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Companies planning an anniversary celebration would start the planning and ordering the souvenirs a lot earlier than the date of the anniversary, for this reason a lighter engraved 1956, may have been produced in 1955.
This is still evident today with many of the dated lighters.
Codes were not used on the lighters until 1987, so we have to look closely at the bottom stamp and the insert to try to determine the date of manufacture.
It is not unknown for Lighters from Canada to to be shipped with Bradford stamped inserts, so this can sometimes be a help.
These earlier lighters are quite rare and will be covered on a separate page.
When writing this page I have used information from lighters that were engraved, at the factory, with either a date or a company logo with a specific anniversary.
There is still much work and research to be done, and this page is by no means complete.
In the spring of 1946, it was discovered that many of the lighters being returned for repair were suffering from faulty flint wheels.1953-1955 Bottom Stamp I now want to go back to the first lighters made after WW.This was when the "Canned bottom" (where the base of the lighter is indented) was introduced, and all lighters made before this date had either a flat (1933-1942) or a round (1942-1945) bottom.Some important points to note are the shape of the "3" within this patent number, some lighters have a round top 3 whilst other have a flat top.Also look carefully at the placement of the word "ZIPPO".
The first stamp used on the base of the lighter bore the legend "PAT. This was used on lighters manufactured until around the end of 1950. There are many examples of "Pat Pend" cases with "Pat 1950" inserts (see below) these lighters would have been made around the time of the changeover at the end of 1950 using stock cases and newer inserts.