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Zippo was founded in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1932 when George G. Blaisdell decided to create a lighter that would look good and be easy to use. Blaisdell obtained the rights for an Austrian windproof lighter with a removable top, and re-designed it to his own requirements. He made the case rectangular and attached the lid to the bottom with a welded hinge, and surrounded the wick with a windhood. Fascinated by another recent invention, the zipper, Blaisdell called his new lighter "Zippo", and backed it with a Lifetime Guarantee.
Zippo has produced over 400 million windproof lighters since its founding in 1932. Except for improvements in the flint wheel and modifications in case finishes, Blaisdell's original design remains virtually unchanged today. The Lifetime Guarantee that accompanies every Zippo lighter still guarantees that "It works or we fix it free".
Zippo has expanded its sales operations nationally and internationally through a wide network of sales representatives. In more than 120 countries throughout the world, Zippo is synonymous with American made quality and craftsmanship.
Zippo windproof lighters enjoy a widespread and enviable reputation as valuable collectibles. The company produces the Zippo Lighter Collectors' Guide containing illustrations of the lighters and descriptions of the series, as well as an explanation of the date code found on the bottom of every Zippo lighter. Clubs for lighter collectors have been organized in England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and the United States. Zippo also sponsors its own collectors club, Zippo Click.
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