Zippo Freaky Nature
The Circle of Life is whimsically depicted on this Zippo Freaky Nature set on a classic Brushed Chrome lighter. Vibrant life forms spring from slightly spooky roots in this captivating Color Image design. Comes packaged in a gift box. For optimal performance, fill with Zippo lighter fuel.
- Genuine Zippo windproof lighter with distinctive Zippo “click.”
- All metal construction: windproof design works virtually anywhere.
- Refillable for a lifetime of use; for optimum performance, we recommend genuine Zippo fuel, flints, and wicks.
- Made in USA; Lifetime guarantee that “it works or we fix it free™”
- Fuel: Zippo lighter fuel (sold separately)
Weight: 2.0 oz.
A Zippo lighter is a reusable metal lighter produced by Zippo Manufacturing Company of Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States. Thousands of different styles and designs have been made in the nine decades since their introduction, including military versions for specific regiments. Zippo lighters have been sold around the world and have been described as “a legendary and distinct symbol of America.” In 2012, the company produced the 500-millionth unit. Since the company’s inception, Zippo lighters have been primarily manufactured in the United States, although the company ran an operation from 1949 until 2002 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Zippo plant, c. 1930–1945
American inventor George G. Blaisdell founded Zippo Manufacturing Company in 1932 and produced the first Zippo lighter in early 1933, being inspired by an Austrian cigarette lighter of similar design made by IMCO. It got its name because Blaisdell liked the sound of the word “zipper,” and “zippo” sounded more modern. On March 3, 1936, the U.S. Patent Office granted a patent for the Zippo lighter.
Zippo lighters became popular in the United States military, especially during World War II—when, as the company’s web site says, Zippo “ceased production of lighters for consumer markets and dedicated all manufacturing to the US military”. Zippos were made of brass, but Zippo used a black crackle finished steel during the war years because of metal shortages. While the Zippo Manufacturing Company never had an official contract with the military, individual armed forces personnel requested that base exchange (BX) and post exchange (PX) stores carry this sought-after lighter. While it had previously been common to have Zippos with authorized badges, unit crests, and division insignias, it became popular among the American soldiers of the Vietnam War to get their Zippos engraved with personal mottos. These lighters are now sought-after collector’s items and popular souvenirs for visitors to Vietnam.
After World War II, the Zippo lighter became increasingly used in advertising by companies large and small through the 1960s. Much of the early Zippo lighter advertising are works of art painted by hand, and as technology has evolved, so has the design and finish of the Zippo lighter. The basic mechanism of the Zippo lighter has remained unchanged, but they developed into a popular fashion accessory, with a huge variety of artistic designs produced.
In 2002, Zippo expanded its product line to include a variety of utility-style multi-purpose lighters, known as Zippo MPLs. This was followed in 2005 with the Outdoor Utility Lighter, known as the OUL. These lighters are fueled with butane. In August 2007, Zippo released a new butane lighter called the Zippo BLU. It discontinued the line January 1, 2016.
A museum called “Zippo/Case visitors center” is located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, at 1932 Zippo Drive. This 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) building contains rare and custom-made Zippo lighters, and also sells the entire Zippo line. The museum was featured on the NPR program Weekend Edition on Sunday, January 25, 2009. The museum also contains an enormous collection of Case knives. Since the Zippo company’s 60th anniversary in 1992, annual editions have been produced for Zippo collectors.
In 2009, Zippo announced plans to purchase Ronson Consumer Products Corporation, a long-time competitor in the lighter market. On February 3, 2010, the deal was finalized.
In March 2011, due to significant decrease of sales from 18 million lighters a year in the mid-1990s to about 12 million lighters a year recently, combined with increasing pressure on people not to smoke, Zippo Manufacturing Co. tried offering a wider variety of products using the Zippo name, such as watches, leisure clothing and eau de cologne. This strategy is similar to the success Victorinox Swiss Army Brands Inc. has had selling watches, luggage, clothing, and fragrance.
On June 5, 2012, the company manufactured its 500,000,000th lighter and celebrated its 80th anniversary. In 2018, Zippo announced the sound trademark of its windproof lighter, making the Zippo lighters click officially one of the most recognized sounds in the world.