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FLASHLIGHT & BATTERY FACTS

  • Fun Flashlight FactsThe chicken or the egg? It seems pretty obvious that the flashlight would not exist without the battery. The first battery was invented in 1866 and it took until 1888 before it was made safe enough to encase the wet cell chemicals in a sealed zinc container. Prior to this time most of the existing batteries were just a mixture of chemicals stored in glass jars.
  • The first real flashlight as we would recognize it today was invented in 1896. It was marketed to be a safer alternative to candles or kerosene lanterns that easily tipped over and caused fires.
  • The name "flashlight" came about because the first portable lights would not give a steady stream of light. You had to "flash" them on for a few seconds and then turn them off, because the batteries and the bulbs were not powerful enough to sustain a long-term light source.
  • Early designs of flashlights did not have a push type "on/off" switch. They just had a ring or a tab that when engaged would push itself against a band of metal to make the needed contact with the battery.
  • It wasn't until 1879 that Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb.
  • The first so-called "dry cell" batteries were used to power the early telephones and create the pulse source for the telegraph. Later versions were used in the first automobiles to create power for the ignition switch.
  • Battery DiagramA battery such as a D cell or AA cell is really just a very simple electrical device that converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • All batteries have certain characteristics; they consist of three internal parts, a positive electrode, a negative electrode and a third semi-liquid substance called and electrolyte.
  • Heavy Duty flashlight batteries have a zinc negative electrode and a carbon positive electrode with the electrolyte being a chloride solution.
  • Alkaline batteries, which can operate up to 8 to 10 times longer than zinc chloride batteries, use a zinc negative electrode and a manganese positive electrode and the electrolyte is potassium hydroxide.
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