As mentioned last week, Shimshon Cook, CPG has taught me the joys of using a Zippo. Before you think unkind thoughts about my mental deficiencies, do remember I’ve been without my Rx lithium and off the rec ‘shrooms for over a year now! But it’s been so many decades since using a Zippo that I had to approach with my beginner’s mind concerning a few basics—e.g., can you really draw the flame down far enough into the bowl to smoke an entire bowl? Or, if I place the ring of the Zippo pipe lighter on the crown of my Pete, do I risk burning the pipe rim? Shimson is a good, kind teacher and didn’t even raise an eyebrow (well, okay, maybe there was a twitch) and even agreed to go over everything in a fun video he made for PPN:
For my part, I haven’t attempted mastering the traditional insert for pipe lighting as Shimson does so effortlessly, but thus far have only used the pipe insert. I’m one of those rare pipemen who enjoys the aroma of lighter fluid, probably because as a boy, I used to make pop can “bazookas” with my cousins.
I haven’t had any problems whatsoever with placing the Zippo ring on top of the pipe rim. It does require a bit more draw to bring the flame down than an Old Boy and lacks the directional control, but works quite nicely. For me there’s an added attraction. I have a bad habit of wanting to smoke a bowl to the very bottom, which can cause char around the air hole as well as fry my tongue. Butane lighters are great enablers in this regards. But a Zippo, as the flame won’t pull down beyond about 30 mm, prevents these combustive problems. That bit of leftover tobacco at the bottom of the bowl is also insurance against char at the airway and char of my tongue. If the chamber is much deeper than 42mm, I simply I turn to my favorite Peterson Old Boys, but that’s fine as well, giving me a chance to practice my slow cadence.
THE PETERSON ZIPPOS
One upshot of my recent interest in Zippos is recalling that Peterson issued one or two of these a few years back. I’ve turned up five, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than that and would of course like to hear from you if you have one not seen below.
2005 Shape 303 / Zippo Sherlock Holmes Pipe Lighter Gift Set
This is a fairly nice “beginner’s kit,” and while not everything I’d have wanted I’d be glad to gift it or to get it. First, it delivers a System 303, introducing the new smoker to the flagship Peterson System.
The pipe lighter is fine, but doesn’t really say anything about Peterson. The Janus-faced Sherlock Holmes at least offers a bit of a connection, although K&P presumably had artwork they could’ve provided that would not only say Sherlock Holmes but also Peterson’s Sherlock Holmes.
I’m dating this to 2005 because Bill M.’s lighter from this set contains the Zippo date code E (left) 05 (right) for May, 2005. It may be that the set appeared earlier, of course. What’s also great is the Zippo logo on the ferrule of the pipe. That’s something special for pipe collectors, like the old Gold Block 314 Systems.
2007 Zippo 75th Anniversary Pipe Lighter Gift Set
This one’s not difficult to date, since it’s right on the lighter as well as the poster: 2007.
Notice that both this set and the one from 2005 utilize a typical K&P hinged companion box from this era.
If I were a first-time pipeman or looking to gift a friend or nephew with a beginner’s set, this really wouldn’t be it. A fishtail sandblast 408? This doesn’t represent K&P very well. The sterling band with a laser-engraved Zippo 75th Anniversary logo at least identifies the pipe properly, even if it seems a little out of place on a sandblast pipe. And a Zippo that doesn’t even advertise Peterson? Great for Zippo and its pipe lighter insert. Not much for the Peterson pipe smoker.
2011 Shape 106 / Zippo Peterson Logo Pipe Lighter Gift Set
The third pipe lighter gift set arrived in 2011 and was again a mixed bag. A ho-hum poorly-sandblasted pipe, the 106, which has about as little personality as it’s possible to give a pipe. However, for the $100 or so the set cost, you did get an outstandingly-branded Peterson lighter. At last! The logo, as Pete Geeks who’ve been around for a decade will recall, is “the Great Oval Pete.” Why the designer thought he had to remove the dynamism by placing Peterson horizontally rather than on an incline, as the satin pipe bags and wood pipe stands did, is beyond me. But it still rocks and I’d gladly spend some hard-earned coin on one like this.
2014 Peterson Sherlock Holmes Collection Zippo
Here’s an incredible lighter that Brian 5000s brought to my attention from his own collection of Pete ephemera. The artwork many of you will know from the Peterson book: it was used to promote the original 7-day set. I reproduced the great little window sticker in the Peterson book. I don’t imagine it received much circulation in its day, as charming as it is, although the bust of Sherlock was taken from the ad campaign for the original set in 1991-93.
And that’s what makes this gorgeous Zippo so mysterious to me. The bottom of Brian’s lighter as the letter code as “G” (July) and the year cold as 14 (2014). The final four SH pipes, the Adventures collection, came out three years before the lighter in 2011, which leaves me without a clue as to why K&P would have commissioned Zippo to make the lighter.
2015 Peterson 150th Anniversary Sterling Zippo
So this is the one to die for, as we like to say. I found the photos on the Nassau Street shop’s Facebook page and they’re from 2015—the 150th anniversary. Federica Bruno, whom many of you know as Peterson’s wonderful bilingual specialist (and who helped me on the Pipes of Sherlock Holmes book), asked John Dromgoole at the shop, who said that this sterling Zippo was made at the behest of K&P’s Chinese distributor, who sent a few of them over to the shop. Notice these are individually numbered. This is doubtless the ne plus ultra Peterson Zippo. This one has it all: special occasion (150th anniversary), the Peterson logo, Charles Peterson’s signature, what appears to be a 308 or similar Patent pipe, “Dublin Ireland / est. 1865)” and is even numbered.
A few of Bill M.’s Pete-themed Zippos
Many thanks to Shimson Cooke, Brian 5000s, Bill M., Federica Bruno & John Dromgoole
A CPG Certificate / Merit Badge Opportunity
Now taking orders for
THE “PETE GEEK” COMMEMORATIVE ZIPPO
This is Zippo’s digital rendition of the CPG lighter
With Shimson’s encouragement and help, I contacted Zippo a few weeks ago about doing a special CPG Pete Geek limited edition lighter, and they’re an incredibly helpful set of folks. Here’s what you need to know:
- We have to place a minimum order of 30 lighters (so yeah, buy 2!)
- Price in the US including USPS first class shipping and tax: $44.95
- Price outside the US, including USPS first class international shipping: $64.95 (customs not included, of course)
- Deadline: Monday, 30th January, 2023
- You will invoiced through PayPal when the lighters are ready to ship (3-4 weeks from ordering, the rep told me)
- CPG Certificate or Merit Badge to be awarded for participation in the event
- You MUST fill out this Google form to be eligible:
ORDER THE PETE GEEK ZIPPO HEREDesign concept. The lighter utilizes the red/gold palette of the 1970s/80s Peterson pipe boxes which I also use here on the blog. The exact “Pete” logo seen in the box was first used in a 1955 catalog and, to my mind, is the finest in this style of logo (much better than the current one) reflecting as it does the broad, masculine nature of K&P’s design language. The pipe? What else could it be but the iconic Thinking Man 4s also seen on the box, reproduced from the 1906 catalog. While not seen in the artist’s renditions, the insert for the CPG Zippo will be the gold-tone pipe insert:
This is the submitted design seen against on the background of the Zippo lighter to be used
A Rare Opportunity
A Silver Gray / Peterson Deluxe 12.5 System NAP Pipe
My friend Silver Gray is working on a project with me and in the course of conversation I learned she has a Deluxe System 12.5 beautifully grained with her own NAP stem (which looks amazingly Patent-era) for sale. I can’t tell you how rare these pipes are and how marvelously they smoke. It’s $525 plus $10 shipping. Here’s some photos, but you’ll find more at her website, where you can also contact her for more information. If you’re unfamiliar with this amazing pipe, simply type NAP in the SEARCH box at the top right to find several fun posts on how it came about and what the original vetting group thought of it.
(Yes, it comes with its original factory P-Lip stem as well Silver’s marvelous NAP clamshell reproduction!)
Wow – what a great lighter design! I’ve signed up. Also incredible that a Silver Gray NAP pipe is up for sale!
Hmm, I still have not warmed up to the 4s, or the Sherlock Holmes imagery, but now I need some more Zippos to add to my collection. I like the 75th Zippo Anni, but I did not know it was Peterson related.
I enjoy Sherlock Holmes but I don’t need every single Peterson item adorned with Sherlockian imagery. I prefer the simplicity of Peterson script & Irish symbols.
Another great article and I am in for two lighters!! I can’t believe Silver hasn’t sold that one yet…..I bought the XL5s she did, it’s a wonderful smoker. I love the NAP stem. You got to watch that Shimshon character…..😉
Yes, Rebbe Cook is one to watch!!
Lance…. I’m like a Sasquatch….. hard to watch!
I was wondering, after seeing the 12.5 Deluxe with the NAP stem….does the stem have the threads for the factory “chimney”?
John, yes, she and Brad Pohlmann used factory chimneys and Brad tapped the threads.
Silly me, I should have remembered, my mind must be failing. I see that they were included after I went back and looked at your previous blog posts on the NAP reproduction.
I really want one, but they are so dang expensive. My little amber NAP I bought from Gary is an awesome smoke, I’m just afraid I will break it….again😢. It may not repair as clean and easy as the first time.
Another bit of advice…Shimshon’s standard “Zippo Hack” looks like it would work beautifully. However, I think I would caution on “over rotating” the pipe past 90 degrees, and add that keeping it slightly under 90 degrees would be better. Otherwise torching the rim on the side above the flame might occur. Just my 10 cents….inflation, ya know. I’m with Shimshon, I love Sterling Silver, it’s what draws me to Peterson pipes.
John, I usually do it about 45* but the 90 was more for illustration. That being said…. I have run it straight sideways more than I can recall I’m sure! Lol
Also, Mark, let us know if the 30 lighter mark is not going to be met. I don’t want or need more than one, but if I need to “up the ante”, I could be persuaded to purchase another.
Thanks so much, John. We’re well over the 30 mark. I believe my blog guru just told me we’ve hit 60… !!
Great! More cash for more pipes🙂
What a great idea and design Mark ordered 1 for now, may order another 😀 enjoyed Shimshon’s video, a simple solution is always welcome
Thank you for Shimshon for the video lesson. It just happens I’ve been using zippos the last couple of weeks and I was surprised how safe it was to the pipe and how easy it was to use. Ironically I didn’t like the pipe insert as the flame shoots up and I found I needed to really draw hard to get it to reverse which wasn’t pleasant. I found the traditional zippo much better. The jury is still out on using a zippo to light my pipe as I noticed the taste of that lighter fluid in every blend I… Read more »
Get one of the butane pipe inserts to put in the Zippo shell. I have two, “Thunderbird” brand inserts in use for the past 10 years and they’ve worked flawlessly. Others have had issues with this brand (but they are cheap enough to try one). The flame is softer than a Zippo fuel, so that is good for my pipe rims and not also scorching the tobacco. A big plus is that the flame is MUCH easier to draw down into the pipe compared the fuel zippo. And, zero taste effect, another big plus.
I am one that had troubles with the Thunderbird. I think it lasted about two fills🙁. Maybe I got a junker? I have several of the Z-Plus inserts, pipe and torch and they are all still working fine. Zippo also has butane inserts, I’m not sure who makes them?
Nice CPG Zippo design and color scheme. Order placed for one.
And so it begins, another delightful year of special release Peterson pipes and accessories to consider. Hmmm, a Zippo Pete Geek lighter; I’m in as well. Up next, SPD 2023? Can we expect your pre write-up next Sunday Mark???
Eric–yes; samples are here. I may not do the SPD post until Monday. The pipes are out a week from Tuesday at last word.
I hope they are rusticated, then I won’t be inclined to get one.
Mark, I just sent you an email. Evidently they are available right now on the Laudisi website.
Went to Laudisi site: SPD 2023.
Dang! Smooth finish. I want one, but holy heck batman $220??? There’s no sterling, no spigot, that’s a crazy price. I don’t want one that badly.
I thought that was only a wholesale site. But I do love the designs this year.
A formal announcement was made by K&P today on Facebook. Jan 31 gents!
It’s been a long time since I’ve used a Zippo! I would recommend those who have never used one to practice lighting on an old corn cob until you get used to it. You don’t want to use it on a nice briar the first time unless you’ve practiced a little. Got my order placed! Looking forward to seeing it!
I signed up for one!
Welp…. I love Peterson pipes & I love Zippo lighters so, sign me up and take my money Mark!!! 🤣
A nice article and video. I recently saw another video where the guy addressed the evaporation of fluid. He took a wax style lip balm (Chapstick) and lightly coated the insert. After replacing in the housing, he simply wiped off the excess. The balm, then, works like insulation and fills in the empty spaces between the insert and the housing. Like the comment in the video, it didn’t eliminate the issue but drastically reduced it.
Thanks for the modification advice, Jack! I’ll give this a try.
I have heard people use petroleum jelly in the same way. I never bothered, it looked to messy to me.
I have some of the bottom “gaskets”/ plugs installed, but I have yet to use the lighters.
I mentioned in a comment last week that I use the torch lighter to get that last bit of expensive tobacco to light at the bottom of the bowl – but yes, as noted here at the start of the blog probably not always a good idea. I should perhaps cease and desist for the reason given. I think I’ll stick with the torch lighter however in a breeze – matches if sheltered. The CPG lighter is really temping but if I’m thinking of adding a pipe to the fold this year I’d better hold off. However, let’s see what… Read more »
Great lighter and of course I will order one or maybe 2
Ladies and Gentlemen! This lighter is the type of thing that holds the WORLD together! If not for the fine young man that enthusiastically gives us daily inspiration and adds to our few joys, our lives would be sorely lacking. You’ll enjoy this – and as some obscure person passes by you and notices you lighting a Peterson with this, he or she will be compelled to say hello – and you’ve added a new friend – no matter what country or background that person is from! THAT helps to create good will, and who knows – possibly will help cement… Read more »
Hi Mark, a really informative blog today. I had no idea that there were so many Zippo’s connected to the Peterson pipe. I really like that Peterson Sherlock Holmes Collection version, that’s a neat one, and would fit in nicely with the SH pipes. I suppose that my lack of knowledge of these lighters is that I’ve never really considered using a Zippo for pipe lighting, so apparently I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Looks like something I might need to give a go at. For the “Pete Geek” Zippo, is the image on both sides of the lighter, or… Read more »
Nope, it’s only on one side, Gary. I do like the pipe lighter insert–and it does make smoking outside a breeze… in the breeze.
Mark, thanks for letting me know on the graphics.
Love the Pete Geek logo I’ll be getting one for sure
Fantastic! I think a Zippo CPG pipe lighter needs to be an ANNUAL thing as we work our way through the Peterson System Pipe Series. Great work once again Mark! I ordered 2 of these ‘inaugural’ CPG pipes.
I’m in. The lighter looks splendid. Thanks for doing this.
I have been a devout zippo user for a long time. I do, however, like to use a match for my first light. The zippo seems to take me 8-10 puffs to get my pipe going, while a match takes half that. I also use matches to relight my PPN pipe once it’s down past the halfway point, as the zippo just doesn’t reach that far. But for the rest of my systems it does just fine. I’m looking forward to adding this special zippo to my collection. Thank you Mark, for making it happen.
I thought the deadline is today (Monday 30th); but the form is no longer working.
Andy–yeah, the order was sent in about 1pm today. 🙁
Oh! Well, only myself to blame for not registering it earlier.
I think there’s going to be a number of shapes not on the list.
Having only found out about this site today I wish it was several weeks ago to have ordered a zippo. I do hope there will be a second run. Maybe in another colour to delineate the original order from subsequent orders.
Andre, your wish is my command…
I’ve been seeing the pictures of them flooding in on the PipesMagazine Forums. Getting anxious to receive mine. Can’t wait. Thanks again Mark for putting the Pete Geek lighter together!