It works or we fix it for free” – that has been the official line from Zippo since the very beginning. For over 75 years, this unconditional lifetime guarantee has seen Zippo lighters gain iconic status and become a popular choice the world over. OutdoorGB has recently joined the Zippo revolution by selling a wide range of these iconic lighters.
Known for the famous “click” sound, the Zippo story goes back to the early 1930’s, when Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell watched as his friend awkwardly used a cumbersome Austrian-made lighter. The lighter worked well, even in the wind, all down to its excellent chimney design. Blaisdell was very impressed by the functionality of the lighter. What he didn’t like was the fact it required two hands to operate and how easy its thin metal surface dented. Inspired, Blaisdell decided to refashion the Austrian lighter. Fabricating a rectangular case and utilising a hinge to attach the top of the lighter to the case whilst retaining the chimney design, Blaisdell created a lighter that not only looked good but was easy to operate. The Zippo was born and the design basically remains the same to this day.
Developed just before WWII, the military and Zippo lighters have always had a strong connection. Upon America’s entry into World War II, Zippo ceased production of lighters for the consumer market and dedicated all production to the U.S. military. Production for the military lead to the creation of the steel-case Zippo with the black “crackle” finish, of which we sell a replica here.
Zippo’s have been carried by American GI’s in every war from WWII to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The fact millions of US military personnel carried the lighter into battle during World War II was a significant catalyst in establishing Zippo as an icon of America throughout the world. At OutdoorGB we sell many military dedicated Zippo lighters including The Battle of Britain Lighter, Green Matte Special Forces Lighter and RAF, Royal Marines, Royal Navy and British Army chrome lighters.
Branded Zippo’s are a favourite amongst collectors and from the very beginning Zippos have been used as a medium for advertising. The first company-advertised lighters were produced for the Kendall Refining Company of Bradford, Pennsylvania. Today at OutdoorGB, we have branded Zippo’s from the Ford Motor Company, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam.
A major milestone for Zippo lighters was the launch of the Zippo Slim model in 1956. Retaining everything Zippo is known for but with a redesigned case, the Slim was primarily designed to appeal to women. Still available today, at OutdoorGB we have many Slim versions of the Zippo lighter including the Black Ice Slim Lighter, the Brushed Chrome Slim Lighter, the High Polish Brass Slim Lighter and the Playboy Bunny Pink Slim Lighter.
One of the most iconic associations the Zippo lighter has, is that of being raised aloft, waved and swayed at many a gig, concert or festival as a salute to a favourite performer. Nicknamed the “Zippo Movement”, this gesture common at so many musical events since the 1960’s, cemented Zippo’s status within the music scene. Zippos have been featured on album covers, wielded in Rolling Stone photo shoots, tattooed on rockers’ skin and the famous “click” sound has even been sampled on songs. A nice music inspired Zippo is the one we have here dedicated to the Fab Four.
In 2006, Zippo production surpassed the 425 million milestone. Ingrained in the fabric of both American and global culture, the Zippo brand enjoys an unaided awareness rate of more than 98 percent, meaning 98 out of every 100 people surveyed have knowledge of the Zippo name and lighter without being coached in any manner – an astonishing recognition factor.
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In an age where most products are either disposable or only available with a limited warranty, the Zippo lighter is a unique product. Backed by the famous lifetime guarantee, “It works or we fix it free”, in over 75 years no one has spent a penny on the mechanical repair of a Zippo lighter regardless of the lighters age or condition.
See the full range of Zippo lighters sold by OutdoorGB here.