zippo has also expanded its offering to include other products, like candles and pocket knives.

Zippo’s Cultural Impact

The Zippo lighter has made an appearance in countless films and TV shows, becoming a pop culture icon. In the Vietnam War film Forrest Gump, the character Lieutenant Dan uses a Zippo lighter to light his cigarette. The lighter has also made its way into the lyrics of many songs, including Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.” The lighter’s influence on popular culture is a testament to its lasting legacy.

The Future of Zippo

The future of Zippo seems bright, as the company has continued to innovate and expand its offerings. In recent years, Zippo has partnered with other companies to create limited edition lighters, like their collaboration with Supreme. The company has also focused on sustainability, with their new Recharge line of lighters that are refillable and rechargeable. As long as smoking remains a popular activity, it’s likely that Zippo lighters will continue to be a common sight for years to come.

Jump to section