Zippo was founded in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1932 by George G. Blaisdell. He was born on June 5, 1895, in Bradford. On the surface of it, young George Blaisdell hardly seemed like someone who would find success in the brutal years of the Depression. He had very little formal education. He hated school; walked out of fifth grade and told his family he ...Read More

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Regular Lighter Gift Kit
Regular Lighter Gift Kit

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Antique Silver Plate Windproof Lighter
Antique Silver Plate Windproof Lighter

$30.91 $41

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Utility Lighter w Flexible Neck in Black
Utility Lighter w Flexible Neck in Black

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Slim Lighter Accessories Gift Kit
Slim Lighter Accessories Gift Kit

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Bling Windproof Lighter in High Polished Chrome
Bling Windproof Lighter in High Polished Chrome

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Jack Daniel's Pewter Emblem Windproof Lighter
Jack Daniel's Pewter Emblem Windproof Lighter

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Black Ice Windproof Lighter with Zippo Logo
Black Ice Windproof Lighter with Zippo Logo

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Freedom Watch Windproof Lighter - Mazzi Collection
Freedom Watch Windproof Lighter - Mazzi Collection

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Windproof Lighter in Black Matte
Windproof Lighter in Black Matte

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Zippo Founder Windproof Lighter in Brushed Chrome
Zippo Founder Windproof Lighter in Brushed Chrome

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Armor Wall Windproof Lighter in Brass
Armor Wall Windproof Lighter in Brass

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Something Patriotic Windproof Lighter in Chrome
Something Patriotic Windproof Lighter in Chrome

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Zippo Butterfly Windproof Lighter
Zippo Butterfly Windproof Lighter

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Abyss Windproof Lighter with Zippo Logo
Abyss Windproof Lighter with Zippo Logo

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Windproof Lighter in Black Matte w Pipe Logo
Windproof Lighter in Black Matte w Pipe Logo

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Jack Daniel's Label Windproof Lighter
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Anarchy Windproof Lighter in Black
Anarchy Windproof Lighter in Black

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Venetian Windproof Lighter in High Polished Brass
Venetian Windproof Lighter in High Polished Brass

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1935 Replica Windproof Lighter
1935 Replica Windproof Lighter

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Armor Wall Windproof Lighter Chrome
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Army Windproof Lighter in Brushed Chrome Finish
Army Windproof Lighter in Brushed Chrome Finish

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Hidden Dragon Windproof Lighter in Black
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High Polish Chrome Windproof Lighter
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Bordered Windproof Lighter in Black Matte w Zippo Logo
Bordered Windproof Lighter in Black Matte w Zippo Logo

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Windproof Lighter w Woodpipe in Brushed Chrome
Windproof Lighter w Woodpipe in Brushed Chrome

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1941 Replica Windproof Lighter in Brushed Chrome Finish
1941 Replica Windproof Lighter in Brushed Chrome Finish

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Cross Windproof Lighter in Black
Cross Windproof Lighter in Black

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Windproof Lighter in Navy Matte
Windproof Lighter in Navy Matte

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Windproof Lighter in Candy Apple Red
Windproof Lighter in Candy Apple Red

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Lossproof Brushed Chrome Lighter w Loop & Lanyard
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Zippo

Zippo was founded in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1932 by George G. Blaisdell. He was born on June 5, 1895, in Bradford. On the surface of it, young George Blaisdell hardly seemed like someone who would find success in the brutal years of the Depression. He had very little formal education. He hated school; walked out of fifth grade and told his family he wasn’t going back.

His father bundled him off to a military academy, but young George Blaisdell lasted only two years there before he was summarily dismissed. His father put him to work in the family business – the Blaisdell Machinery Company – where he learned metal work, a skill that would come in handy in the germination stages of the Zippo lighter nearly thirty years later.

After World War I, he took over the family business, then sold the machinery company in 1920 and put the money in oil. The 20s roared – then stopped. Oil plunged – along with just about everything else – into the Great Depression. In Bradford, PA, where years of oil-boom business seemed invulnerable, the effects of the Depression were deeply felt.

Sarah Dorn provides this account of her father in the early days of Zippo: “My father hated the oil business. He wasn’t particularly good at it; in fact, he was a man for whom the boom was bust. He didn’t have the temperament for it. The one thing he did know in the early ‘30s was that he needed to do something, because those days were tough. There wasn’t a lot of money lying about then, but he went to everybody to get the money to launch Zippo Manufacturing Company. Nobody had any faith in it. It seemed like a foolish, harebrained idea. And it was. Imagine: manufacturing and marketing a lighter for $1.95 when that amount of money fed a family. What kept him going? I think whatever it was, it was tinged with desperation. He had to make this work. For him and his family, as they say now, there was no Plan B.”

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