Torch History – Who Invented the Torch?
From as early as man can remember, there has been a need for portable light. Flame torches, candles, oil lamps and kerosene lamps were designed for portability but they were highly dangerous because they had a flame as a light source. The invention of incandescent electric light bulb and of dry battery at the end of the 19th century enabled solutions for this problem.
The first dry cell battery was invented in 1896. It was an improved variant of the previous version in that its electrolyte was a paste instead of a liquid. Because of that, it could work in any position and it would not break or spill as easily. It was a perfect power source for a portable light carrying instrument.
In 1899, English inventor David Misell invented the first torch. It had three D batteries placed in a tube that acted as a handle of the device. Batteries powered a small incandescent electric light bulb and a simple contact switch turned light on and off. They were called “flash” lights because they could not throw light for too long and you had to turn them off to rest them from time to time. Early torches ran on zinc-carbon batteries that could not give constant current for longer time frames.
The first torches did not sell too well because of the behaviors of batteries and because carbon-fiber electric bulbs were inefficient. Replacing of carbon fiber with tungsten and improving of batteries made the torch a more useful device. This then increased its popularity and it started to replace lamps with flammable fuel.
By 1922, different torch designs emerged. There was classic cylinder-shaped variant, a lantern-shaped varient that could be left to stand, reflector type for lightning a greater area and a small pocket variant. Different variations and usefulness were reasons of the high demand. This resulted in 10 million torch users by the same time.
Modern torches generally have the same or similar parts and specifications, they also work the similar to the torches in 1922. They most commonly use incandescent light bulbs or LEDS. Torch lights are so common now, that they are made on everyday objects like keyrings or pens, as headlamps on helmets, with clips for mounting on rifles and as high power reflectors. We have them on mobile phones and in hundreds of variants more.
A torch light is an object that basically started as a novelty and turned into a necessity with thousands of possible uses.
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