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Sincemost Zippo lighters have carried a date code stamped on the base. Originally this was intended as a quality control record, so that lighters returned for repair could be identified as to when they were manufactured and if, for example, a of lighters were returned with the same fault then Zippo could identify a possible defect in the manufacturing process or even a supplier of one of the components. Even prior to the coding system we can go some way to identifying the approximate year of manufacture, as the stamping on the bottom has changed slightly over the years. Lighters assembled at the Canadian factory are covered here - Dating Canadian Lighters. As lighters are meant to be used, coins or keys carried in the same pocket can cause scratches on the bottom of the lighter so it is necessary to look very carefully at the bottom, as the marking can be quite difficult to make out. A magnifying glass can be quite useful.

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US presents. While the information for dating a Zippo is widely available, it isn't that handy to find it all in a single location.

This should provide the information to fix a relatively precise date for any Zippo lighter. Slim lighters were first introduced inwith a flat bottom and no date code. The first markings were added in and overlapped into From the code configuration on the slim lighters differed from the regular lighters See Date Code Chart below.

Dating zippo lighters

From on, the configuration has been the same. The appearance of the word "Zippo" in the bottom stamp provides another clue to dating. There have been three major changes, as shown in inset. From to the mid 50s the word Zippo was stamped in block letters.

The Zippo script logo was developed in the late 40s and was phased-in on the lighter bottom stamp around In the late 70s the logo was redeed. It was incorporated into the bottom stamp in About Starting in Zippo used date codes there were prior date codes, but no one seems clear on exactly what they were. If the Zippo is or later, check the Date Code Chart to find the year and, frequently, month of production. The Date Code Chart is below. Please note: early Zippos in particular were prone to hinge failure.

How old is your zippo lighter?

Many of the early hinges were replaced, as have been some later ones, so the hinge barrel count is not always absolutely accurate as it is possible a repair replacement has been made. NOTE: Every effort is made to have accurate information, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information and you use the information presented here at your own risk.

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Dating your zippo lighter

We expect all of our submissions to come from people 18 years of age or older. This site does not support or encourage tobacco use. This site is a reference for collectors or others researching antique cigarette lighters and ashtrays.

Slim Zippo Lighters: Slim lighters were first introduced inwith a flat bottom and no date code. Bottom Stamp: The appearance of the word "Zippo" in the bottom stamp provides another clue to dating. Case Bottom Type: Zippos had a flat bottom until when the bottoms were indented.

Date Code: Starting in Zippo used date codes there were prior date codes, but no one seems clear on exactly what they were. Chimney Holes: 16 8 per side - - 14 7 per side - - 16 8 per side - onward Some Finer Points: - Because of the war and unavailability of copper and brass, lighters were made from low grade steel.

The appearance wasn't so great and there was a tendency to rust, so a black crackle paint was used on these lighters. Black crackle Zippos were apparently produced only for shipment to armed forces overseas and none were produced for domestic sales.

The difference between a and Zippo can be determined by the insert as the ones had markings on them.

Vintage cigarette lighters

Zippo records indicate an overlap of bottom stamp configurations from Some lighters produced between were date coded; however, specifics remain unclear. In an error was made in the date code. Beginning inthe Roman numerals indicating the year were replaced with s corresponding to the last digits of the year of manufacture.

The date code is the same format as Regular Windproof Lighters.

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