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How to "Read" Your Zippo Lighter
Because Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell offered a lifetime guarantee on his lighters, he had the bottom of each Zippo lighter made since the mid-1950´s encoded with a series of dots and/or slashes so he could identify which run of lighters was being returned for repairs. What was a quality-control tool for Mr. Blaisdell has become a collector´s dream and a way to precisely date most Zippo lighters. Over the years, the date code format has been modified, most recently in 2001.
Most lighters fabricated between 1933 and 1957 can be identified by style and model and the patent or patent-pending marks.
The appearance of the word "Zippo" in the bottom stamp provides another clue to dating. There have been three major changes, as shown below.
World War II Zippo lighters with the black crackle finish, distributed only to the PX's for the men and women in the service, mistakenly were stamped with patent number 203695. The correct number should have been 2032695.
|REGULAR LINE LIGHTERS|
From 1933 to the mid 50´s the Zippo was stamped in block letters.
|1937 - c.1950||Patent 2032695|
|1942 - 1946||Black Crackle, Patent 203695. (This number was stamped in error, should have been Patent 2032695)|
|c.1950 - c.1957||Patent 2517191|
|c.1950 - c.1957||Patent 2517191 with patent pending|
Zippo records indicate an overlap of bottom stamp configurations from 1949-1957. Also some lighters produced between 1955-57 were date coded, however, specifics remain unclear.
|The Zippo script logo was developed in the late 40´s and was phased-in on the lighter bottom stamp around 1955.|
• • • •
• • • •
|1959||• • • •||• • •|
|1960||• • •||• • •|
|1961||• • •||• •|
|1962||• •||• •|
|1979||An error was made in the date code. One of the slash marks was removed from the left of the Zippo trademark instead of being removed from the right; thus the code read / //.|
This date code error was corrected within the same year to read // /.
|In the late 70´s the logo was redesigned. It was incorporated into the bottom stamp in 1980.|
|Effective July 1, 1986 the dot and slash system was replaced by year / month code. Year is noted with roman numeral; letter designates month (A=Jan., B=Feb., etc.)|
|1986||G to L||II|
|1987||A to L||III|
|1988||A to L||IV|
|1989||A to L||V|
|1990||A to L||VI|
|1991||A to L||VII|
|1992||A to L||VIII|
|1993||A to L||IX|
|1994||A to L||X|
|1995||A to L||XI|
|1996||A to L||XII|
|1997||A to L||XIII|
|1998||A to L||XIV|
|1999||A to L||XV|
|2000||A to L||XVI|
|Beginning 2001, the Roman numerals indicating the year were replaced with numbers corresponding to the last digits of the year of manufacture as follows:|
|2001||A to L||01|
|2002||A to L||02|
|2003||A to L||03|
|2004||A to L||04|
|2005||A to L||05|
|2006||A to L||06|
|2007||A to L||07|
|2008||A to L||08|
|2009||A to L||09|
|2010||A to L||10|
|SLIM LINE LIGHTERS|
Slim lighters were first introduced in 1956, with a flat bottom and no date code. The first markings were added in 1957 and overlapped into 1958. From 1957-1965 the code configuration on the slim lighters differed from the regular lighters. From 1966 on, the configuration has been the same.
|1957||• • • •||• • • •|
|1958||• • • •|
• • • •
|• • • •|
• • •
|1959||• • •||• • •|
|1960||• • •||• •|
|1961||• •||• •|
|For more collecting information consult one of several books about Zippo lighters.|
Click here to view our extensive line of Zippo lighters.
95% of our orders are shipped the day they are received.
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Gatlinburg, TN 37738
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Here is the change in government you were promised!
THE GATLINBURLIER DOES NOT SHIP CIGARETTES.
Change in the form of a 30% or better increase to the cost of tobacco products with an added dose of insult. Get mad. Call your representatives and call them a name. Economically Ignorant Extortionist Fool, is politically correct and accurate. Here is the phone number for contacting your US Senators.
Here is the phone number for contacting your US Senators.
PHONE NOW: 202-224-3121
Tobacconists are as helpless as any other victim of organized crime. Maybe we are even more helpless since we face criminals masquerading as government representatives.
The time for nice words and platitudes has passed. The tax-gouging Congress has declared war on 20% of the American population. They have used taxation as a method of discrimination and discrimination as a tactic for persecution. Their punitive taxes have caused tremendous price increases for product, and you and we in the tobacco business have no representation to or protection from our government. Our forefathers went to war over a few pennies increase in the tax on tea, while we suffer from tax increases in the hundreds of percents. We too are being forced to cede our freedoms or also go to war.
The government’s negative economic radical action against smokers will cause decreased tax revenues for the programs that these new taxes were to fund, and sooner rather than later, all will share in the misery caused by congressmen turned extortionists. It is way past time for being the squeaky wheel. It is time to be the screeching halt. Consider acts of civil disobedience before your obedience becomes subservience.
Ira T. Lapides, PhD