“Zippo Lighters and the Cent Not Spent”

“Zippo Lighters Light the World” is the old advertising slogan I remember from the 1950s and 1960s. Zippo advertised everywhere and their biggest draw was the indestructible nature of their famous Zippo lighter. “Break your Zippo and we’ll replace it for free” went one slogan. I recall one advertisement that said a man dropped his Zippo in a lake while fishing and a few years later caught a big bass in that lake that had swallowed his lighter – and it still worked! Everybody owned a Zippo it seemed in those years before the disposable lighter was invented. It was, after all, the 1950s and everybody smoked except for kids and exceptionally smart adults. This installment features a small nickel encasement that holds a 1960 Large Date Lincoln cent. The encasement reads: “The Cent Never Spent To Repair A Zippo Lighter” on six lines. I originally thought this item may have been from 1960, but I recently saw the same encasement on an internet bidding site that had a 1937 Lincoln cent inside. My guess is that the encasement is probably from the late 1950s or early 1960s and that Zippo used whatever small cents were on hand when the encasements were first made. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a Zippo encasement out there with a well-worn Indian cent inside. If there is, I’ll find it!

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