Valuable lighters on the bottom of every Zippo windproof lighter can help you determine its date of manufacture. Starting in the mid 50s, date codes were stamped on the guide. The original purpose was for quality control. The date codes have since become an old tool for Zippo collectors.
There are numerous sites around the internet that give dating charts for Zippo Lighters, and there are also dating guides in many of the Zippo Books. Dating lighters made at the Canadian factory is a little more difficult, and often confusing, but with a little detective work, many of the clues are there. There is still much work and research to be done, and this page is by no means complete. If you can add any information please feel free to contact me. The factory in Canada opened in and closed in
Dating Your Zippo Lighter As with most collectibles, the date of manufacture of a Zippo lighter often affects its value. Valuable information on the bottom of every Zippo windproof lighter can help you determine its date of manufacture. The original purpose was for quality control. The date code has since become an invaluable tool for Zippo collectors. Most lighters fabricated between and can be identified by style and model and the patent or patent-pending marks.
This page is a general guide to the earliest Zippo lighters. During the early years of the company many minor alterations and test models were made. The first lighters made by Zippo were much squarer than those seen today as originally the lighter cases were made from tubing with the base soldered on.