Sparks will fly in Bradford on June 5th, when Zippo will produce its 500-millionth lighter. “All manufactured right here in Bradford, Pennsylvania,” emphasizes Zippo President & CEO Greg Booth.
The late George Blaisdell founded the company in 1932, and 80-years later Zippo lighters still carry his lifetime guarantee, “It works, or we fix it free.”
On June 5th the actual 500-millionth lighter will pass through a human chain of employees from the factory floor all the way to the nearby company museum, where it will be placed on permanent display.
Booth says it will be a special day for the 600 plus employees who make the Zippo lighters, which are sold in 162-countries. “Our employees work hard at it, our company works hard at it, and I’m just proud to be part of a company that can compete successfully – globally – and grow a business right here in Pennsylvania.”
Zippo is currently experiencing a resurgence and just wrapped up the best quarter in the history of the company. Booth tells Radio PA they’re up 30% in volume year-to-date.
If a half-billion Zippo lighters were stacked on top of each other, the company says the tower would be the size of 14-Empire State Buildings.
Collectors will be able to own a piece of Zippo history too. About 60,000 lighters manufactured on June 5th will be marked with a special stamp to commemorate the milestone. The two versions will sell for $50 and $100 dollars respectively.