BRADFORD, Pa., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zippo will produce its 500 Millionth windproof pocket lighter on June 5, 2012 at the company's manufacturing plant in Bradford, Pennsylvania. A significant landmark in the company's storied history, June 5 also marks the birthday of Zippo's late founder, George G. Blaisdell.
"When we realized that our 500 Millionth lighter and the birthday of Mr. Blaisdell were both on the horizon, we decided to ramp up production to ensure the milestones would coincide," said Greg Booth, Zippo president and CEO. "We weren't sure if we could do it at first, but we have now confirmed that we will be able to meet this date. We are also excited that the 500 Millionth achievement is occurring during our 80th anniversary year.
"We are looking forward to making the sparks fly as we celebrate this accomplishment with our employees and Zippo enthusiasts around the world," Booth noted.
The actual 500 Millionth Zippo lighter will be a classic brushed chrome with two-tone engraving, a distinctive bottom stamp, a time stamp on the front and an individual serial number of "1." It will be placed on permanent display in the company's museum near the plant.
To honor the achievement, Zippo will dedicate nearly all production on the day of the 500 Millionth celebration to the manufacture of two highly collectible commemorative lighters: a 500 Millionth replica and a deluxe limited edition model. All lighters made on June 5, 2012 will feature a custom bottom stamp used for that day only. Both will be offered worldwide in the Zippo Choice 2012/2013 Catalog.
500 Millionth Replica Edition Lighter
Like the actual 500 Millionth lighter, the 500 Millionth Replica Edition will feature a classic brushed chrome finish with two-tone engraving. A unique bottom stamp, used exclusively on Zippo lighters produced on June 5, will feature the month, day and year of the production. Approximately 50,000 pieces will be created, each engraved with an individual serial number on the front of the case. The 500 Millionth Replica lighter will be packaged in a custom box and will retail for $50.00.
500 Millionth Limited Edition Lighter
The 500 Millionth Limited Edition commemorative lighter will feature a deep carved high polish Armor® case stylized with rich gold color fill and enhanced with a gold-flashed insert. Approximately 10,000 pieces will be created, each with a unique serial number lasered on the front of the case. Like the replica commemorative lighter, this model will also feature an exclusive, one-day bottom stamp. The 500 Millionth Limited Edition lighter will be packaged in a beautiful custom folio box with an oval shaped brass companion piece. The oval-shaped "blank" is what is cut, pressed, stamped, welded, plated, buffed, and assembled into a Zippo lighter. The retail price is $100.
One of the most recognized brands in the world, Zippo was founded in the fall of 1932 by George G. Blaisdell in Bradford, PA, where it has manufactured nearly 500 million windproof lighters. With the exception of improvements to the flint wheel and modifications in case finishes, the product remains unchanged and is backed by the company's famous lifetime guarantee – "It works, or we fix it free.™" Zippo's diverse product line includes lighter accessories; butane candle lighters; watches, fragrance, and lifestyle accessories for men; and a robust line of heat and flame products for outdoor enthusiasts. Zippo markets in over 160 countries and also owns the Ronson brand of lighters and fuel and W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company, both based in Bradford, PA. For more information, visit Zippo.com.