Like a lot of great inventions, the Zippo lighter started as a solution to a common problem; gusts of wind were constantly blowing out the flame. George G. Blaisdell saw an easy solution — make a flip top. He fashioned it out of tough metal and, thanks to television and movies, the Zippo became more a cultural touchstone than a mere product. These days, the company sells Zippos with every design imaginable, from sports logos and bands, to Harley Davidson and Playboy. In recent years, they've also expanded to include camping gear and knives.