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There was a Zippo made for every Mercury and Apollo mission.There was the highly collectible Town & Country series produced between 19.About 30% of Zippo’s sales are to collectors, according to Patrick Grandy, the company’s Corporate Media and Communications Manager.But that’s a figure that doesn’t happen overnight—hell, it took Ty Inc.During his active duty periods, Colonel Stewart remained current as a pilot of Convair B-36 Peacemaker, Boeing B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress intercontinental bombers of the Strategic Air Command.
While small-batch models have fostered a collectible environment, they aren’t the only thing Zippo hunters are on the prowl for. Well, every Zippo lighter has a date code, a system used internally for quality control, which allows collectors to see when a particular lighter was produced.
Kennecott Utah Copper received the only Zippo lighters crafted from copper; Alcoa received the only ones made from aluminum.
In 1952, GE received Zippo lighters that looked like Ultra-Vision televisions, which some customers received when they bought the TV set.
With brass being required for military machinery, Zippo produced lighters made of steel instead and coated them with black paint so they wouldn’t corrode on the battlefield.
This special wartime model would become known as “Black Crackle” due to the cracking of the paint.