During the Vietnam War, the Zippo served the same utilitarian purpose, but was often personalized for soldiers by local street vendors in villages. GI’s could choose from any number of preset graphics and words, or they could design or write their own.American artist Bradford Edwards collected these iconic engraved lighters on-site in Vietnam. His collection went on the auction block June 21st at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati with a starting price of $30,000 to $50,000. Together these utilitarian tools tell a story about the experience of soldiers serving their country in this unpopular war.
More at Design Observer and at the auction site.