George Grant Blaisdell established Zippo in October 1932 in Bradford, Pa., and the first Zippo lighter was produced in January 1933.Blaisdell had date codes imprinted on the bottom of the lighter cases.Zippo Manufacturing Co, the northwestern Pennsylvania company that makes metal-cased cigarette lighters with lids known for their distinctive 'click,' is on schedule to produce its 500 millionth lighter later this year.'It's a product that works, it's a product that is relatively the same exact lighter it was in late 1932,' Duke said.'It's a huge milestone to us and it's a huge milestone to our Zippo fans around the world.'Paul J Lucas, a brand consultant who founded his self-named Paul in Washington D.
Fortunately, those date codes are a tremendous help today in the ability of collectors to correctly identify the year any given Zippo lighter was made.Very quickly, you can determine a broad age of a Zippo lighter based on the three major changes to the style of the word “Zippo” imprinted on the bottom of the lighter. Before 1959, dating Zippo lighters can be a bit tricky, as the exact placement of the words must be taken into consideration.The “Block” Zippo was used from 1933 to 1954; it was changed to the “Script” Zippo in 1955, and the “Flaming i” began in 1980. Pending was stamped from 1933 until the end of 1936, when it was replaced with Pat. We’ve provided examples of what we believe to be the correct bottom codes for those tricky years.C., said the kind of publicity that comes with such a milestone is more valuable than typical advertising, because it has built-in credibility.About 50,000 replicas of the 500 millionth lighter produced that day will come with the company's well-known brushed nickel chrome finish.