F.A.Q.


How can I tell if a Zippo is fake?

Most fake and doctored Zippos can be identified as such by an experienced collector or dealer. Where there is uncertainty, careful examination and comparison to a known authentic Zippo helps a lot. A magnifying glass is highly recommended. Zippo Manufacturing Company's Collector Club can provide some help. Fellow Zippo collectors or dealers can help shed light on the authenticity of any particular Zippo. There are also some excellent Japanese and European websites as well as books that provide excellent information to help determine authenticity. In general, if it doesn't seem right or is too good to be true, then it probably isn't.

Why does the Zippo lighter fluid evaporate so quickly?

Zippo lighter fluid, by its very nature, will evaporate, even when the Zippo lighter is not used. We recommend you fill your Zippo lighter before you leave on a trip or outdoor excursion. Infrequently lit Zippo lighters should be filled before using.

How do I add fuel to my Zippo lighter?

Remove the inside unit from the case. Lift the corner of the felt pad on the bottom of the insert to reveal the packing material in the fuel chamber. Saturate the packing with Zippo lighter fluid. Fill slowly, taking care to never overfill. Avoid getting the lighter fluid on your skin as it can be a skin irritant. If contact with skin does occur, wash the affected area with mild soap and water. Insert the inside unit back into the case, making sure to wipe the lighter and your hands dry before igniting. Be sure the fuel can is closed and there is no spilled fuel in the vicinity before igniting. This is a flammable fluid. If the Zippo lighter is kept in your pocket, Zippo suggests that it be placed bottom down, especially when first re-fueled.

How do I change the wick in my Zippo lighter?

Remove the inside unit from the case. Unscrew the flint spring from the bottom of the inside unit. Remove screw and attached spring. Remove felt pad. Use tweezers to remove all packing from fuel chamber. Insert new wick downward through chimney, pulling through with tweezers. Replace packing in small pieces, interweaving the wick between the padding pieces. Replace felt pad. Be sure the remainder of the old flint has been removed from the flint tube. Place new flint in tube, replace flint spring and screw lightly. Make sure screw is turned as far as it will go, otherwise the cover will not close completely. Be sure to trim wick even with chimney height.

How do I change the flint in my Zippo lighter?

Remove the inside unit from the case. Unscrew the flint spring from the bottom of the inside unit. Remove screw and attached spring. Be sure the remainder of the old flint has been removed from the flint tube. Place new flint in tube, replace spring and screw lightly. Make sure screw is turned as far as it will go, otherwise the cover will not close completely.

What do the markings on the bottom of my Zippo lighter mean?

The markings at the bottom of our Zippo lighter cases are identification codes, which enable us to determine in what month and year a particular Zippo lighter was manufactured. These codes change from year to year.


History


Zippo originated in a small Pennsylvania town at a time when the United States was in its worst depression in history. The Zippo's story begins at this darkest moment. Zippo's success came about through initiative and hard work, through the creation of a durable and functional product, through ingenious marketing and attentive service, and through the innovation of a lifetime product warranty.

It all started on one summer evening in 1932, at a dinner dance held at the Bradford Country Club, on a hill on the outskirts of Bradford, Pennsylvania. Attending the dance was George G. Blaisdell, who later became known as "Mr. Zippo." Blaisdell was one of those looking for a new way to make money. So far, he had yet to bump into anything promising.

Blaisdell, who had been growing tired of the dance and idle talk of politics, went out onto the terrace to have a smoke. There, he saw a friend of his trying to light up a cigarette, taking out of his pocket an unsightly brass lighter that was patently tawdry. The ugly lighter was totally out of place in the hand of the perfectly attired gentleman. The sight of the man trying clumsily to open the lighter's lid was so comical that Blaisdell almost started to laugh. "You're all dressed up. Why don't you get a lighter that looks decent?" blurted Blaisdell. His friend must have thought it was none of Blaisdell business. "It works!" he declared, defensively.

Those two words, "It works!", whirled in George Blaisdell's head that night. In these times, everyone must be looking for something that is low-priced, yet sturdy and durable, he thought. No, that isn't so; those things are always sought after, not just in bad times. This lighter business is promising!

Blaisdell immediately obtained the sole U.S. rights from the Austrian lighter manufacturer. To improve its appearance, Blaisdell chrome-plated the lid of the lighter and raised the price to one dollar. He couldn't sell any, he discovered that there were defects in the lighter. Blaisdell was determined to develop a new lighter that would not fail to light.

Abandoning the defective Austrian lighter, Blaisdell rented a corner of the second floor of the Rickerson & Pryde, Inc. building on Boylston Street. Blaisdell paid $10 a month in rent, hired three people, and began to develop a new lighter. He and his team used an electric hot plate for soldering. Everything from the punch press to the welder was second-hand equipment. The total cost of his equipment was $260 at the time. The first thing Blaisdell did was to make the lighter smaller to be able to fit in the palm of the hand, and he incorporated a hinge to hold the lid to the bottom, making it an integral part of the lighter. This enabled the user to open the lighter using only one hand. Blaisdell then placed a wind hood around the wick, he utilized the hood design of the Austrian lighter and named the new product "Zippo".

The original Zippo model was introduced in 1932. This model had a rectangular shape with a protruding hinge holding the lid to the body and three barrels. The following year, the model was shortened by 1/4 inch. The retail price of the original windproof model was $1.95. In the company's ledger at the end of the first month, 82 units were produced and sales were $69.15.

To market the new product, Blaisdell came up with the practice of a lifetime warranty, a concept that began with the first Zippo lighter and has remained the same to the present day. The repair and sale of parts after the expiration of the warranty was a major source of the business revenue. Zippo repaired all types of defects without charging a cent. The lighter was returned postpaid within 48 hours with a note reading, "We thank you for the opportunity of serving your lighter". The concept of a lifetime warranty became Zippo's primary marketing scheme.

Zippo Guarantee


All Zippo's are covered by a Lifetime Guarantee.

Postage


SA Post Office
R35

Speed Services to
PO Counter
R99

Postnet
R99

Amarex to Door
R99