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The Pipe Cam
Tools & Accessories
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.
- You MUST be at least 18 years of age to purchase tobacco products in Tennessee!
- We do not sell tobacco products in Maine or Arizona.
- All Packages are shipped US Post Office unless you specify UPS.
- All Customers will be Charged for Shipping & Return Postage on any Refused or Returned package(s).
- International Customers: You are to check with your local customs & duty officials to see if there are additional duties or fees required, or if there are prohibitions on tobacco or amounts of tobacco which can be shipped to your country.
- Charge card customers may order by calling
- To check on an order call 865-436-4412, 9am-3pm Eastern Time Monday-Friday.
- Visit our showroom on D-Level of the Mountain Mall, on the corner of Parkway and River Road in Gatlinburg!
- We are open 7 days a week.
- Prices subject to change without prior notice.
- No Cash Refunds. Merchandise credit ONLY on returns.
- We DO NOT ship cigarettes.
603 Skyline Dr.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
24hr Fax: 1-865-430-7476
© 2009 Gatlinburlier, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
THE GATLINBURLIER DOES NOT SHIP CIGARETTES.
WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.
OUR NEW OLD BLEND
As with any avalanche of lemons into one's life, survivors attempt to make lemonade and so it is with the Gatlinburlier Tobacconist. G&B Tobaccos new licensing and stature as a Tobacco Manufacturer now presents many opportunities for our loyal long-time customers. Not only does this new status make the Gatlinburlier the only truly legal tobacco retailer in the country, but it opens opportunities for us to expand our lines, since our access to specialty tobaccos has been vastly expanded. We plan to offer special deals on our new products as we produce new blends and attempt to improve some of our existing blends.
Tobacco being a natural product varies in characteristics year to year. It takes constant adjusting to keep blends consistent in taste, color, and burning qualities. In many cases blenders keep several years worth of tobaccos on hand so as to phase out one years product while phasing in another years crop to minimize the changes in the qualities of the blends. Over the 37 years that we have blended tobaccos some of our suppliers have left the business and other tobacco components have changed so much that we think we need to make adjustments to a few of our blends.
Gatlin-Burley our Americanized English once contained a very special Green River Valley tobacco which became unavailable. Given our new contacts within the industry we now have access to this rare tobacco, and have re blended this great blend, with just a touch of Latakia to meet its original qualities.
Gatlin-Burley was a blend created to keep the smoker's interest and encourage the maturation of the smoker's own tastes. Thirty-seven years ago it was our flag ship. It was an Americanized English that seemed to change taste as the smoker's pallet change over the course of one day and over the course of many weeks.
As a special short term offer we will send you a two ounce bag of this fabulous rebirth of greatness for only $5.95.
This extraordinary blend mixes fabulously with our Cades Cove Cavendish and our Chimney Smoke to make it even more tame for the American taste. For those looking to find a slightly more mature taste than is offered by our "natural aromatics" - Gatlin-Burley is the tobacco blend they are seeking, but "Made Even Better®".
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