ZIPPO LIGHTER

 

Because a Zippo lighter was considered fashionably chic years ago, and something that everyone needed on occasion, we gave them as complimentary gifts to loyal customers of Stewart Webster Gas Company in Richland.  Our silver lighters were engraved with the company name, advertising the fact that we handled butane, propane and bottled gas, and for unexplained reasons, listed my daddy as manager instead of owner of the petroleum company. 
 
My mother, well known for her artistic ability, designed a prototype that displayed the same blue flame emblem that identified our equipment, rental propane tanks and service and delivery vehicles.    When the intricate drawing of the flame caused difficulties with the engraving, the design was simplified to just pertinent company information. 
 
My parents chose the Zippo model not because it was affordable, it was actually a relatively expensive product, but because of the incredible warranty offered by the manufacturer.  As is still the practice at Zippo, any windproof signature lighter will be reconditioned for free, anytime, as long as it can be identified as their product; ship it to Pennsylvania, and it will be returned in impeccable condition.  The finish is not guaranteed but the workings of the lighter are warranted for a lifetime, and the trademark Zippo is stamped into the bottom of each unit.  
 
The brushed stainless steel models were encased in tiny gold boxes lined with black velvet, and because they were valuable, stored in the company safe.  My vintage lighter needs repairing, so as soon as I complete this story I'm shipping it to Bradford, PA for a complete realignment.  Hopefully it will be returned, as is customary, with new flint, a container of complimentary lighter fluid, and in pristine condition. 
  
 

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