ZIPPO / CASE INTERNATIONAL SWAP MEET
KICKS OFF FRIDAY
by Tammarrah Miles / Era
Project Coordinator for Zippo
Manufacturing Co., Shawn Llewellyn, said at the Swap Meet that he
and his associates were displaying upcoming design ideas and new
products in order to garner collector feedback. "They love it,"
Llewellyn said when asked about the general response to the new
BluFlame lighters and fresh designs and themes. "There's not
a lot we can do that they don't like. People have different tastes,
but it's the same passion."
The Swap Meet was fairly well attended
Friday afternoon, but was even more packed earlier in the day,
according to consumer marketing coordinator for W.R. Case &
Sons Cutlery Co., Fred Feightner.
Lisa Boser, Club Administrator for the
Case Collectors Club, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year,
said Friday the historical tour Wednesday that allowed club
members to travel to the former plant locations and homes of Case
family members was a tremendous success. Boser went on to say club
members who had previously only chatted on-line through electronic
forums got a chance to meet for this first time this year, and put
faces with the stories they've heard. "People are really
happy to be a part of the Zippo/Case family," Boser said.
"They are proud to be club members and are just full of ideas
about how to make it better."
Marie McNamara, a Zippo associate in
the United Kingdom for the past nine years, showed The Era Friday
a collection of Zippo lighters normally sold only in the United
Kingdom. She said several collectors had already shown interest in
the set. Proceeds from that particular collection will go to the
Blaisdell Foundation, she said.
Arthur Hrvatin of Joliet, Ill., who
had a table set up Friday, said this was his second Swap Meet.
Hrvatin said he came primarily to display his collection of Case
knives - about 230 knives, a complete Russ Lock collection,
he said. "I'm doing my part for Bradford's economy,"
Frederick Wenzel of Warren collects,
buys, sells and trades both Zippo lighters and Case knives, he
said. When asked which were his favorite pieces, Wenzel replied
like so many other Zippo and Case enthusiasts. "All of them,"
Martha Shouse of Rural Hall, N.C.,
said she and her husband, Tommy, like to collect prototypes of
both companies, adding they particularly try to collect Zippo
lighters with the Camel cigarettes art. "We've met a lot of
people," Shouse said, adding she and her husband got a chance
to see some far-flung "friends" Friday from "South
Africa, Italy, Canada ...," she said, her voice trailing off
as she named other countries.
Robert and Susan Rosenberg of
Minneapolis, Minn., were also at the Swap Meet Friday. Robert
Rosenberg said he likes to collect older Zippo lighters, and was
even featured in his local newspaper, the "Star Tribune"
in April as part of a feature story about collectors. He also got
some television and radio play this spring due to the article, he
said. Rosenberg said he like finding the older pieces that were
not intended for collectors. His white whale, he said, is the
"Kelvinator," a white refrigerator-shaped Zippo lighter
made in the 1950s. While he has seen them before at Swap Meets, he
said, the $1,800 being asked for is still a bit rich for his blood.
Allan Silber and Larry Kleinman, both
of Cammarrilo, Calif., talked with The Era about their first visit
to Pennsylvania Friday. Their airplane was delayed by lightning,
they explained, causing them to miss the factory tour at Case they
hoped to attend. However, Case officials were able to arrange a
special trip to the factory for the pair Friday, Lisa Boser said.
"Just the displays on the walls alone were worth the whole
trip," Silber said. "Even though they are made with
machines, they are made by hand and it's TLC from beginning to the
end," Kleinman said. "If I weren't retired," Silber
said, "I'd apply for a job here."