Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Zippo's 50th Birthday Party

Zippo lighters have two endearing features. The first is the ability to light and stay lit in the wind. The second is the guarantee. If the hinge ever breaks (which it will eventually), or even if you run over it with your car, just mail it back to Zippo. If it's a special model, or has custom engraving, they'll solder in a new hinge and likely just replace the entire insert containing the striker wheel and flint with a brand new one then mail it back to you with a few extra flints, all for free. If it's a standard plain Zippo they mostly just send you a new one. I bought this one second hand for about a buck maybe thirty years or so ago. It's been back to Zippo twice for hinge replacement since I've owned it. How do I know it was fifty years old? It was a commemorative lighter for the annual Soap Box Derby (http://aasbd.com/) and had the date of the race in 1955 engraved on it. Today you'd never get away with giving out cigarette lighters at an event designed for young teenagers, but back in 1955 it was a different mindset. You'd either lie to the clerk when you bought cigarettes that you really were 14 or 16, depending on where you lived, no I.D. required, or tell him that "Mom sent me". Zippo sales must be way down these days with almost everybody using disposeable butane lighters and less people smoking. You hardly ever see book matches anymore either. But when the wind kicks up nothing beats the good old Zippo! A few weeks after taking this photo I lost the lighter. I looked everyplace I could think of. Finally I just bought a new one, but it's not the same.


Blogger Domingo said...

this shot looks so warped it makes my mind bend

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My uncle always carried Zippo's. after he passed & all the families were fighting over what & all. My son stated all he wanted was his zippo lighter. He got it. Al your blog is fantastic. Love reading over all the older post & looking at the photos.

11:45 PM  

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