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Zippo Lighter Identification Codes

The majority of this information is taken from David Poore's book, ZIPPO: The Great American Lighter.
The Zippo dating information shown below is more accurate than the current Zippo Collector's Guide, but omits various details regarding changes in logo style, design, word spacing, and unique variations. The best source of complete information on Zippo lighter dating is David's book and this book is a must for any serious collector. The dating information shown here will suffice though in a great many cases.

Year Regular Slim
Left Right Left Right
1932 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. PENDING MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
The case is 2-7/16" tall, 1/4" taller than 1934-1936 outside hinge plate models.
1933 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. PENDING MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Case is still 2-7/16" tall during the 1st quarter of 1933. Mid-1933, Zippo reduced
the case to 2-3/16 inches in height. True 1933's are 2-7/16" tall.
1934 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. PENDING MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
1935 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. PENDING MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
1936 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
This 1936 model must have an outside four barrel hinge and the "PAT. PENDING" logo. All
true 1936's through 1941's have to have either a flat or slightly curved outward bottom and the
2032695 patent number. The 2032695 patent number was placed on the bottom line in mid-1936.
1937-41 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Some 1936-40 types have flat bottoms, while other 1938-41 variants have both
corners that are rounded and bottoms that are slightly curved outward.
1942 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 203695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Some 1942 models have the 203695 patent number in lieu of the 2032695 patent number.
1942-45 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
All true 1943-45 models will have the 2032695 PAT. NUMBER on a steel case. These do not
have canned bottoms. The bottom of the case extends outward, even more profoundly than their
1938-1942 counterparts. These were black crackle WW II models. The word "ZIPPO" and the
type face vary during these years, with some lettering bolder and more rounded.
1946-49 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Lighters made from 1946 to date have a canned bottom with the exception of replica lighters.
1946-49 models have a 3-barrel hinge. Spacing of the words, letters and the height of "ZIPPO"
vary during this period.
1949-50 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
The 1949-50 model has the exact same bottom markings as the 1948-49 model, but
it has a 5-barrel hinge on a chrome plated nickel/silver case.
1951 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
The 1951 model had three different bottom markings (which cannot be adequately shown here)
The spacing between the words MFG. CO. and BRADFORD vary in relation to the word ZIPPO,
and at times ZIPPO is shorter in height and words are closer together.
1952-53 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
This model had a 5-barrel chrome plated steel case. There were three bottom variations. The
bottom letterings were alike, but differed as far as the depth of the strike that was made when
stamping it. All the "shorter and more compact" logo.
1953 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
MADE IN ZIPPO U.S.A.
PAT. 2517191 PAT. PEND.
Not Made Yet
This model has the "full stamp" bottom logo on a chrome plated steel case with a 5-barrel hinge.
Early 1953 models had the 2032695 patent number whereas later models had the 2517191 patent
number with the large pat. pending logo that covered most of the bottom of the lighter. In 1953
Zippo started using the registered trademark subscript, , as part of the bottom logo.
1954-55 ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD.PA.
ZIPPO
PAT. 2032695 MADE IN U.S.A.
Not Made Yet
Very similar to the 1953 model except that it has a 5-barrel hinge on a chrome-plated brass case.
Later 1955 models began using the 2517191 patent number.
Year Regular Slim
Mid-1955 Zippo changed the Logo to a stylized "Zorro" script style slanting from lower left
side towards the upper right-hand side. The actual design is not shown in the codes below. Zippo
also began adding coding marks mid-1955. The "dots" on the left and right sides of the
Zippo logo are located near the top of the Zippo logo, but this couldn't be shown.
Left Right Left Right
1955 BRADFORD, PA.
.... ZIPPO ....
PAT. 2517191 PAT. PEND.
.... ....
1956 BRADFORD, PA.
... ZIPPO ....
PAT. 2517191 PAT. PEND.
.... ....
In 1956, note that one dot has been removed from the left side.
1957 BRADFORD, PA.
.... ZIPPO ....
PAT. 2517191
.... ....
For 1957, the left dot has returned, but the "PAT. PEND." logo has been removed.
1958 BRADFORD, PA.
.... ZIPPO ....
PAT. 2517191
.... ...
From 1958 to 1967, the patent numbers are centered.
1959 BRADFORD, PA
... ZIPPO ....
PAT. 2517191
... ...
This is a true 1959 model, with 3 dots on the left and 4 dots on the right, but there is no PAT. PEND.
on a 1959 model. The 1960-67 models have the 2517191 pat. # centered as well as having the
dots or slashes depending on the year. From now on only the dots or slashes are shown, but the
look is exactly the same in all other ways as above.
Left Right Left Right
1960 ... ... .. ...
1961 ... .. .. ..
1962 .. .. .. .
1963 .. . . .
1964 . . .
1965 .
Zippo put no code on the bottom of a 1965 slim, so that both the regular and slim size
lighters would have the same code from then on.
1966 | | | | | | | | same
1967 | | | | | | | same
1968 | | | | | | same
1969 | | | | | same
Zippo made two changes on the bottom of the cases mid-1969. Zippo used a new press
machine in 1969 which caused the "canned" bottom of the lighter to be more dented in. Also,
at this time, Zippo changed the "Z" logo on the word Zippo and gave the letter "Z" a "tail" hanging
down on the right side. Therefore there are two different logos on a 1969 lighter.
1970 | | | | same
1971 | | | same
1972 | | same
1973 | same
1974 //// //// same
1975 //// /// same
1976 /// /// same
1977 /// // same
1978 // // same
1979 / // same
1979 marked the last year Zippo used the "Zorro" style "Z" on the word Zippo. 1980 marked the
first year of the stylized "Zippo" logo were the letters "Z" and "i" are connected and a flame takes
the place of the "dot" in the letter "i". In addition, the words "Bradford, PA." were moved below
the word Zippo. From 1980 to date Zippo has used many different bottom logos, even for the
same year (although their code system is still accurate).
1980 / / same
1981 / same
1982 \\\\ \\\\ same
1983 \\\\ \\\ same
1984 \\\ \\\ same
1985 \\\ \\ same
1986 \\ \\ same
Effective 7-1-86 the above system was replaced by a YEAR/LOT code. Year is noted
in Roman Numerals whereas Letters designate LOT month (A=Jan., B=Feb., etc.) The LOT
letter designation is to the left of the word Zippo, and the Roman Numeral is to the right.
1986 A to L II same
1987 A to L III same
1988 A to L IV same
1989 A to L V same
1990 A to L VI same
1991 A to L VII same
1992 A to L VIII same
1993 A to L IX same
1994 A to L X same
1995 A to L XI same
1996 A to L XII same
1997 A to L XIII same
1998 A to L XIV same
1999 A to L XV same
2000 A to L XVI same
2001 A to L XVII same
2002 A to L XVIII same
2003 A to L XIX same
2004 A to L XX same
2005 A to L XXI same