The Black Crackle lighter is the product that made Zippo Manufacturing Company what it is today- an American icon recognized throughout the world. From 1933 until 1942, Zippo lighter cases were manufactured from brass and chrome. During WWII, all brass material was supplied to the military effort and was not available for domestic use. Zippo produced a steel case lighter and inside unit. Because the drawn steel cases had an uneven, unsightly finish, they were coated with a thick black material that baked to a crackled finish. Today, we apply a Black Wrinkle finish using a specially formulated powder coating process.