Pa.’s Zippo set to produce 500 millionth lighter

    The family-owned Zippo Manufacturing Co. in northwestern Pennsylvania is expected to celebrate the production of the company’s 500 millionth lighter.

    That’s all set to happen sometime Tuesday morning at the plant in Bradford, where the lighters with the distinctive metal cases that go “click” have been made since 1932.
    Tuesday also happens to be the birthday of the late George Blaisdell, the man who began the Zippo empire about 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

    Blaisdell died in 1978, and the company is now owned by his grandson, George Duke.

    Zippo plans to celebrate the milestone lighter by creating about 60,000 replica lighters during the day, each with a commemorative stamp. About 50,000 will sport the company’s well-known brushed nickel chrome case, while the others will get a higher polished Armor case with gold engraving.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal