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Blaisdell had date codes imprinted on the bottom of the lighter cases. These codes provided him with the date of manufacture, should a defect be found, allowing him to maintain records of repairs. Fortunately, those date codes are a tremendous help today in the ability of collectors to correctly identify the year any given Zippo lighter was made. Inserts can also be dated by their material, number of holes in the chimney, flint wheel style, cam style and markings.

Pending was stamped from until the end of , when it was replaced with Pat. Date codes appeared as early as , and the dating system was fully in effect by Before , dating Zippo lighters can be a bit tricky, as the exact placement of the words must be taken into consideration. Again, placement of the wording, the material the case is made of and the number of barrels on the hinge play key factors in dating earlier Zippo lighters. In , the dot and slash date code methods were replaced with Roman numerals representing the year and letters of the alphabet representing the month of production.

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The collectibles market is extremely volatile and any given piece is worth only whatever someone else wants to pay to begin or complete a collection. Collecting Zippo lighters is about fun, about history, about people. Zippo Manufacturing Company makes no claim as to how much a single lighter, however old or in whatever condition, is worth.

Several books have been published about Zippo lighters and lighter collecting. For a current list, visit zippo. For the latest information about Zippo lighter collecting, visit zippoclick. The 15, square-foot center houses northern Pennsylvania's most visited museum, the world famous Zippo Repair Clinic, and a retail store containing the most complete line of Zippo and Case products in the world.

Call the visitors' information line at GGB, or visit zippo. The current Zippo Car, a replica of the original, was made in to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ippo product mobile.

Vintage Cigarette Lighters

Does it wear a metallique? Is it a What does condition mean? Condition means everything in lighter collecting with the possible exception of sentiment. To some collectors, it means that the lighter is as pristine as the day it was made. Never lit means "mint" to some aficionados. But here's a rule of thumb: The chrome is in top shape. The lighter has all original parts. It has never been repaired. If painted or enameled, the colors are not chipped or scratched. The cam Many counterfeit lighters look very much like the real thing. This is especially true of lighters depicting the designs and sentiments of the Vietnam War era.

This book will help you determine that. In , Zippo Manufacturing Company was granted trademark protection for the shape of the world famous Zippo windproof lighter. Zippo is taking aggressive measures to confront this problem. There are many Zippo look alikes! As interest in manufacture of counterfeit spring is strong. It opens with that distinctive Zippo lighter "click" and closes with that solid, reassuring "thunk". Many collectors use a rating scale from "Mint" to "Excellent" to "Fine" to "Good" to "Fair" to "Poor", depending on these variables of condition.

And finally, does the Zippo windproof lighter still have its original packaging? Original boxes, labels, and printed inserts add considerably to the collectibility of the lighter. Determining the date of a Zippo lighter is fun and easy. Because Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell offered a lifetime guarantee, the bottom of each Zippo lighter made since the mids was encoded with a series of markings so he could identify which run of lighters was being returned for repairs.

What began as a quality- control tool for Mr. Blaisdell has become a collector's dream and a way to precisely date most Zippo lighters. Over the years, the date code format has been modified, most recently in We've included a key to the code on the next pages.

Myth - The codes on the bottom indicate the quality of the lighter. Some individuals believe that an "A" lighter is better than an "H" lighter. For date codes including Roman numerals, the higher the Roman numeral, the higher the quality. Fact - The codes on the bottom stamp are date codes indicating when the lighter was manufactured. Myth - Lighters are manufactured by prisoners.

The Roman Numerals at the bottom of the lighter indicate the length of prison sentence. The letters on the bottom stamp indicate their crime "R" for Rape, "M" for murder, etc. Fact - Lighters are manufactured in Bradford, PA by employees who are paid for their service to the company. As with most collectibles, the date of manufacture of a Zippo lighter often affects its value. Valuable information on the bottom of every Zippo lighter can help you determine its date of manufacture. Most lighters fabricated between and can be identified by style and model and the patent or patent-pending marks.

Starting in the mid 50s, date codes were stamped on the bottom. The original purpose was for quality control. The date codes have since become an invaluable tool for Zippo collectors. The appearance of the word "Zippo" in the bottom stamp provides another clue to dating. There have been three major changes, as shown in inset.

From to the mid 50s the word Zippo was stamped in block letters. The Zippo script logo was developed in the late 40s and was phased-in on the lighter bottom stamp around In the late ZOs the logo was redesigned. It was incorporated into the bottom stamp in Slim Lighter Identification Codes Slim lighters were first introduced in , with a flat bottom and no date code. The first markings were added in Z and overlapped into From Z the code configuration on the slim lighters differed from the regular lighters.

Zippo Collectors' Guide - Zippo

From on, the configuration has been the same. This number was stamped in error, should have been Patent c. One of the slash marks was removed from the left of the Zippo trademark instead of being removed from the right; thus the code read: This date code error was corrected within the same year to read: Beginning in , the Roman numerals indicating the year were replaced with numbers corresponding to the last digits of the year of manufacture.

For more collecting information, consult one of several books about Zippo lighters or visit zippoclick. The classic s Varga Girl look recalled Zippo's first national advertisement in The four lighters, when put together, make up a large canvas, a kind of puzzle. Jaguar and Cub at Turtle Falls.


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  4. Date and Patent codes are key to dating vintage Zippo lighters;

These pinup girls are reminiscent of Zippo's early national advertisements. Set includes a companion Zippo license plate key tag. One World , One Future represented two Zippo firsts: Hollywood's Leading Light saluted Zippo with its own Hollywood star on a new gold dust finish. Carried to work, to important events, even into battle, Zippo lighters are part of our lives and our history.

Zippo debuts 80th anniversary lighters in 2012

Every Zippo lighter has a story - funny, poignant, even heroic - whenever or wherever a Zippo lighter clicks open, a conversation starts. Some of those stories are recorded in the booklet that accompanied this collectible. Prehistoric man discovered fire, but Zippo has perfected it. The colors were airbrushed on the lighter one at a time, after the surface was engraved at.

The classic series was illustrated with eight icons: Individual clients and organizations used this engraved and paint-on-paint process for their logos and military or fraternal insignias.

How to identify vintage Zippo lighters and celebrate their 80th anniversary in 2012

Metalliques are metal lace, handcrafted slices of chrome-plated brass, razor- thin at five one-thousandths of an inch. Metallique production peaked in the late s. From the mid - s to the early s, customers could send in any lighter and have any available metallique - including metallique initials - applied to their lighters, thus making exact dating of some metalliques difficult. Some of the most famous and familiar metalliques include Kendall Oil, the two views of the Reveler, the Scotty dog, and the World's Fair. An attempt to reintroduce Zippo lighters with the distinctive look of the metallique as a part of our 65th Anniversary celebration was unsuccessful.

Fact - Zippo did manufacture lighters with a leather wrap. It was a way to give a new look to our product. A slightly shorter 10 was introduced in as the Deluxe All- Purpose Table Lighter, and in it was shortened again, to 3. In , the 10 began to utilize the same inside unit as a Zippo pocket lighter, and in , the 10 was renamed the Barcroft.

The Barcroft was produced until Lady Bradford The elegantly curved Lady Bradford, introduced in , is the first table lighter initially produced with and without a base. The model had a large inside unit and no base, both features that were changed in the model. Production of the Lady Bradford was discontinued in Moderne and Corinthian In I, Zippo introduced the Moderne, a cylinder shaped table lighter and the Corinthian, an urn shaped table lighter.

The Moderne was available in three different finishes: The Corinthian was also available in three finishes: Both the Moderne and Corinthian were discontinued in Handilite Introduced in , Zippo combined the unique styling of a traditional windproof pocket lighter with an attachable pedestal base to create the Handilite table lighter.

Lady Barbara Introduced in as part of the 65th Anniversary accessories collection, the Lady Barbara was added to the Zippo line in The pewter base nested an antique silver plate lighter, which could be easily lifted out for use or refilling. The company archives are filled with letters detailing the services a Zippo lighter was called to perform: On several occasions, a Zippo lighter in a shirt or pants pocket even saved a life by deflecting bullets.

No wonder legendary war correspondent Ernie Pyle wrote, "Getting hold of a Zippo lighter is like getting hold of a hunk of gold. There is truly nothing the average soldier would rather have. Today collectors refer to these rare models as black crackle lighters. Walter Nadler In the early s, a Zippo employee found a genuine black crackle World War ll-era lighter bearing a simple hand-carved inscription, "Walter Nadler" on the front and "June 6, , France" on the back.