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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Slim Lighter Accessories Gift Kit
Slim Lighter Accessories Gift Kit

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Zippo Ashtray in Black
Zippo Ashtray in Black

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Zippo All-In-One Kit
Zippo All-In-One Kit

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Jack Daniel's Label Windproof Lighter
Jack Daniel's Label Windproof Lighter

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Windproof Lighter in Orange Matte
Windproof Lighter in Orange Matte

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Windproof Lighter in Sapphire with Zippo Logo
Windproof Lighter in Sapphire with Zippo Logo

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High Polished Brass Windproof Lighter w Engraved Solid Brass
High Polished Brass Windproof Lighter w Engraved Solid Brass

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Utility Lighter w Flexible Neck in Chrome
Utility Lighter w Flexible Neck in Chrome

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

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Seductive Silhouette Windproof Lighter
Seductive Silhouette Windproof Lighter

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Heart To Heart Windproof Lighter in Chrome
Heart To Heart Windproof Lighter in Chrome

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Hidden Dragon Windproof Lighter in Black
Hidden Dragon Windproof Lighter in Black

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Anarchy Windproof Lighter in Black
Anarchy Windproof Lighter in Black

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

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Timberwolves Windproof Lighter in Chrome
Timberwolves Windproof Lighter in Chrome

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Black Ice Wolf Windproof Lighter
Black Ice Wolf Windproof Lighter

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Max 1 Windproof Lighter
Max 1 Windproof Lighter

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

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A Bit 'O' Luck Windproof Lighter
A Bit 'O' Luck Windproof Lighter

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Zippo Ace Windproof Lighter
Zippo Ace Windproof Lighter

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Lucky Ace Windproof Lighter in High Polish Chrome
Lucky Ace Windproof Lighter in High Polish Chrome

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Jim Beam Pewter Emblem Windproof Lighter
Jim Beam Pewter Emblem Windproof Lighter

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Jim Beam Brass Emblem Windproof Lighter
Jim Beam Brass Emblem Windproof Lighter

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

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Jack Daniel's Brass Emblem Windproof Lighter
Jack Daniel's Brass Emblem Windproof Lighter

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Golden Butterfly Windproof Lighter
Golden Butterfly Windproof Lighter

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Where Eagles Dare Windproof Lighter in Brass
Where Eagles Dare Windproof Lighter in Brass

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Made in USA Flag Windproof Lighter
Made in USA Flag Windproof Lighter

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

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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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