Founded in 1907 by Julius Meister as a button factory, Imco is recognized as the first lighter company to have truly developed a modern cigarette lighter. In 1918, their first trench lighters were made from spent artillery shells used in World War I. Today, these first lighters are prized by collectors around the world. Known for its wind resistant feature, the Imco lighter became a popular product for the military. Smokers and the outdoorsman soon followed. Unfortunately, as of the end of June 2012, Imco closed its doors.
I hear what you are thinking: what about Zippo? Well, the first Zippo lighters were made in 1932 and founder George G. Blaisdell admitted being heavily inspired by the Imco lighter. Zippo grew out to become the predator that put Imco out of business. Furthermore, Zippo lighters are so common that they are almost a banality.
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