Blaisdell, who had been growing tired of the dance and idle talk of politics, went out onto the terrace to have a smoke. In these times, everyone must be looking for something that is low-priced, yet sturdy and durable, he thought. Blaisdell was determined to develop a new lighter that would not fail to light.There, he saw a friend of his trying to light up a cigarette, taking out of his pocket an unsightly brass lighter that was patently tawdry. His friend must have thought it was none of Blaisdell business. No, that isn't so; those things are always sought after, not just in bad times. Abandoning the defective Austrian lighter, Blaisdell rented a corner of the second floor of the Rickerson & Pryde, Inc. Blaisdell paid a month in rent, hired three people, and began to develop a new lighter.The ugly lighter was totally out of place in the hand of the perfectly attired gentleman. He and his team used an electric hot plate for soldering.The sight of the man trying clumsily to open the lighter's lid was so comical that Blaisdell almost started to laugh. Everything from the punch press to the welder was second-hand equipment.
Up until 1940, a repaired Zippo was returned in the package in which the Zippo was sent for the service.
The total cost of his equipment was 0 at the time.
The first thing Blaisdell did was to make the lighter smaller to be able to fit in the palm of the hand, and he incorporated a hinge to hold the lid to the bottom, making it an integral part of the lighter.
Soon, Zippo produced a pamphlet aimed at Corporations to use Zippo as a pocket salesman.
Designs such as the military, airplanes, tourists spots, sports teams, comic characters and universities also appeared on Zippo's lighters.