He will never refuse. History of Zippo
In 1933, the first mass-produced Zippo lighter was released. Over 88 years, more than half a million lighters have been sold, and Zippo has become as recognizable an American symbol as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, hamburgers and Levi's.
The history of the company began in 1932. According to legend, the future head of Zippo Manufacturing Company, George Blaisdell, saw an old Austrian gasoline lighter in the hands of his friend Dick Dresser and asked why he didn't buy something nicer. "Because it works," Dresser replied and, despite the strong wind, lit a cigar.
At first, George Blaisdell tried to sell those Austrian lighters in America. But the sales ended in failure: he failed to sell any.
After that, he opened a small factory for the production of Zippo, which at first employed only six people.
The first Zippo is kept in the company's museum in Bradford. Attached to it is a note in George Blaisdell's handwriting: "First Zippo lighter. Do not touch».
Contrary to legend, George Blaisdell did not work alone on the Zippo design. Patent number 2032695 was recorded on his companion named George Gimera (George Gimera).
Advertising emblems appeared on Zippo already in 1936. The first company to order a batch of Zippo with its logo was the oil company Kendall Oil.
Zippo's most recognizable print ad appeared in Esquire magazine in December 1937.
George Blaisdell managed to make good money when he became the official supplier of lighters for the American army during World War II. But the real success happened when Blaisdell came up with a simple marketing trick, promising to repair any Zippo regardless of the year of release for free.
In the 50s of the last century, the production of Zippo with gold and silver plating began. Later, models made of 750 gold also appeared. They became the most expensive of the mass-produced lighters: their price reached 8 thousand dollars.
According to the company's own estimates, the Zippo lighter appears or is mentioned in more than a thousand films. The Zippo Manufacturing Company claims that the product placement methods have not been used once.
The largest amount paid by a collector for a lighter is $37,000 for a 1933 model sold at auction by the Zippo Manufacturing Company itself in 2007.
The most popular among collectors are the "Vietnamese" Zippo. Soldiers made engravings on them with their names, years of service and the names of combat units. There are very few such Zippos preserved.
Zippo lighters do not go out in the wind at a speed of up to 14.2 meters per second.
On October 6, 2013, during the Olympic Relay, the fire suddenly went out, and a security officer lit it again using Zippo. Almost immediately, the photo appeared on Facebook Zippo, which began promoting the hashtag #ZippoSavesOlympics. Such advertising caused a mixed reaction in Russia, but we must admit that it is still remembered at every opportunity.