Who Invented the Flashlight?

by Evan Centanni - Updated September 26, 2017
flashlight on a gray background

The battery-powered flashlight, known as a "torch" outside North America, is an essential tool in the modern world. Although Ever-Ready founder Conrad Hubert sometimes gets credit for creating the flashlight, it was actually invented and patented by his employee, David Misell.

The First Flashlight

As the 19th century came to a close, the invention of the dry-cell battery made portable lighting a practical possibility. Conrad Hubert, a Russian immigrant living in New York, founded The American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company, which marketed and sold battery-powered inventions. Hubert was an inventor himself, but it was his British employee David Misell who devised the first real flashlight in 1898, receiving a patent for it the next year. The device was branded as the "Every Ready Flash Light," later inspiring Hubert to rename his company "Every Ready."

About the Author

Evan Centanni specializes in world cultures and human geography. He grew up in Oregon, but has since lived in two other countries and traveled to many more. Centanni is editor of Political Geography Now at www.polgeonow.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and linguistics from the University of Oregon.

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