When celebrating a milestone as significant as the 500 millionth of a product, it would seem anti-climactic to just let it pop off the assembly line and stick it in a box. Zippo made a pretty grand event out of honoring its 500 millionth lighter by involving all 620 of the company’s employees in its manufacturing.
From USA Today:
Rather, it was passed along, hand to hand, in two pieces — the lighter’s brushed chrome-plated brass case and its fuel-and-wick assembly innards — by each of the company’s 620 employees, who were lined up between the plant and the Zippo museum a few hundred yards away.
CEO Greg Booth then put together the pieces, owner George Duke, the 59-year-old grandson of the company’s founder, lit the device and the lighter was placed in the museum for safe keeping.
Zippo has been making its iconic lighters with those cases that go “click” when closed since 1932 in Bradford, Pa. Today was also the birthday of the company’s late founder, George Blaisdell, who passed away in 1978. Company officials figured out that the 500 millionth lighter would be produced this year, and started shifting the production schedule so the two events would line up.
All Zippo lighters come with a lifetime guarantee — which makes us wonder how many of those 500 million lighters are still out there.
Zippo produces 500 millionth lighter [USA Today]