Morley Safer, in his August 5, 1965 CBS News report of the Cam Ne affair and Private First Class Reginald “Malik” Edwards, the rifleman 9th Regiment, US Marine Corps Danang (June 1965 – March 1966) whose profile comprises chapter one of Wallace Terry‘s book, Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans (1984), describe the use of Zippo lighters in search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War. Edwards stated: “when you say level a village, you don’t use torches. It’s not like in the 1800s. You used a Zippo. Now you would use a Bic. That’s just the way we did it. You went in there with your Zippos. Everybody. That’s why people bought Zippos. Everybody had a Zippo. It was for burnin’ shit down.”
After watching a friend try to operate an Austrian-made chimney lighter, George G. Blaisdell decided to create one of his own, borrowing the windproof chimney design but enclosing it in a small rectangular case with a hinged lid. Thus, in 1933, the Zippo was born.