Zippo lighter dating code
(see photograph at bottom of page) these were used until around 1957/8.
Up until 1959 the insert had just 3 lines of text at the bottom.
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. From 1936 until 1953 the bottom will have "PAT2032695 MADE IN U. A." Lighters made in 1953-1955 will have PAT 2517191 PAT. PAT 2032695 Lighters (1933 - 1953) PAT 2517191 PAT. On the image below we can clearly see that there are four dots, either side of the word Zippo. 1966-1973 Dating guide From 1974 until 1981 the solidus (now commonly referred to as a forward slash) was used.
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. The first lighters (1933 to 1935) can easily be identified by the words "PAT PENDING MADE IN U. In 1979 an error was made and the slash was removed from the left instead of the right 1974-1981 Dating guide 1982 saw the use of the reverse solidus (or backslash) and this continued in use until mid 1986.
The first stamp used on the base of the lighter bore the legend "PAT. This was used on lighters manufactured until around the end of 1950. There are many examples of "Pat Pend" cases with "Pat 1950" inserts (see below) these lighters would have been made around the time of the changeover at the end of 1950 using stock cases and newer inserts.
The next bottom stamp used is the most confusing of all.
Early 1986 lighters of this series do have earlier date codes.
The shape of the 9 is different and the 0 is in a different position compared to the second O in Ontario.
From 1933 to the mid 50s, the word Zippo was stamped in block letters. What began as a quality-control tool for Zippo founder George G. To identify a potential pattern in any run of lighters returned for repair, the bottom of every Zippo lighter was encoded with a series of markings.
The Zippo script logo was developed in the late 40s and was phased-in on the lighter bottom stamp around 1955. Since the 1950s, those markings provide a way to accurately date most Zippo lighters.
The solid rivet first appeared in 1961 replacing the hollow rivets used up to that time however the hollow rivet continued to be used up until 1963.
Lighters made between these dates could have either of the rivets fitted.