Zippo lighters in different designs and colors makes a remarkable assortment. If you have the first Zippo circa 1932, you have the collectors’ Holy Grail. Since its first lighter, Zippo has sold 425 million lighters and having just 30 of the different models is quite a collection. Here’s a rundown of the different lighters worthy of any collector’s collection.
The Lighter That Created Jobs
In the 1930s, America was in the throes of a great depression. Many tales have been told of farms foreclosed and jobs and fortunes lost. While there were a few stragglers from the affluent past, they were all cooking up ideas to make money. One was Mr. George G. Blaisdale who came up with good looking Zippo lighters.
The first Zippo lighters that came from the small company that rented a space on Rickerson & Pryde on Boylston Street. There were just three workers soldering the lighters, which Blaisdale borrowed from the Austrian concept of the lighter. Blaisdale wanted to come up with a small lighter that would fit one hand and make it less clumsy for the smoker to light his cigarette.
The original 1932 model was rectangular and had a protruding hinge that that held the lid to the three barrels and the body. The following year, this model was modified. By making it smaller by 1/4 inch, the lighter was on its way to become one of the world’s well-known lighters. At the time, the lighters sold for $1.95 and sales were not impressive. Blaisdale came up with the lifetime warranty, sold parts, and repaired lighters.
Merchants saw the opportunity to advertise their business through Zippo lighters. The Kendall Refining Company and Marlboro had a long-time partnership with Zippo lighters. This was a novel but effective concept for advertising. Avid collectors have these lighters in their prized collections. The rarer the lighter, the more expensive it is. Who knows if there’s one in the attic?
Collectors’ Items to Wish For
As the years rolled on, the Zippo lighters marked the events – a four star Zippo of Gen. Douglas MacArthur recalls the time of war and the sports series, which had engraved designs of different sports from football to golf.
In war time, these lighters provided more than just the convenience of lighting the cigarette. Soldiers used these for many purposes – even heating up canned stew.
Here are a few Zippo Lighters worth hunting up for a collection:
1. Windproof Lady – this lighter was introduced in 1937.
2. Zippos with the signature of Gen. MacArthur.
3. Table lighters – Barcroft Model and the Lady Bradford.
4. The discontinued Moderne and Corinthian.
5. NASA Zippos.
6. 1982 replicas of the original lighters.
7. Vintage series.
8. Coded series.
9. Zippo Blue.
10. Animal series.
12. Astrological series.
13. Regional series.
14. Medieval and Fantasy.
There are more of these Zippo lighters to thrill any collector. You can check out the available models online. How about checking out your friends’ collections so you would know which lighter to add to his collection? A book on Zippo lighters and Zippo accessories are good ideas too for the collector.
Before you go hunting for those most-wanted Zippo lighters, look up those lighters for the ladies, and scrounge up old magazines with Zippo advertisements. Have those adverts photocopied and framed. These are all welcome additions to the avid collector’s mixed bag of treasures.
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