Thursday, October 16, 2008

Memories of Flashlights (Torchlights)

pen light used by doctors and scientists.

A nice torch light for outdoor use : for lighting and for defence.

Typical heavy duty flashlight.

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Photo taken of a Pasar Malam Stall selling cheap flashlights made in China.

What is the history of flashlight like?

In 1898, Joshua Lionel Cowen invented a decorative lighting fixture for potted plants which consisted of a metal tube housing a light bulb and a dry cell battery. It failed commercially, and so Cowen sold his company and patents to Conrad Hubert that same year and turned his attention to building and selling model trains. Hubert renamed Cowen's company the American Electrical Novelty & Manufacturing Company and, recognizing the true potential of Cowen's invention, hired David Misell to produce a tubular flashlight for portable use.

They donated some models to the New York City police, who responded favorably to it.[1] These early flashlights ran on zinc-carbon batteries, which were poor at providing sustained currents; they would run down after a while and needed to rest before being usable again.[2] Since these early flashlights also used energy-inefficient carbon filament bulbs, this happened rather quickly, and consequently they could only be used in brief flashes, hence the popular name flashlight.

Source : Wikipedia.

Here's riddle we used to get as students many years ago.....Students loved riddles in the past. I do not know if today's students still like to crack their heads to get an answer for a riddle like this.

Four members of a band are walking to a night concert. They decide to take a shortcut, but must cross a bridge. Luckily they have one flashlight. Because of the varying size of their instruments, it takes each member a different amount of time to cross the bridge - it takes the first person one minute, the second person two minutes, the third person five minutes and the fourth person ten minutes. They must cross the bridge in pairs, travelling at the slower speed so if the one minute person went with the ten minute person, it would take a total of ten minutes. Since there is only one flashlight, one person must come back across the bridge, then another pair can cross. They only have 17 minutes to cross the bridge and still get to the concert on time. What order should they cross to get everyone across and get to the concert?

Scroll down for the answer at the bottom.

In those long ago days in Sibu and especially in the villages we all had to have a flash light each. My grandmother had one and she kept it very well under her pillow and she would take it wherever she went. When she visited us in Sibu she would also bring the flashlight in her basket. And we loved to play with her flashlight. But of course we also would help her buy batteries. She usually used Eveready batteries.

We needed flashlights when we went tapping rubber in the early hours of the morning if we did not use the carbide lamps or kerosene lamps. Hence a flashlight was often considered a thing of comfort to us. We would not be afraid when we had this life saver.

Flashlights were useful when my uncle went fishing by the jetty. He would throw his net into the river and then flash the lights to catch the bright eyes of the fish or the prawns. He would often hum as he fished and we knew that he was having a good and rewarding time by himself, thinking and wondering about life. When he pulled up the net we would all come out of our quietness and shriek with delight at the catch if it was a big one. If only a few fish were caught we would be very quiet and then wait for him to make a comment.

When the tide was up and it was time for old time fishing we would all bring our little torchlights and trail behind our uncle for a great evening out. Nothing can be better than that and times like these are past. Can any one get a good jala-ful of prawns and fish in the Rejang today?

For us when we were older and living in town, we would use flashlights to read under our blanket as our mother would want us to sleep early and not waste electricity. We had a lot of fun under the bed also and pretended that we were hiding from bandits.

Later flashlights we learned that we could use them to send signals to save lives. Doctors used them to check our throats. But most important of all when we went camping flashlights were important for our various activities. So as Girl Guides and Boys Scouts most of us made full use of our own flashlights. It was always delightful when a Girl Guide brought along her father's huge torch light and we would bask under the special huge light in the outdoors. We felt comforted and secure whether it was in outside the tent or inside the tent. How wonderful it was to have light!

Today with such frequent blackouts it is good to have a few flashlights handy. Candles are of course our mainstay at times like these. But a flashlight in the car and in house is a must, even today.

What are your memories of using flashlights?

VEC158BD - Black & Decker V-3 million Power Series Flashlight

answer: First, the one minute person and the two minute person must cross the bridge, for a total of two minutes. Then the one minute person should come back with flashlight - total of three minutes. The five minute person and the ten minute person cross together next, making the total thirteen minutes. Now the two minute person goes back and (total now fifteen minutes) and gets the one minute person and they cross together bringing the total to seventeen minutes.

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