Inspired Zippo

George G. Blaisdell - The Man Who Started the Zippo Legend

The Zippo story begins on a muggy summer night in Bradford, Pennsylvania. It was 1932, during the midst of the Depression. George G. Blaisdell , then co-owner of the Blaisdell Oil Company, met a friend at Bradford Country Club, who was lighting a cigarette with a one dollar Austrian lighter. It was a cumbersome looking device with a removable brass top. "You're all dressed up" chided Blaisdell. "Why don't you get a lighter that looks decent ?"   "Well Georgee, " his friend answered, "it works!"

Blaisdell was impressed and obtained U.S. distribution rights for the lightes, but could not sell them profitably. They were clumsy to use. Blaisdell set out to design an atrractive lighter that would work; one that would look good and be easy to use.

Blaisdell knew his craft. He learned it as youth in his father's machine shop., working fifty-nine hour weeks at ten cents an hour. He refashioned then Austrian Lighters by designing a rectangular case that would fit in the hand. The top was attached to this case with a hinge, and the wick was surrounded with a windhood.

The "atractive lighter that works" was born

Fascinated by the name of another recent invention, the Zipper, Blaisdell decided to call this new lighter ZIPPO. Except for improvements in the flint wheel and advance in case finishes. Blaisdell's origional design remains basically unchanged today.



Mein Dank geht an Pepi von !