Do you smoke? No? Well, even if you aren’t, there a big chance at least one of the four people next to you to be a smoker. That’s what the infographic from kick.it states – 1 out of every 5 people smoke. The infographic was published in 2012, so I assume this info may be from 2011, but this doesn’t mean that it’s far from the truth. Due to the large size of the infographic only the relevant pat is posted here. If you want to see the full infographic, click here.
And what if you smoke? In order to practice smoking you need cigarettes (obviously) and a pocket lighter (or matches if you are old-school). The first lighters were invented back in the 16th century, however, the first automatic pocket lighters were created in the beginning of the 20th century. And this is when Zippo was founded. The story tells it all started one summer evening when a young gentleman was at a Country Club on the outskirts of Bradford, PA. This young man was named George G. Blaisdell and so it happened that while he was having a cigarette on the balcony another fellow came out as well. Blaisdell noticed that the gent had problems lighting his cigarette because of his bad-looking lighter which couldn’t even work properly. Although he was all dressed up he said he was keeping the ugly lighter because “it works”. These words stuck in Blaisdell’s mind and he decided to start a pocket lighters business, selling nice-looking quality automated lighters.
Obviously, the founder of the company is not called anything like that otherwise I wouldn’t bother with writing this article. George Blaisdell founded Zippo in 1932 and started producing the first Zippos in 1933. Originally, he used the obtained rights from the manufacturer of the above-mentioned indecently looking lighter. He improved its mechanics and its looks. But what is the Zippo company name origin? According to Wiki Blaisdell liked the word zipper and thought it sounds modern – don’t forget it was the 1930’s.
So, long story short – Zippos became very popular, especially during the World War II, because the US military used them. This is probably because of two main reasons. First, there is the Zippo lifetime guarantee – his means even if the lighter breaks, you can get it repaired for free. Second, and this was very important for soldiers, the Zippo lighters are considered “windproof”, meaning that they are able to stay lit in harsh weather – something that soldiers might need.
Can you imagine what it would be if George Blaisdell had decided to name the lighters Blaisdell’s, Bradford (after the town Blaisdell was born in), or even Rickerson (after Zippo’s first building in 1933)? Surely, Zippo is a catchy brand name that has proven to be great and has helped for the company to stay popular for 80 years now!
Did you like this story? You can check some of other naming articles on the popular Marlboro cigarettes, or accessory-related naming articles like the trendy Ray-Ban sunglasses or the luxury Rolex brand.