Exploring the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford

The Zippo/Case Museum opened in July 1997 in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

The Zippo/Case Museum is dedicated to telling the story of Zippo lighters and Case knives, two iconic products made in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

The Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
The Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

The 15,000-square-foot facility in McKean County includes the museum, a gift shop (naturally!) and the famous Zippo Repair Clinic.

Zippo/Case Museum GIft Shop.
Zippo/Case Museum gift shop.

And best of all – admission to the Zippo/Case Museum is FREE!

The Zippo Car, parked outside the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
The Zippo Car, parked in front of the museum.

Touring the Museum

Zippo lighters and Case knives are two of America’s most recognizable brands, and the museum does a great job of describing the rich history of both brands, now part of the same family-owned company.

Entering the exhibit hall at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Entering the exhibit hall at the Zippo/Case Museum.

Upon entering the museum, you can catch an orientation film that will give you an overview of how both companies were created and evolved over the years.

Zippo/Case Museum Theater.
Zippo/Case Museum Theater.

George Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932, and his commitment to quality led to the famous Zippo lifetime guarantee – “It works or we fix it free”.

George Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932.
George Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932.

A wall-sized American flag made out of 3.300 red, white, and blue Zippo lighters will certainly catch your eye inside the museum.

American flag made entirely out of Zippo lighters on display at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
American flag made entirely out of Zippo lighters.

The “An Ally for the Allies” exhibit details Zippo’s contributions to the American effort in WWII.

Exhibit detailing the relationship between Zippo lighters and the US military in World War Two.
Exhibit detailing the relationship between Zippo lighters and the US military in World War Two.

The “Zippo Rocks!” exhibit shows off a collection of Zippo music-themed lighters.

KISS commemorative lighters produced by Zippo.
KISS commemorative lighters produced by Zippo.

Numerous pieces of Zippo advertising and promotional memorabilia can be found throughout the museum.

Zippo advertising over the years.
Zippo advertising over the years.

There’s even a window into the Zippo Repair Center, where according to Zippo “in more than 85 years, no one has ever spent a cent on the mechanical repair of a Zippo pocket lighter regardless of the lighter’s age or condition”.

The Zippo Repair Clinic inside the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
The Zippo Repair Clinic inside the Zippo/Case Museum.

Case Knives

In 1993, Zippo acquired Bradford-based W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company, maker of Case knives.

Case knives exhibit at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Case knives exhibit.

Details of the birth and evolution of Case brand of knives are related through interpretive exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia.

Early history of Case knives described in an exhibit at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Early history of Case knives.

Case manufactures everything from traditional folding pocket knives to fixed blade sporting knives to limited-edition commemorative knives.

A variety of Case brand knives on display at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
A variety of Case brand knives.

 Case knives are highly collectible, and you’ll find exhibits related to that hobby as well.

Case collectible knives display at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Case collectible knives display.

Hours and Directions

The Zippo/Case Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday 11-4, and closed on a select few major holidays.

Entering the exhibits portion of the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Entering the exhibits portion of the Zippo/Case Museum.

The museum is located at 1932 Zippo Drive, Bradford, Pennsylvania 16701.

Zippo memorabilia on display at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Zippo memorabilia.

In the age of COVID, it would be prudent to check the Zippo OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the latest hours and admissions policies BEFORE you visit.

Zippo-themed Harley on display inside the gift shop at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Zippo-themed Harley on display inside the gift shop.

Both Zippo and Case are iconic Pennsylvania brands, recognized around the world for their quality and reliability.

Rolling Stones commemorative lighters on display at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Rolling Stones commemorative lighters.

But even if you don’t own either a Zippo lighter or a Case knife, I still think you’ll find the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford an enjoyable and educational place to spend an hour or two.

Vintage Zippo advertising memorabilia on display at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Vintage Zippo advertising memorabilia.

Nearby Attractions

The Marilla Bridges Trail is a gorgeous 1-mile loop trail around the Marilla Reservoir near Bradford.

Covered Bridge along the Marilla Bridges Trail near Bradford, Pennsylvania.
The Eric Benjamin Covered Bridge along the Marilla Bridges Trail in McKean County.

This crushed limestone trail offers a mostly-flat and picturesque hike through tall pines and mixed hardwoods surrounding the reservoir.

Granite table along the Marilla Bridges Trail.
Granite table along the Marilla Bridges Trail.

Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County is home to what was once the longest and tallest railway bridge in the entire world – The Kinzua Viaduct.

Kinzua Bridge skywalk as viewed from one of the viewing platforms.
Kinzua Bridge State Park near Bradford.

The most exciting trail at the park is certainly the 600 foot long journey to the end of the Kinzua Skywalk!

Looking out the Kinzua Skywalk towards the observation platform at the north end.
Looking out the Kinzua Skywalk towards the observation platform at the north end.

Jakes Rocks Overlook is located in the neighboring Warren County portion of the Allegheny National Forest.

Approaching Jakes Rocks Overlook in the Allegheny National Forest.
Approaching Jakes Rocks Overlook in the Allegheny National Forest.

Rimrock Overlook, also located in Warren County, offers visitors outstanding views of Kinzua Bay and the Allegheny National Forest which surrounds it.

Looking north over the Allegheny Reservoir from Rimrock Overlook in Warren County.
Rimrock Overlook in Warren County.

Logan Falls is a great little waterfall tucked away in the Allegheny National Forest, near Marienville.

Logan Falls in Forest County PA
Logan Falls in Forest County, PA

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Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.