Jones, William (Vice President, Zippo Lighter) Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Domestic Life Search this
0.75 Cubic feet (2 boxes, 3 oversize folders)
1937 - 1998
Scope and Contents:
Advertising brochures, posters, and articles on the company.
Biographical / Historical:
The Zippo Company has made over 300 million cigarette lighters since it was founded in 1932. The founder, George Blaisdell, believed that the policy of planned obsolescence repulsive, so he guaranteed his product "forever". Any Zippo lighter sent back to the factory has always been repaired at no charge to the customer. According to the company's official history, the lighter's qualities, windproof and rugged, caught on big during World War II when just about every man in the service, dogface to Dwight D. Eisenhower, had one. There are numerous stories of the lighter being used to illuminate airplane instrument panels and as emergency signaling devices. There is a confirmed instance of a lighter working after being frozen in solid ice for four months, and one which survived an 1,100 foot fall. Zippo began diversifying in 1962 into such products as money clips, flashlights and pocket rules. The Case Cutlery Company has been a subsidiary of Zippo since 1993.
Collected in conjunction with accession no. 1983.0394, Division of Home and Community Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life).
Collection donated by William Jones, Vice President of Zippo, March 1983.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.