Zippo lighter has long been considered an iconic symbol of American culture and is trusted by smokers around the world for its reliability, versatility, and durability. It's been featured in thousands of movies, television shows, and stage plays throughout the years and is a product many smokers have owned at some time in their lives. Entire collections have been dedicated to the Zippo lighter, numerous publications have been written about it, and clubs and organizations have been created to celebrate its history and reinforce its collectability.
The Zippo Manufacturing Company was founded in 1932 in the midst of one of America's (and the world's) bleakest periods — The Great Depression. While it's highly impractical from a business standpoint to start a company in the middle of a major worldwide economic collapse, the Zippo brand persevered due to the practicality and affordability of its product.
Even if you’ve never fumbled around with one of their lighters, odds are you’re familiar with the Zippo brand. In fact, the USA-built company retains one of the highest recognition rates around. Officially, the brand boasts an unaided awareness rate of 98 percent – meaning 98 out of 100 people have knowledge of the company without requiring any level of coaching. In terms of brand recognition, this is an astonishing statistic.
This level of success, however, didn’t happen overnight. It’s been 85 years since founder George G. Blaisdell started the company, and thanks to his level of commitment to quality, putting people before his product, and all-around hard work, Zippo was able to attain a worldwide reputation as go-to sleekly-designed windproof lighters of choice built right here in the USA.
Today, the fanbase for Zippo lighters is extensive, to say the least. It’s currently estimated there are around 4 million Zippo collectors worldwide, 34,000 Zippo-related videos on YouTube, over two million social media followers, and over 18 million Zippo iPhone application users. A 15,000 square foot museum/store/repair clinic now resides just down the road from the original manufacturing facility – enjoying thousands of visitors from around the world every year – and in 2012 the brand celebrated its storied history with the production of their 500 millionth lighter.