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Zippo Canada opened in August 1949 and was the only place, other than Bradford, where Zippo lighters were produced. Operations included the final set-up of the lighter case and insert, surface engraving, cleaning, repair clinic, Items such as packaging and instruction pamphlets, were all “Made in Canada”
With this, came subtle differences.
I will share as much as I know about these differences.
Dates and timelines about these changes, are VERY difficult to nail down to an exact date, but these are fairly close, based on written info by Zippo, as well as other collectors that have taken the time to share their knowledge with me.
Zippo Canada production plant closed in July 2002. Zippo lighters are no longer produced in Canada.
Dating Canadian Zippos
Just a quick note on Dating the Canadian ZIPPO lighters.
In 1949 Zippo first produced the lighters with a easily recognised bottom stamp, that stated the words PAT. PEND.
Once Zippo Canada got the patent for the lighter, they used a new bottom stamp that stated PATENTED 1950.
This stamp was used on all models until 1967.
The only way to verify a "PAT 50" lighters age, is to notice subtle differences in the hinge, spring type, & insert stamping.
During this time,
ZIPPO still uses
a "humped" cam spring
Note: I have observed some flat springs showing up in late 59.
The spring style changes at this time,
from a humped spring to a narrow flat spring.
At this time, the insert stamp was on the bottom section of the insert. Notice the location of the "0" in 1950 in relation to the "D" in Ltd. The 0 is pushed to the left. This style insert was used till late1954
The cam spring is a "humped" spring.
The flintwheel has a hollow rivet.
Zippo changed the stamping in late 1954.
The "0" in 1950 was now further right of the "D" in "LTD". I have seen some earlier stamping 1954 zippo cases, with this later insert, showing that zippo was using up all the older cases during late 1954.
I have a 1954 Snap-On Tools lighter(see below) with this combination of insert & case.
During this time period, ZIPPO added a second line of information at the top of the insert that stated.
"FOR BEST RESULTS USE ZIPPO FLINTS AND FLUID"
The script, on the bottom part of the insert, became narrower than the stamp in previous years.
Two changes were made at this time.
First, the stamp on the insert became wider.
Similar to the 54-57 insert. But still has the "0" pushed right.
The second change was the introduction of the new cam spring.The spring was now a narrow and flat, with no "hump"
The flintwheel rivet was still hollow.
Zippo began using solid flintwheel rivets around 1961 and continued to be used until 1963.
Hollow rivets were also used between 1961- 63
There were changes to the hinge in 1956.
If you look closely, you will notice that the 5 barrels of the hinge on the left, are of equal length, compared to the 1956 and later hinge on the right.
The main change on the insert at this time was the the stamp was written vertically and not horizontally as in previous years.
The cam spring was unchanged, and was the narrow flat spring style. The flintwheel rivet was solid from this point on.
The "Pat 1950" stamp was still used at this time.
There was significant change in 1967.
The Pat 50 logo was replaced with new wording.
The insert now stated.
For Best Results Use ZIPPO Flints and Fluid
ZIPPO Mfg. Co. Canada Ltd.
Niagara Falls Ontario
Info stamped on one side only.
The Bottom stamp no longer states "Pat 1950"
In 1970, another change occurred. The cam spring was changed to a "widespread" flat spring. See photo.
A new style cam spring is introduced in 1970. It is now much wider than the ones used in previous years. This style spring is still used today.
The 3 spring styles used from 1949 on
From left to right
1949-58, "humped" cam spring
1958-1969, "Narrow" flat spring
1970 to Date, "Widespread" Flat spring
1950s Canadian instructions are similar to the 1950-51 USA version, but show flints instead of the fluid.
Canadian instruction booklet
This one is different from the one below. It states "sorry not possible to replate cases", as well as you could order a "new case" for $1.98
Early 1950s instruction booklet
Shows the fluid can and the old style flint pack as well as does not use the word "facimile" on the order sheet, as in later years
This page is under construction Feb 12 2012
The Bottom stamp.
If you look closely, you will notice the "0" in 1950 is pushed to the left.
1950s Canadian return box.
1940s- 50s Zippo Canada Boxes
1956-58 Canadian Slim box.
This box is 3 3/4" tall.
Block letters were used for the ZIPPO logo on the mount.
Late 1958 - early 1960s Canadian Slim Box. This box is now shorter @ 3 3/8" tall.
The mount now uses the stylized logo
Very rare " Female Curler with Rock"
This is the only one I have ever seen.
5 color graphics.
The 1954 Snap-On lighter (above) came from the original owner. I will be adding some more info on this lighter soon.
5 Color graphics
This Base stamp was unchanged from 1967>
The main change at this time was, the inserts for the 1975-86 had information stamped on both sides.
Wicks with the thin wire inside, have been seen as early as 1977
1975-86 Insert stamp, front side.
1975-86 Insert stamp, Back side
The date codes for the Canadian Zippos became the same as the USA version.
(see general date chart for more info)
The felt for the insert had no writing on it until approximately 1992
The inserts for the 1987-99 were written vertically, as shown in the example on the right from 1997.
From 2000-02 the were stamped horizontally, but all were clearly date coded.
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The box on the left is taller and used from 1956-1958. The one on the right was used from late 1958- early 1960s.