1936-37 Slash Corner, Pat # 2032695. This is the first year ZIPPO used this new Pat # . Some new changes occured during this time. The hinge was moved to the inside. The insert still has a "piston" style cam spring, as used in previous years, but it has only 14 holes in the chimney, not 16, like in 34-early 36.
Cam area showing the piston under the cam.
The new case was 1/4"shorter than the previous year.
In 1934-35 Zippo used their first advertising technique called "Metallique"
This process used very thin pieces of metal applied to the lighter
to create either initials or Company logos. (See info. at the bottom of this page, on the "Probar Company") The areas were then filled with enamel paint.
The lighter bottom used the Pat. Pending stamp.
You can see the original hinges have small cleat marks on the top and bottom.
These cleat marks were used to align the hinge. Repaired hinges do not have these marks.
The "cam Stop", inside the lid, was a small piece of "U" shaped metal soldered into the lid.
(see photo below)
Original hinges used small cleat marks on the top & Bottom of the hinge (left) Replaced hinge on the right, is not chrome & without cleats.
In 1936 Zippo began making the hinges using 4 barrels instead of 3.
The hinge was still mounted to the outside of the case, and had a Pat. Pending base stamp.
The insert still had16 holes in the chimney, like the 34-35s, and still used the early, piston style cam spring.
It's my opinion that these are the hardest to find of any Zippo made between 1934 and 1937. This hinge was used only in early 1936.
The hinge was soon moved to the inside of the case later that same year.
So very few of these are seen in any condition.
This is a rarely seen metallique with original hinge. 85% paint still remains.
This model with 4 barrel external hinge was produced for less than a year.
Ultra rare with a metallique logo.
It is said that these square models were made between late1933 and 1940. I consider these to be 1937s for the sake of argument.
There were very few changes to the 37s.
The most significant being the use of a small flat piece of spring steel, mounted under the rivet, where the wick comes through. This replaced the earlier piston style cam spring, that was prone to overheating and loosing its tension.
This photo shows the tube that holds the Piston style cam spring,under the cotton.
Sonken Galamba Corp.
Oil Tank Manufacturing Co.
This photo shows the difference between the 36 "piston" spring(left) and the 37 onwards, "humped" spring (right)
Early 36 inserts have 16 holes in the chimney,
late 36s and 37s had 14.
Top view showing the "humped" spring used, beginning in late36(left), compared to the early 36 "piston" spring (right)
Again, early 1936 have 16 holes in the chimney and the late 36s and 37s have 14 holes.
1934 with metallique initials M.E.W.
There was another change to the hinge. It is said, that the hinge on both the "tall case" and "short case" 33s, used a hinge where the material rolls over the pin compared to the 34-35 hinge where the material rolls under the pin.
See photos above.
Note: ZIPPO returned to the "roll over" style for the 1936 4 barrel outside hinge models.
1933-34 "Roll Over" hinge
1934-35 "Roll Under" hinge
Original hinge (left) replacement hinge (right)
1932 - early 33 "Tall Case" models
The " Holy Grail "
These are the very first models ZIPPO ever produced. They were 2 7/16" tall. 1/4" taller than the models made later . The very first models were plain polished chrome, and had no diagonal lines. Diagonal lines were added shortly after production began, giving the lighter an Art Deco look, and remained in high polished chrome. Later the design was changed again, and a brush finish was added to the design along with the diagonal liness. Later in 1933, The lighters were shortened by 1/4" .These models all used a 3 barrel outside hinge. The very early models had the hinge plates soldered to the case. These hinges were prone to breaking off over time and ZIPPO decided to change the method of how the hinge was attached, by spot welding it to the case. This proved to be more durable over time.
The base stamp used had the "Pat. Pending" stamp on it.
The 1932 original cam was different, & has a hook on it, compared to the later
figure 8 design.
After 40 years of searching, I finally own a Tall Case.
An absolutely stunning late 1933 "short" case with external hinge.
I have dated this to late 33 due to the hinge style being the "roll over type"
See "hinge comparison" described above.
Unusual to see this one that dates to 1936/37. Notice the difference in height compared to one of my other 36/37s. It is 1/8" shorter than all the others I have ever seen.
with piston insert
The inserts for the original tall models & 1933 "short model" were different than the later 34-35 model.
The early version had the cam support that had 90 degree angles where it meets the body of the insert. The later style was more contoured in this area.
See photo for details.
Zippo & the Probar Company
One of the most desirable & prized Zippos (amongst the purist collector), is the Metallique.
The Company that manufactured the Metallique was “PROBAR”.
In the 1930s, Probar was based in Orange, New Jersey, until it moved to Berkeley Heights in 1937.
The Company was founded by Bezaleel Howe Whitmore (born in 1891), along with brothers Samual, who was the youngest, and William who had a college degree from Pratt University.
I had always assumed they were stamped out using a die until I spoke personally with the Founders son Bill and Grand-daughter Lisa.
The process to manufacture these hair thin pcs. of metal was a relatively new science at that time, and was achieved by photo etching the shapes from small 8 1/2" X 17" sheets of material with acid. see scan below written 6-4-40 from their own history files by Bezaleel Whitmore.
Metallique was the name given to thin (.005”) pieces of chrome plated brass, that were affixed to the front (or back) of the lighters.
These were used to form various company logos, initials, and popular designs of that time period.
Some of the most desirable logos were actually created by Probars’ art department, and not Zippos designers.
Items such as The Drunk, and or Scotty dogs, were created by Maxine Marx of Probar.
Maxine also created the varied letter sizes and font styles.
There was a special, 2 part adhesive that Probar also developed.
The first part was sprayed on to the back of the metallique. The second part was a solvent shipped separately to Zippo.
This solvent was applied with a small brush to activate the sealant.
There was enough time for the workers to apply the metallique, then make any final adjustments.
It was not until the second chemical was applied that the glue would become a permanent bond to the lighters surface.
Zippo employees would then hand paint between the raised areas of the logo or letters that were just applied.
Other company’s, besides Zippo used Metallique for logos, Singer sewing machines, and Hoover vacuums were two of them.
Ronson, Match-king, Evans, and Helios were other lighter companies.
The Helios lighter company was also based in Bradford.
They used Metallique emblems on their catalin windproof lighters.
Catalin, similar to Bakelite, was popularized in the 30s as the new plastic of the time,
The application process was much different when applying a Metallique to the Catalin.
The process was not so much a gluing of the emblem, but a “heat and press” process, leaving Metallique itself flush to the surface.
All metalliques were etched from front to back, leaving a bevelled edge, and when pressed into (plastics of the time) such as Catalin.
The material would flow over the emblem slightly, leaving it bonded and locked into the surface it was applied on.
Probar was listed as a metal manufacturing Company.
Just prior to WWII, when the time came, Probar was forced to stop production, and help with the war effort.
All their metal was confiscated, and most of the employees were in the service at that time, and production ceased.
This is what makes Post War Metallique ZIPPOS, so rare and desirable.
A heartfelt thanks to both Bill and Lisa, for the time they took sharing information with me.
Manufacturer of the Metallique
Probar Staff Circa 1934
Probar Mfg, Circa 1937
Berkeley Heights N.J.
Every Zippo collector knows this iconic lighter.
But did you ever wonder how it came to be?
1936 "Experimental" Extremely rare !
The lighter has no corner slashes & is factory painted black. All edges are polished. It's decorated with a scarcely seen "Scotty Dog" metallique on one side, and initials on the other.
This lighter is historically significant, as it shows Zippo would experiment with different finishes.
I would think the baked paint finish wouldn't stand the test of time that Blaisdell would have wanted.
This one appears unused, but does show some handling wear from it's 75 year existence.
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