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The finished body was then baked which causes the paint to "crackle" These lighters became known as Black Crackles.
Since 1955, most Zippo lighters have carried a date code stamped on the base.
Originally this was intended as a quality control record, so that lighters returned for repair could be identified as to when they were manufactured and if, for example, a number of lighters were returned with the same fault then Zippo could identify a possible defect in the manufacturing process or even a supplier of one of the components. As there were some alterations to the positioning of the text on the bottom line, some codes were used twice, therefore close attention should be paid to the text on the bottom line for lighters with 7 or 8 dots. 1955-1965 Dating guide The next set of codes used upright lines either side of the word Zippo. Again 8 lines were used for the first year of the series, with one line being removed each year.
There is however a Japanese collector, who like me, loves attention to detail, and has produced an excellent descriptive work on lighters from this era the English version of which is here When America entered the Second World War, many materials were restricted to military use.
Both Brass and Chrome became scarce and Zippo had to use other materials.