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Almost since the beginning, when in 1932 George G. Blaisdell founded the Zippo Manufacturing Company, Zippo lighters became popular and collectible. Because they were windproof, they first, became popular with the American GIís, who could be seen in the foxholes and trenches lighting up. Although it has gone through modifications, changes in design and finish updates, the Zippo lighter and its internal works have not changed much after seventy six years and it is still as popular and with collectors as ever.
Zippo is popular with collectors not only in the United States but around the world. The name Zippo has a world class reputation and is known for its lifetime warranty. Collecting Zippo lighters can also be a little bit easier than a lot of other collectibles because of their size if you have space limitations. In addition, although not always fool proof against reproductions, Zippo lighters can be identified by looking at the bottom of the lighter. Each Zippo lighter is stamped with the date or a date code as well as the companyís mark.
The Zippo Manufacturing Company continues to produce the lighters in its Bradford, Pennsylvania plant and there have been over 400 million Zippo lighters produced. In 2002, Zippo branched out into other areas of production in order to diversify their product line. In addition to the lighters, the company now makes hand warmers, knives and tape measures amongst other things. However, the Zippo lighter is still its most collectible product and in a recent search of EBay we found lighters going from as little as $15 to this 1949 Town & Country Sailboat lighter that sold for more than $2,250.