Canadian Manufacturing

Zippo makes 500 millionth lighter

Company manipulated the production schedule to ensure the milestone lighter would be made on founder's birthday.



PITTSBURGH— Zippo Manufacturing Co. has produced its 500 millionth lighter.

The brass case of the lighter, plated with brushed chrome, was stamped with the time that it was finished on Tuesday: 10:51 a.m.

The family-owned company’s 620 workers lined up in Bradford, about 200 kilometres northeast of Pittsburgh, and handed the lighter’s parts down a human conveyor line to company president Greg Booth.

Booth put the pieces together. George Duke, the grandson of the company’s founder, then lit the device to kick off a company picnic celebrating the milestone.

Today is the birthday of the late George Blaisdell who founded the company in 1932. He died in 1978.

Company officials manipulated the production schedule to ensure the milestone lighter would be made on his birthday.

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