Elegantly created wooden sculptures present historically significant Zippo buildings, each of which showcases a unique Zippo lighter depicting a portion of the structure in exquisite detail. Each is extremely limited to just 1500 identically numbered/serialized sets.
Each set includes information on the property and its historic significance in the Zippo legacy. The lighter, protected by a clear glassine sleeve, is framed by the building sculpture and is removable.
A beautiful piece of art and first-ever collectible of its kind, each set comes with a hand numbered certification brochure and is packaged in a tuck-and-fold gift box with satin aluminum, issue-coded nameplate.
"New" inofficial infos I got (Excerpt):
[...] 2007 was the last year in the series. Although they anticipated doing a series of 10, Shelia, the artist designer disassociated from the wooden miniature company and the quality just wasn't up to the standard so the guys at Zippo decided to end the series.
Here is some unofficial, inside info which will probably make your pieces more valuable. While they said they were going to produce 1500 of each...they never did. I was told that they produced runs of 500 each. Then if they sold out, they did another 500 run. They may have done a second run on the first and second in the series, but they didn't do a second run on three through five. So at most there are probably up to 1000 of series one and two and up to 500 of series three, four and five.
As mentioned above: These infos are unofficial and are not confirmed by Shelia or Zippo.
Philo Blaisdell was born in Winterport, Maine in 1858. He came to Bradford in 1891 to run the Standard Wood Company, a family enterprise which supplied firewood to most of the larger cities on the East Coast. This Bradford home was built in 1894 on the corner of Blaisdell Avenue and Congress Street. On June 5, 1895 Philo and his wife Sarah celebrated the birth of their son George. In 1903 Philo founded the Blaisdell Machinery Co., selling it in 1917. His son George was a co-owner of the Blaisdell Oil Company when in 1933 he introduced a lighter that worked, even in a breeze. Intrigued be the name of the recently-invented zipper, he called his new lighter Zippo.
The former Bradford Country Club (now a private residence) was the setting on a muggy summer night 1932 for the spark that became the Zippo Windproof Lighter. George G. Blaisdell, then co-owner of the Blaisdell Oil Co., saw his friend Dick Dresser out on the terrace trying to light a cigarette with a cumbersome oddlooking Austrian lighter with a removable top. "You're all dressed up", chided Blaisdell, "Why don't you get a lighter that looks decent?" Well Gerorge, " his friend answered, Wit works!" Impressed, Blaisdell obtained U.S. distribution rights for the lighters but, when he couldn't sell them profitably, he decided to build a lighter that would look good and be easy to use with one hand. He created a rectangular case with a hinged lid and improved the chimney design, which provided the (now famous) Zippo windproof feature. Blaisdell named his creation "Zippo" because he liked the sound of the name of another recent invention, the zipper.
Zippo's first factory was established in the fall of 1933 above the Rickerson & Pryde garage at 7 Boylston Street in downtown Bradford. Zippo occupied the corner room on the second floor where the Zippo sign in the multi-paned window has become a symbol of the company's early days.
Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell rented this space for $10.00 a month. By the end of the first month, 82 of Blaisdell's new Zippo windproof lighters had been produced here.
Later, Zippo operations expanded into the entire second floor, occupying the space until the fall of 1938. This building was torn down around 1960 as part of a flood-control project. A small irregularly-shaped parking lot is all that remains of the location of Zippo's first factory.
In 1938 Zippo made its first real estate purchase, buying a former garage at 36 Barbour Street. That fall, the company moved its offices from 21 Pine Street to the front of this building. The factory, previously located above the Rickerson & Pryde Garage at 7 Boylston Street, occupied the back section.
This was the same year Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell modified the design and manufacture of his Zippo windproof lighter. He utilized a drawn case to produce the familiar and now-classic design. The new case replaced the 1932-1937 square-cornered model that had been cut from rectangular brass tubing.
By 1955 the factory and offices were moved across the street to a much larger facility ar 33 Barbour Street. The 36 Barbour Street building was then remodeled into the Zippo fuel plant. A portion of the front of the building was removed to accommodate an underground fuel storage tank.
The building is still owned by Zippo today and is currently used for storage.
The house at 160 Jackson Avenue was built in 1900 by a chemical manufacturer named William Gaffney. In 1944, it caught the eye of Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell who felt its proximity to the Zippo facilites in downtown Bradford made it an ideal location.
On July 13, 1944 this property became the base for Mr. Blaisdell's social and personal life, a role it played for more than 40 years. Mr. Blaisdell delighted in giving his guests a ride in one of the home's most unusual features, an antique open-cage elevator. At Mr. Blaisdell's request, Zippo's first Art Director, Jack Clark, decoupaged the entire first and second floor powder rooms with Zippo logos, posters and advertisements, much of which remains intact today.
After Mr. Blaisdell's death in 1978, the Blaisdell family sold the house and today it is privately owned.