Updated and new images added 30th December 2006
The place for anything Zippo that isn't capable of lighting a cigarette.
Before continuing further into this pages details and images, there is something worth noting here.
Despite the lighters themselves always coming from America (and obviously Canada until the Niagara falls factory finally closed it's doors at the start of the 21st century), a significant number of other Zippo products are manufactured in other countries under licence.
The Japanese market supplies various Zippo branded products that are unavailable in retail outlets elsewhere around the world. These include such things as ashtrays, Reduced size fuel reservoirs, and various Japanese Finished Zippo Lighters.
The lighters themselves are supplied by Zippo US, but the actual finishes, appliqués and modifications to the look and feel of the lighter are completed in Japan. This results in some interesting and diverse lighter styles.
Other Zippo items, like the reservoir and key rings are actually manufactured under licence in China. Ironic really that China is also one of the places that many of the Rippo's are allegedly made. Most of these licenced items are clearly marked on the packaging as 'manufactured to Zippo quality standards in Taiwan'. In a way, this is further proof the items are not Rippo. If they were, they would be more likely to claim they were made in the US.
Another example is that of the Zippo sunglasses range. These being made in Italy.
I have long meant to try and find out the various countries where all these licenced products were manufactured, but time is always an enemy. If you know of more, then by all means let me know, it will save me a lot of effort in research when I do get around to doing it.
The Zippo lighter may well be an American Legend, but the Zippo brand name and manufacturing base is a worldwide product.
Ashtray (side 1) Ashtray (side 2) Money clip/knife Clip Knife (open) Cutabout Knife Knife (open)
The ashtray looks just like a normal Zippo when placed upside down on a table, including lid line and hinge, turning it over then presents itself as a small but usable ashtray. The money clip/knife is a handy little pocket knife with a clip on the back. The money clip could also be used as a belt clip should you not wish to have it in your pocket.
Windy Statue Windy Statue Ziplight Torch Ziplight Torch Ziplight Torch Ziplight inners
Windy stands approximately 3 inches tall, she's just a nice little ornament. The Ziplights are now a discontinued item. It makes the job of keeping an operational Ziplight a little difficult as the batteries are a none standard size (Not AAA as some have said in the past) and are no longer covered by the Zippo guarantee. If you send a Ziplight to Zippo for repair nowadays, they are likely to offer you a standard insert in place of the torch insert. The Ziplight's second chance page elsewhere on the site shows how you can keep a Ziplight in use, and drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st century while you are doing it.
Tape Measures Tape Measure Pill Box Pill Box open Magnifier Magnifier open
The tape measures are what they say they are (Officially named the 'Zippo Rule'). The metal Measure is 78 inches long (not including the width of the casing). They come base marked either with Bradford or Niagara Falls. There were slight differences in the base logo during the manufacturing life of the rule which would imply that dating to some degree is possible (though at present I don't have the relevant information to narrow down when the changes took place). There are at least 3 different base font styles known to exist. One thing worthy of note is that of the early version of the rule having a design flaw that allowed the metal measure to slide out sideways between the case and base. A temporary fix to these models prior to retooling, was the addition of a small guide to the internal unit, effectively forming a collar to act as a guide.
The pill Box is a neat little unit, when the drawer is opened, you are confronted with a clear plastic panel that prevents whatever you put in it from falling out. Slide the cover into the case to access the contents of the drawer, then close the whole thing up to reset the cover over the drawer for the next time you need it.
The magnifier is a magnifying glass, actually it is 2 magnifying lenses overlaid. you can either pull both out at the same time for full magnification, or alternatively just one for a reduced magnification. All the above items share the same basic case design, both in shape and size. The only differences being the inserts themselves, and the slight indented cut out in the tape measure cases to allow the metal rule to slide out.
They are all roughly equal in size to the lower portion of a standard size Zippo lighter ( or 2 thirds the height of a complete Zippo lighter).
Zippo Tool (end 1) Zippo Tool (end 2) Tool (closed) Tool (back)
The Zippo Tool. Not what I would personally call a great success here. Basically put, it is 2 philips head screwdrivers (1 large and 1 small), 2 flathead screwdrivers (1 large and 1 small), a knife and a larger flathead driver at the opposite end of the knife. I don't rate this as a tool for carrying around with me. To access any of the tools (except the large flat driver that is constantly on show when the tool is fully closed up), you turn the tool over, unscrew one of the 3 knurled knobs for the tool you require, slide it fully out till the knob reaches the end of the slide, then tighten it up again before using it. It is a strong tool when in use, but I find the design to be flawed. An unnecessary amount of time is wasted in getting the tool from closed to useful, that and the knobs themselves would tear your pockets to pieces due the distance they stand proud of the case. I use a Leatherman Charge as my multitool of choice, Having this in mind only serves to show the inadequacies of the Zippo Tool. Not the best design to come from the Zippo stable, and certainly not a pocket tool due to the pocket killing knobs on the back of the tool.
I and a friend both bought the larger type fuel canisters as soon as we saw them, but both of us found they were unable to retain the fuel, the seals just aren't up to the job. In less than a week almost all the fuel had evaporated away. The smaller canister on the other hand is totally reliable.
The Zippo name on the canister itself is not engraved or etched. It is a very thin application, almost like a transfer. Almost as soon as you start using it, the name begins to wear off, as a result of this wear, I chose to remove the remainder of the text using my finger nail (it just didn't look very nice with the wear showing so badly), it took no time at all to totally remove any trace of it being Zippo.
One point of note regarding the picture of the 2 canisters together, The items shown on the key ring of the smaller canister actually came with the larger version. They are a Zippo flint screw driver (a small semicircular disc with a corresponding flat spot to fit the flint screw) and a Flint holder (a small piece of rubber tube that holds one spare flint, and does so surprisingly well for such a simple idea). The smaller canister did not come with either of these items and were switched over to the small version when the inadequacies of the larger container came to light.
While on the subject of light. We come to the Constant light. An LED torch with 6 illumination options, 3 varying brightness levels of the white LED, 1 static red LED, 1 flashing red LED and a final combination strobe effect flash of red and white LED's combined. A handy and useful little torch. It is roughly similar in size to the little rectangular batteries that seem to have fallen from favour these days. Approximately 30x45x15mm in size. One strange quirk, (and it is designed to do this by the way), is that it is always lit, there is always a glimmer from the white LED even when turned off. Apparently to make it easy to find in the dark. A good idea, but how long is the battery realistically expected to last? As to replacing batteries on these, I have no idea. Nor do I know if Zippo will put it right when it finally does fail.
Zippo sunglasses are manufactured in Italy under licence. There were numerous styles available though only one pair are shown here at present.
The Zippo Line is an unusual one, I had seen a few on eBay, and for whatever reason, I pictured it as being sized somewhere between a Zippo rule and a Zippo lighter in size. I was surprised to see that it is actually considerably larger, being more akin to a large YO-YO. The washing line itself is a loop of string. Pull it out to use it, and wind it back in when you have done. It was advertised as a portable washing line. The picture shows it with a Zippo Rule as a size comparison. In the real world, I would be more inclined to carry a ball of string than use a Zippo Utility line. The item itself is rather bulky all round and verges on being the size of a baseball, a ball of string would probably be a lot more versatile while taking up a lot less room at the same time.
The reality is that this item has very little connection to Zippo, being manufactured by an independent plastics company and only using the name under licence. But that said, many items nowadays are being manufactured using the Zippo name in similar circumstances, so maybe the utility line can be seen a pathfinder for later licensing deals.
Zipslip (early 1950's)
A product of Zira Laboratories (for a short time a subsidiary of Zippo Mfg Co). Zira are only known to have released 2 commercial products, and even these were not advertised on a large scale. The first was this wax like stick, designed for zippers (as in the Zipper of a gents trousers) that were either worn, or had just lost their free flowing action. The idea being to rub the stick on the Zipper and reduce the friction of the zippers contact points during use. Whether this was worth 25 cents at the time in preference to using a wax candle is debatable. One item of note regarding the Zipslip is that the outer sleeve is made of Lead. It's something worth bearing in mind if you find a boxful on eBay, postage could be more than you first think.
Advertising for Zira Labs products was a low key affair, being restricted to a more localised market than the Zippo lighter. That said, there are still examples of adverting literature for the Zira products floating around, one of which is shown here.
The second product of Zira Laboratories. 50 cents got you a tube of Zirenn, a general purpose Lip/ Skin/ Sunburn cream.
Both of these Zira Labs products were a spin off from the petroleum industry, and their lack of impact on public memory implies that they were not one of Zippo's great successes.
Information on the Subsidiary company is as limited as the product range. Little being known other than that shown on the packaging itself. Zira labs was either a short term excercise, or an attempt at diversity that failed to reach expectations.
Either way, Zipslip and Zirenn are long gone products.