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  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    Zippo lighters provide a flaming salute to the 500 million lighter milestone, reached during the year of the company's 80th anniversary. The company manufactured its 500 millionth lighter on June 5, 2012.
    Zippo/PRNewsFoto
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    The inspiration for the Zippo lighter was this Austrian lighter and the word zipper. Inventor George G. Blaisdell liked the sound of the word zipper, which was invented near Bradford, Pa., where Blaisdell set up shop.
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  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    Blaisdell poses in front of Zippo's company headquarters on Barbour Street. The 500 million Zippo lighters would pave the streets of Bradford more than three times over.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    Blaisdell made the first Zippo lighter in Bradford in 1932 from brass tubing. They went into production in early 1933. He backed the product with the famous lifetime guarantee. That guarantee is still honored today.
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  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    Zippo lighters were manufactured above an automobile garage.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    Originally, the lighters were made completely by hand and sold for $1.95.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    The first ad for Zippo lighters ran in a 1936 edition of Esquire magazine. Blaisdell was sure it would turn around the struggling company -- it didn't. He lacked the distribution he needed to fulfill consumer demand.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    World War II finally put Zippo on the map. All of Zippo's production was commissioned for the military. The lighters were made out of steel and coated with thick, black crackle paint. Soldiers carried them around the world.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    This ad from the 1960s tells the story of Ernie Pyle, the famous World War II correspondent who was Zippo's biggest ally in the war.
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  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    One of Blaisdell's early marketing tactics was the productmobile. He fashioned the Zippo Car in 1947, and today an exact replica of the original still tours the country. It sports two 12-foot-tall Zippo lighters on a 1947 Chrysler New Yorker body.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    A Vietnam-era lighter is shown at the Zippo Museum in Bradford, Pa., Feb. 16, 1994.
    Les Stone/Sygma/Corbis
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    The neon sign above the company headquarters has lit up downtown Bradford for decades.
    Zippo
  • Zippo Manufactures Its 500 Millionth Lighter

    The actual 500 Millionth Zippo lighter boasts a classic brushed chrome finish with two-tone engraving, a distinctive bottom stamp indicating June 5, 2012, as the date of manufacture and a time stamp and individual serial number of "1" on the front of the case.
    Zippo/PRNewsFoto
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