Founded in 1932 by George G. Blaisdell the application for the original Zippo patent was filed on May 17, 1934, and patent number 2032695 was granted on March 3, 1936.
A second patent, number 2517191 was issued on August 1, 1950. The design of the Zippo lighter remains basically the same to this day, with minor improvements. In the mid-30s, Bradford’s Kendall Refining Company placed an order for 500 Zippo lighters. These are believed to be the first company-advertised lighters produced by Zippo and are highly collectible. Today, companies continue to use Zippo lighters as an advertising medium and Zippo “advertiser” lighters continue to be among collectors’ favourites.
The first Town & Country lighters were introduced 4th of September 1949, featuring a Pheasant, Mallard, Geese, Sloop, Trout, Setter, Horse and Lily Pond ..
These designs were engraved, four one-thousands of an inch and hand-painted with sometimes up to 14 different colors of paint and baked to a hard glossy finish ..