There is a 6 Volt flashlight or torch as it is known in that part of the world, that is very popular in Australia and New Zealand and has been for half a century. This wonderful lighting instrument is known as “The Eveready Dolphin.” It is a higher end 6-volt lantern that is built better and of course costs more than the “value” models. Every time I come across someone from either of those two countries, I always ask them about it. Every person I have asked always had something to say as well. Everyone knew what I was talking about. That speaks volumes on its popularity by the way, because I’ve never known a flashlight to be as universally acknowledged as the Eveready Dolphin Lantern. There aren’t too many commercials for flashlights here in The States, but from what I gather, Australia and New Zealand frequently advertise their Dolphin Lanterns on television and have since they came on the market in 1967. The only flashlight I’ve seen advertised on television in The States is Maglite, but still, not every American is familiar with Maglite. I’ll admit many are but there are a few who aren’t. Also, Maglite television commercials are quite rare. I’m not sure, but I think the Dolphins are even advertised during soap operas in the countries Down Under. Dolphins are a household word there. Both the Dolphin Lanterns and most of the American Equivalents are waterproof and can float if they fall in the water.
There are also American Equivalents to the Australian Dolphin that were available in The States. They aren’t as popular as they were years ago, but still can be found if one looks hard enough.
The first one was The Eveready All American Lantern model number 108, which might actually predate the Dolphin Lantern Mark 1, which came on the Down Under markets in 1967. Can someone clarify this for me? It featured a bright, long-range searchlight beam, “break proof” bulb socket, rubber sealed switch and was constructed of high-quality high-density polyethylene. Some but not all American models came with a waterproof O ring in the threads. I believe the Number 209 or 459 for the explosion-proof version did not have an o ring and it was more of a stripped down model. It was used by Americans from all walks of life, from farmers to firefighters.
I have been doing research since 2015 on these wonderful flashlights and I have yet to come across the American Equivalent to the Dolphin Mark 2 or 3, which was released in 1972. There was one that was quite similar, but not exactly the same released in the late 1980s and popular throughout the 1990s, which sported a bigger reflector, a brighter Xenon-Halogen filled bulb in addition to the standard features. This was an updated version of the Eveready 209.
There was another Dolphin lantern that was also available as an American version, but all I know is that it was released sometime in the 1990s and available into the 2010s, the model number was F101 and again 459 for the explosion-proof version. The visual design was quite different, but this one was downgraded to a Krypton filled bulb.
The Dolphin 4 of 1996 and 4.2 of 2000 do not have any American counterparts that I am aware of, however there is a very different looking and possibly cheaper built American lantern that was made around this time, their model numbers were either the 73 or V109 and known as the Work Gear or Sport Gear Lanterns.
In 2003, the Dolphin Mark 5 was released Down Under and was also released in The States as the Energizer Sea Beam, then in 2006 as the Weatheready Lantern. I believe the model number was DOLB1, but correct me if I am wrong. This had a different visual look from previous Dolphins but all the features of them, just a Krypton filled bulb, but also a collapsible stand for hands-free lighting, such as when having car trouble.
In 2007, the Dolphin Mark 6 was released in Australia and New Zealand. It had an appearance that was similar, yet different to the Mark 4 and 4.2. It features a Xenon-filled bulb of some kind. There aren’t any American versions, to my knowledge which really disappoints me.
In 2012, an LED version of the Dolphin Mark 6 was released Down Under. It featured a single, 100 lumen LED engine and a grip on the handle that was either made of Rubber or Silicon. In 2015 through some of 2016, an American version of that aforementioned LED Dolphin Lantern, which was built similar but had a 150 lumen LED engine and no grip on the handle and also called the Energizer Weather Ready or model number DOLBLED2.
In 2016 a new Dolphin LED lantern was released in Australia and New Zealand. It featured four LED engines giving off a combined 200 lumens, with a beam range of 250 meters and a 65-hour battery run time. There has yet to be an American equivalent to this model as of 2018.
Who knows what the Dolphins and their American Equivalent Counterparts of the Future will look like and what technologies they will employ? Whatever the case, I hope they are made for years to come because I am a huge fan of them!