A small portable lamp
usually powered by batteries.
A brief brilliant flood of
light from a photographic lamp.
A bright light, as of a
signal lamp, that flashes at regular
AT A GLANCE:
a flashlight is a relatively simple
device, its invention did not occur until
the late 19th century because it depended
upon the earlier invention of the electric
battery and electric light. Conrad Hubert
received a US patent in 1903 , number
737,107 issued August 26, for a flashlight
with an on/off switch in the now familiar
cylindrical casing containing lamp and
flashlight in 1902
flash·light, flashlight, flash-light
portable battery-powered electric
lamp, typically flashlight consists of
a small electric light bulb with
associated parabolic reflector,
powered by electric batteries, and
with an electric power switch
(US) issued August 26, 1903
Hubert (aka Akiba Horowitz)
practical. Modern prototype.
15, 1856 in Minsk, Russia
(of Russian decent)
Be Light" --
flashlight was invented in 1898, and the
biblical quote of "Let There Be Light" was on
the cover of the 1899 Eveready catalog.
owner of the American Eveready Battery
Company, Joshua Lionel Cowen, abandoned the
hardware company to pursue his real passion of
trains. Cowen was an inventor of sorts; he
developed a fuse to ignite photographic flash
powder. Though the invention failed in its
intent, the U.S. Navy bought up the fuses to
use with underwater explosives.
Cowen next came
up with an idea for a decorative lighting
fixture for potted plants: a metal tube with a
light bulb and a dry cell battery that could
run the light bulb for 30 days. He passed the
idea along to one of his Eveready
salespersons, Conrad Hubert, along with his
company. Hubert turned the metal tube, light
bulb and battery into the world's first
flashlight, and began selling the batteries
and the flashlight, together and as separate
Hubert became a
multi-millionaire, Eveready became a huge
company, and Joshua Lionel Cowen finally
achieved the success he really wanted: he was
the person who invented toy trains in 1900. As
happened with the fuses and the flashlight,
Cowen was actually trying to invent something
else when he invented toy trains. He
originally intended to create a store window
display, a battery powered toy car that
traveled on a circle of track. People wanted
to buy the display more than the real
merchandise for sale. Cowen started Lionel
An 1899 Ever
Ready wooden Bicycle Lantern (front & back).
Due to the bicycle craze of the 1890s,
Bicycle Lanterns are one of the earliest
types of lights made by the American
Electrical Novelty & Manufacturing Company.
On the earlier light, the front reflector
latches at the side and there are no red &
green side lights. Below is a 1900 Ever
Ready Clover Leaf Bicycle lantern
O.T. Bugg Friendly Beacon Electric Candle sold
by the United States Battery Company.
November 15, 1898.
8 inches tall. 2
"D" cells were contained in the upright tube.
An early brass flashlight that was turned on
by screwing down the pointy thing on the top
(to use the technical term.) The design and
lines of this beauty would fit right in to a
1920s Flash Gordon adventure. "Don't move. I
am turning on the Protecto-Ray".