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When you have a product perfect for collecting—many iterations, a reasonable price tag (minus that 18K gold number), a long history—and you factor in a certain je nais se quois, you have something that will spur the creation of collectors clubs (there are many), fan pages, and rabid collectors all hunting for Black Crackles, old date markings, and a two-wheeled Zippo that somehow slipped out of a factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania.THE ZIPPO LIGHTER COLLECTORS' GUIDE Dear Zippo Lighter Enthusiast, pushed the first insert into the first case of what would be the first Zippo lighter. Zippo introduced its own lighter collectors' club, Zippo Click, in 2002, logging over 8000 members in the first three years.
seven years before people camped outside of Hallmark stores for Beanie Babies—and Zippo’s story of collectibility really begins in 1939, almost a decade after the company was founded.
(You can learn more the dating code here.) Also stamped on the bottom of every Zippo lighter is the town where it was made—Bradford, PA. You see, there was a period when Zippo operated a factory in Canada (tax purposes), and lighters that came from that factory were stamped with “Niagara Falls, Ontario,” in place of “Bradford, Pennsylvania.” Since Zippo Canada’s production wasn’t close to that of Zippo USA, a Zippo from the land of poutine is a must-have for any serious collector. And this trend goes on, with small runs and new designs.
Today, Zippo’s design center comes up with 30 new creations every year.
While the marks have changed over time, the system makes dating a Zippo very easy.
Think you found one from the mid-1900s at the flea market? With the date code in place, collecting old Zippos is as easy as collecting old coins.As World War II began, Zippo ceased producing consumer models of their windproof lighter and focused on supplying the army.