Studebaker Electric


1964 Lighter Magnifer Pocket Knife (with Money Clip)


Some time ago I was searching for a mint in box Zippo lighter that was made in the year of my birth. A search on EBay brought up the lighter above, and the advert mentioned the other Zippo product also for sale. I checked the sellers other items and noted that the Magnifer and Knife were form the same company. I thought that it would be a shame to split up a set that had been together for such a long time and decided to bid on the three items.

Unfortunately for me, due to the UK-US time difference, the auctions ended at around 2 in the morning UK time, and the lighter was the last of the three, I decided to stay up and bid on these, even though I was working the following day. I won the knife with no problem, but had a bit of a scare with the magnifer, which I won by 2 cents!! Then came the lighter. As I had the two other items in the bag, I decided to bid quite high on this one, and it was a good job I did. If I remember correctly, there were three other last minute bidders who pushed up the price, but I did succeed in adding this to the other two.

With 3 items from the same company, all being offered by the same seller, it would be quite easy to assume that they had all been made around the same time, and as they were all advertised on separate EBay pages I didn't notice the difference in telephone numbers. In August 2006 Mike Grimaldi published a book on the other products manufactured by Zippo and I discovered that these items could not have been made together. The lighter was made in 1964, but Zippo did not introduce the Magnifer for another 12 years. As the knife has a money clip attached to the back, this sits somewhere in the middle. Maybe Studebaker decided to reduce their costs by offering less expensive corporate gifts, maybe they had plenty of lighters in stock or maybe there was a second run of lighters with the new phone number. I don't suppose that I'll ever find out, but thanks to Mike's book at least I have this bit of information.