Last week, there was a terrific thunderstorm in Eastbourne in England. (That is where my father-in-law lives, if you remember.) If you want to see some photos of the lightning, you may see them just here. There were 1000 lightning strikes in one hour! Yes, I typed that correctly, that was one thousand! Even my oh-so-proper British father-in-law made sure to tell me about it. He said he had never seen the sky light up like that! (He even came close to speaking as if he could possibly use an exclamation point!) The electricity went out briefly. Of course, you know I told him to make sure that he kept a flashlight by his bed. "A torch", he said, "yes, that would be a good idea". (I totally forgot that it is called a torch by the Brits!)
Me, being me, that got me wondering...
When was the flashlight invented?
Who invented it?
Why is it called a flashlight here, but a torch in England?
What song will I use to go with this post?
Ready for the answers? Okay, here we go...
The flashlight was invented in 1899 by Robert Mizzell, who was an Englishman living in New York City! I have not been able to find much information about Robert Mizzell except that he sold his patents to Conrad Hubert. Mr. Mizzell was working in Mr. Hubert's shop at the time. (Mr. Hubert had a novelty shop in New York City, with the best selling item being a battery powered light- up tie clasp!) Conrad Hubert made improvements to the flashlight and became a millionaire. He never married and when he died in 1928, he left the bulk of his fortune to thirty four different charities. (Leaving instructions that the money be dispensed jointly by a Protestant, a Catholic, and a Jew. This was done by former President Calvin Coolidge (Protestant), former governor of New York, Alfred E. Smith (Catholic) and Julius Rosenwald, former Sears/Roebuck executive (Jew). I find it interesting that he did that and I want to know more about him. Don't you?
Flashlight or torch? Reading a bit more about this, it is called "flashlight" in America and Canada but in other English speaking countries it is a "torch". Why? I don't know, it just is.
It was called flashlight at the beginning because the battery was not reliable and it would only work in "flashes". Now, I have read quite a bit more about batteries than I want to tell you about here. If any of you are blinded by science, I am sorry...my curiosity only goes so far. Ask any science teacher I ever had!
Stayed in a cabin in North Georgia recently. Had to have a step -stool to get into my bed! AND I had a flashlight on the bedside table!
A claw foot bath tub! (Loved the towels too, the geometric pattern on them made them look like hearts, don't you think?
You thought I was going to forget to give you a song, didn't you?
"Summer Lightning" by Ralph McTell! I hope you all learn this on the guitar. You know my Richard can play it!