I’m fascinated by the links between various zipper companies back in the day. If you look at American Talon and Canadian Lightning zippers, the similarities in sliders and stopper boxes are evident. I see similar trends in European zippers. Take a glance at the two examples below. First (green tape) is a British Lightning, from the 1940s. Second is a German ZIPP brand zipper, and the DRP (Deutscher ReichsPatent) Nürnberg stamping suggests it was produced before the fall of the Nazis in the middle 40s. Now, look at the stopper boxes. Identical! Lightning zippers in the UK were made by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Ltd. ZIPP zippers were made by ZIPP Werk GmbH in Nuremberg, who are one of the companies that was cited post-war for using forced labour in their factory. They were later taken over by Opti, who I believe use the ZIPP brand to this day.
So how did they get to use the Lightning stopper box? Outright copying, or did ICI have a business relationship with ZIPP Werk GmbH? I’ll add another zipper below later – a Spanish one, branded Rélampago (Spanish for Lightning) from a 1930s military leather jacket.