Manufacture of the American Zippo lighter was inspired by the Austrian cigarette lighter made from spent ammunition shells by IMCO. The IMCO lighter was used by German troops throughout WWII.
The American Zippo Manufacturing Company produced their first lighter in 1933. After America’s entry into WWII, Zippo stopped production for the American consumer and dedicated all manufacturing to the U.S. military. Millions of American military personnel carried the lighter during WWII, establishing the Zippo lighter as an American icon throughout the world.