• ZIPPO - the most recognized Cigarette Lighter.

    Almost everyone, especially those of us who grew up between the 1940’s and 1970’s, are familiar with the ZIPPO lighter. Back when over 75% of adults smoked, a ZIPPO lighter was indispensable. They were produced with thousands of varied colorful art and advertising designs on the front and sometimes the rear of the lighter. As a result of ZIPPO’s prominent place in American culture (and world culture), ZIPPO lighters are now highly collectible.

    The ZIPPO story began in late 1932 when ZIPPO founder George G. Blaisdell designed a lighter similar to an Austrian lighter one of his friends possessed. The Austrian lighter worked extremely well in the wind, but required two hands to operate.   Blaisdell’s original lighter was attractive, relatively small, had an attached hinged lid, worked well in the wind, and, most importantly, easily operated with one hand. His original patent was Patent Number 203265 and was granted on March 3, 1936. He named the lighter ZIPPO, a derivative of “zipper” because a zipper and the lighter were both easy to use.

    As the decline of cigarette smoking, and the related decline in the need for lighters has occurred, the number of ZIPPO lighters seen in daily life has decreased. But now ZIPPO lighters have become very collectible, especially older ZIPPOs in good condition. The next time you are in The BRASS ARMADILLO, be sure to look for ZIPPO lighters.