In 1932, George G. Blaisdell developed the Zippo lighter in a garage in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Now, nearly 450 million lighters later, Zippo lighters are still made in Bradford, Pennsylvania. This year, they are celebrating their 75th anniversary, a great landmark for another great name in American manufacturing.
This week we have a 20-minute video from the good folks at PCN Tours of the Zippo plant in Bradford. You can see the lighters take shape as they begin as rolls of coiled brass, then wend their way through welding, then through the high-polish buffing operation, through plating, etching, final inspection and boxing.
You may recall a post we did here back in May of 2006, noting a Washington Times series about manufacturing that featured Zippo and the fact that they were bringing manufacturing back to the US from China. On their website, you can see some of the hundreds of fascinating designs they have available for this American classic. You may also know that the Zippo holds a fair amount of lore and held a special place for Vietnam vets. Every year, Zippo lighters are left behind as mementos at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.
Congratulations to Zippo — “The Name in Flame” — on their 75 years of excellence as an American manufacturer. Click here to see this week’s video of Cool Stuff Being Made and feel the manufacturing vibe.
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