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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUESTION.

What do the markings on the bottom of my Zippo lighter mean?

ANSWER.

The markings at the bottom of our Zippo lighter cases are identification codes, which enable us to determine in what month and year a particular Zippo lighter was manufactured. These codes change from year to year. For details on these markings, please refer to “Bottoms Up” below.

Zippo Canada Bottoms Up!

Simple machines with timeless appeal.

Zippo windproof lighters represent one of the fastest growing categories in the world of collectibles. Zippo windproof lighters are bought, sold and traded by thousands of enthusiastic fans from nearly every continent. Increasingly, collectors are growing to appreciate Zippo Canada products for their rarity, and therefore, their unique appeal as collectibles. In fact, it’s not unusual for collectors to designate a separate Canadian section in
their own collections for the Niagara Falls factory’s unique line of products.

 

Counterfeit or Canadian?

It’s easy to understand why those unfamiliar with Zippo Canada’s history might dismiss the distinctive ‘Niagara Falls, Ontario’ bottom stamp as a fake. After all, Zippo USA produces over 16.8 million lighters per year, while Zippo Canada’s production was just over 500,000 units. Zippo Canada opened in August 1949 and was the only place other than Bradford, PA, where Zippo lighters were ever produced. A final production run signified the end of an era with the closing of the Zippo Canada production plant in July 2002, making Zippo Canada products more collectible than ever. The ‘Niagara Falls Ontario’ bottom stamp, like its Bradford, PA counterpart, is ‘your guarantee of our guarantee™’.

 

 

 

Since the late 50’s, the bottom of every Zippo lighter has featured a series symbols which serve as code marks. When matched to the manufacturer’s coding chart below, you can determine what year the lighters were produced. Here are some representative samples:

 

Year Regular Lighter

 

Left Side

Regular Lighter

 

Right Side

Slim Lighter

 

Left Side

Slim Lighter

 

Right Side

1933 Patent Pending    
1937 Patent 2032695    
1942-1946 Black Crackle,
Patent 203695
(This number was stamped in error, it should have been
Patent 2032695.)
   
c.1949-c.1957 Patent 2517191
with patent pending
   
Zippo
records indicate an overlap of bottom stamp configurations from 1949-1957. Also, some lighters produced between
1955-57 were date coded, however, specifics remain unclear. The date coding was fully in effect by 1959.
c.1951-c.1957 Patent 2517191    
1957     .
. . .
.
. . .
1958 Patent
. . . .
2517191
. . . .
.
. . .
. . . .
.
. . .
. . .
1959 .
. . .
.
. .
.
. .
.
. .
1960 .
. .
.
. .
.
. .
.
.
1961 .
. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
1962 .
.
.
.
.
.
.
1963 .
.
. . .
1964 . . .  
1965 .      
1966 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
1967 | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
1968 | | | | | | | | | | | |
1969 | | | | | | | | | |
1970 | | | | | | | |
1971 | | | | | |
1972 | | | |
1973 |   |  
1974 //// //// //// ////
1975 //// /// //// ///
1976 /// /// /// ///
1977 /// // /// //
1978 // // // //
1979 / // // /
1980 / / / /
1981 /   /  
1982 \\\\ \\\\ \\\\ \\\\
1983 \\\\ \\\ \\\\ \\\
1984 \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\
1985 \\\ \\ \\\ \\
1986 \\ \\ \\ \\
Effective 7/1/86 the above system was replaced by year/lot code. Year is noted with Roman Numeral, the letter on the left designates lot month (A=Jan., B=Feb., etc.)

 


 

Year

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

 

Left Side

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

 

Right Side

1986 G to L II
1987 A to L III
1988 A to L IV
1989 A to L V
1990 A to L VI
1991 A to L VII
1992 A to L VIII
1993 A to L IX
1994 A to L X
1995 A to L XI
1996 A to L XII
1997 A to L XIII
1998 A to L XIV
1999 A to L XV
2000 A to L XVI

 

Starting
early in the year 2000, lighters produced feature the Zippo logo on the left, the month code in the center, and 2000 stamped above the Roman numeral XVI. 


For 2001 and beyond, Zippo has introduced a new, easier to interpret date code. The letters A through L on the left of the Zippo logo still represent the month of manufacture. The year of manufacture, however, is now identified by the last two numbers of that year, stamped to the right of the Zippo logo.


Year

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

 

Left Side

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

 

Right Side

2001 A to L 01
2002 A to L 02
2003 A to L 03
2004 A to L 04
2005 A to L 05
2006 A to L 06
2007 A to L 07
2008 A to L 08
2009 A to L 09
2010 A to L 10
2011 A to L 11
2012 A to L 12