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February 14, 2022
I started collecting Zippo lighters in 2010, and as a student of WWII history I quickly identified the Ernie Pyle Zippo lighter as my dream acquisition. Early on I didn't think I would ever find one, let alone be able to afford it. But here we are 12 years later and I just returned from meeting the granddaughter of the original owner of the lighter in Bradford, PA to make the purchase. As I'm writing this blog post I'm still pinching myself!
If you're not familiar with Ernie Pyle, let me give you the Reader's Digest condensed version of his story. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist and was one of the most read war correspondents during World War II. He wrote in a folksy style and gave his readers a true look at the struggles that ordinary soldiers faced. He was tragically killed on April 18, 1945 by sniper fire during the US invasion of Okinawa.
Pyle had struck up a friendship with Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell during the war and Blaisdell would send lighters to him to give out to soldiers he interviewed. When Blaisdell learned of Ernie's death, he had a commemorative lighter made and they were given to the crew of the U.S.S. Cabot (the ship that Pyle was stationed on).
Out of the millions of standard Black Crackle lighters made during the war approximately 600-800 were made with the "In Memory Ernie Pyle 1945" inscription, making this an extremely rare lighter. Add in the fact that it is in near mint condition, has never been fired, and includes the original box, you can see why this is the gem of my collection.
The Zippo/Case Museum located in Bradford, PA has a wonderful display featuring letters of correspondence between Pyle and Blaisdell and is a must visit for any Zippo collector. I'm beyond thrilled to own this incredible piece of history and share photos with you.
February 13, 2021 1 Comment
January 28, 2021 1 Comment
October 09, 2020 69 Comments
The Zippo/Case Museum recently released an exclusive Windy collectible lighter. Only 100 were produced and each is consecutively numbered. The lighters are only available at the museum and we are giving you a chance to win one! What number will the winner receive? Number 66 of course!
ONE ENTRY PER PERSON.
No purchase necessary. Just comment "I'm in" in the comment section below. It's that easy! We will randomly draw a winner on Friday October 23, 2020. Winner must have a US shipping address.
CONGRATULATIONS TO VLAD ARTSMITH FOR WINNING THIS LIMITED EDITION WINDY ZIPPO LIGHTER!
Thank you to everyone who entered!
June 27, 2020
1955 Zippo advertisement announcing the new Lossproof Model.
This 1955 Lossproof Zippo is from the Riley's 66 collection and is one of our favorites. Finding examples that are unused and include the box are getting very hard to find. Now we just need the vintage counter display!
May 09, 2020 2 Comments
This Zippo lighter was made in 1983 by Zippo Manufacturing for Walt Disney Productions. Unfortunately 1983 was the year that Walt Disney decided to stop selling Zippo lighters, so the Black Matte finished models never went into production. The colors on this Mickey Mouse lighter really pop against the finish and it's incredible condition make it a very rare collectible.
To dive deeper into the Wonderful World of Disney Zippo lighters please check out this detailed article on Flints and Flames written by Gary Gilmore.
February 01, 2020
I can't believe it's been 3 months since our last blog post. Time flies when you're busy!
Today we're giving you a sneak peek at our newest Zippo lighter design. The lighter will be available early next week and we can't wait for you to see it!
If you have any guesses as to what it is, put them in the comment section below.
That's all for now and have a great weekend!
October 30, 2019 2 Comments
October 24, 2019 3 Comments
Hopefully the title of this blog post has caught your attention! This is a very unusual Zippo lighter that I purchased this past July at the Bradford Zippo Lighter Club Swap Meet. A gentleman approached my table with some lighters that he was looking to sell. Most were used and this pipe lighter at first glance appeared to be a common example. I try to always take a quick look at the insert just to make sure it is correct. Upon opening the lighter I exclaimed, "That's different!" The gentleman went on to tell me that he once worked for a company that made deliveries to Zippo Manufacturing. The Zippo employees were dismayed to see him lighting his pipe with a Nimrod pipe lighter! On one visit a Zippo employee gave him this pipe lighter to keep and use. Which he did use for many years.
Now onto the unique features of the lighter. The most obvious is that the insert has been modified. It appears that a standard insert was used and that middle section on both sides of the chimney has been removed. The quality of the work doesn't look like someone did it out in their garage...there is a precision to the modification. The second unusual fact is that the lighter case is dated from 1980. The Zippo Pipe lighter was introduced to the public in 1982, so this case predates the release by as much as 2 years. So what are your thoughts? Prototype? Homemade mod? Please let us know in the comments section!