Eveready History

In the 1890s, American Ever-Ready Company founder Conrad Hubert lit up New York City with the help of dry cell batteries and his newest invention—the electric hand torch. Hubert, a Russian immigrant, experimented with everything from electric tie tacks to electric flower pots before acquiring the patent for this first Eveready flashlight in 1898.

Hubert's first flashlights were hand-made from crude paper and fiber tubes, with a bulb and a rough brass reflector. Because batteries were weak and bulbs primitive, flashlights of the era produced only a brief flash of light—thus the name.

Hubert eventually organized the Ever-Ready Battery Company and, in 1906, sold a half-interest to National Carbon Company for $200,000.

Flashlight technology took a great leap forward around 1910, with the introduction of nickel-plated tubes to complement vulcanized fiber and the invention of the tungsten filament bulb. Vest pocket tungsten flashlights became popular, as did search lanterns, house lamps and intricate art deco candle lamps.

According to an Eveready brochure called "101 Uses For An Eveready," by 1916 the flashlight was an essential personal item—"the light that does not flicker in a draught, extinguish in the wind, and is controlled instantly by finger pressure. It's the light everyone needs." Some of the flashlight's 101 suggested uses included reading fruit labels, filling the tank of a gasoline stove, examining a refrigerator's interior and signaling with Morse Code.

In 1916, National Carbon Company wanted a new name for its flashlight. Consumers, eager to win a cash prize, entered some 530,000 suggestions before DAYLO was selected in 1917. Four contestants, each of whom received $3,000, submitted DAYLO. DAYLO couldn't be mispronounced, was easy to remember and suggested the use of flashlights—"day" suggesting perfect light, and "lo" meaning "behold!" or "see." Hubert believed he finally had a name that only Eveready could use. But the DAYLO name never caught on with consumers and was discontinued after 1922.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Eveready commissioned timeless pieces of art advertising flashlights and batteries that appeared in periodicals, Eveready catalogs, trade magazines, calendars and posters.

Artists like the late Frances Tipton Hunter, who produced covers for the Saturday Evening Post, captured Americana's essence. In her works for Eveready Hunter typically included a child, a pet and an Eveready flashlight, all executed in a Norman Rockwell-like fashion.

One Hunter classic features a little girl watching over a litter of kittens—with the aid of an Eveready flashlight, of course. This print proved so popular that reproductions suitable for framing were offered to readers for 10 cents. Readers responded by sending in 70,000 dimes—in the midst of the Depression. The poster has additional history, as well—the nine kittens were the genesis of the Eveready "Cat With Nine Lives" symbol.

1898 First Ever Ready flashlight produced
1902 First Ever Ready trademark appears on end caps of flashlights
1898 First Ever Ready flashlight produced
1902 First Ever Ready trademark appears on end caps of flashlights
1906 Product name change from Ever Ready to Eveready®
1910 Introduction of tungsten filament bulb
1926 Ring hanger first available on flashlights
1937 Pre-focused bulb introduced
1956 Acquired V.K. Song & Co. Ltd. (now Sonca), manufacturers of aluminum flashlights
1966 First thermoplastic molded flashlight
1967 First rechargeable flashlight
1968 First fluorescent lantern
1970 First waterproof flashlight—"Skipper" First push-button switch Lifetime switch warranty introduced
1975 Introduction of the 3251, the world's most popular flashlight
1983 First 4AA fluorescent light
1984 First 2D Halogen flashlight
1986 First squeeze light 1997 Introduction of DoubleBarrel™, the first Energizer® Flashlight
1998 Eveready® celebrates 100 years of lighting products leadership
From Energizer website

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