Differences between 1937 Replica and 1936~1937 Zippos
Zippo came up with the Vintage Series Zippos some years back. It has been a hit amongst most collectors. Some collectors collect based on metals, Brushed Brass, High Polish Brass, Brushed Chrome, High Polish Chrome, Sterling Silver, etc. Others collect based on advertisements, and commemorative years.
Some listings on ebays can be quite misleading, with sellers putting pricey tags on replicas, claiming that those are the real 1937 Zippos. Some sellers, on the other hand, may chance upon a collect of Zippo, do a quick search on Zippo Date Codes and get excited after seeing PAT 2032695, without verifying the authenticity.
I will be listing most of the differences to my ability.
The outlook. The real 1936 Zippo is much squarish in shape, with almost sharp edges at all corners. It looks abit stout, comparing with the 1937 replica.
The bottom stamp. As you can see from the pictures, the bottom stamps of both lighters are quite similar, just that for replica, they have additional alphabet and numbers to let buyers trace back the manufacturing year and month.
The hinge. 1936 Zippo has a 4 barrel hinge, whereas the 1937 replica has a standard 5 barrel hinge which all modern Zippos have, except for 1941 replicas.
The cam on the top lid. The cam of the 1936 Zippo was a U-shaped piece of metal, soldered on by hand, unlike the cams of modern Zippos, which are together with the hinge, welded on.
The insert. From the inserts, we can easily see the differences. the 1936 Zippo insert has horizontal flintwheel, piston-like cam spring, 14 hole chimney, and unmarked body, unlike the standard 1937 replica, which has crisscross lined flintwheel, a cam spring riveted onto the wick hole, 16 hole chimney for most(except for some 1941 replicas) and is stamped with Zippo patent.