I have had a special fascination with pocket sized “Industrial” flashlights since 1994 at age seven. I have since transitioned to fancy the “Tactical” flashlights more, but the “Industrial” flashlights will always have a place in my heart.
I am experiencing flu like symptoms right now, but need to meet up with my brother later this evening, so to pass the time, I am writing this.
In August of 1994, for doing well on a television interview, I was given several gifts, one of them was an Eveready Industrial 2 AA flashlight that I would carry on me almost everywhere I could. The model number I would later find out was Eveready IN-215.
This would seal the deal on my interest in pocket sized flashlights and was a factor in making me an early proponent of all things EDC.
The bulb blew out sometime in the latter part of 1995 and my mom instead of buying a new bulb, bought me an Eveready Value flashlight in March of 1996.
In late July of 1996, somewhat dissatisfied with my Eveready Value Lite, I purchased a 2AA Brinkmann flashlight. I to this day, do not remember the model number of it nor can I find any information whatsoever about it online. All I can do is give a physical description: I am almost sure it was made by Brinkmann. The main body was black and made of either ABS or PP or HDPE. I am almost sure it had a KPR104 bulb. The lens shroud was also plastic and made of glow in the dark material. To turn this flashlight on or off, one would turn the the lens shroud. I carried mine on me until about February of 1997, when, again, the bulb burned out. Afterwards, I had misplaced it. The last time I saw one of these being sold in stores was in November of 1998, around the time Hurricane Mitch ravaged Central America. The one sold in 1998 came with a fiber optic extension, but mine didn’t.
In June of 1998, I had purchased my first of many and what would become another rare flashlight, the Garrity Mini Rugged Lite. The model number was R300G. Unfortunately a few weeks later, the switch system became bent, so I exchanged it for another one which I had until it fell apart on me. I bought another one in October of 1999, which I had and EDCed until I misplaced it sometime in 2001. The final one of these I had purchased in a store was in June of 2004 at K-Mart on clearance. I had it for a few weeks, but then it was ruined by leaking batteries. I had suffered a mental breakdown between the time of purchasing it and discovering it ruined by leaking batteries. In 2007, I had purchased one directly from Garrity as New Old Stock, but it was different than the usual ones, so I gave it away. In 2011, I was mailed one by a fellow Candle Power Forums member, after he had found out my obsession with that said flashlight. I have since purchased three more on eBay, one I had to repair the switch.
My interest in flashlights was also beginning to take off in 1998, though I kept quiet about it because I was afraid of being harassed by my peers for having an uncommonly avid interest in flashlights.
In September of 1998, around the time of Hurricane Georges, I had purchased a 2 AA Rayovac Value Lite which I had until my late teens.
For Christmas of 1998, one of the gifts I had received was a pack of flashlights that were a Wal Mart house brand. One ran on a single AAA battery and the other ran on 2 AAA batteries. They were made probably of PP and used Krypton bi pin bulbs. Actually they function quite similarly to a Mini Maglite and a Maglite Solitaire and could be used as candles. I had them and even EDCed them on and off until 2001.
In January of 1999 I purchased both a General Electric 2 AA flashlight which was Navy Blue and Yellow and I believe it was geared for automotive use. I also purchased a Sam’s Choice (Wal Mart house brand) 2 AA flashlight which was an obvious knockoff of the Rayovac Industrials that were popular in the 1990s. These were misplaced over the course of growing up.
In March of 2000, I had purchased a Rayovac Industrial bundle pack which featured one 2 D and one 2 AA model sold together. These are now extremely rare as well, especially the 2 AA model. They closely resembled the Eveready Industrial line, unline the modern Rayovac Industrials. Also this 2 AA model came with a KPR104 or a K4 bulb instead of a bi pin bulb which is used on the modern 2 AA Rayovac Industrial flashlights. I wish I knew what happened to mine. As of the early to mid 2010s, there is a flashlight sold at some truck stops, which closely resembles the 1990s and early 2000s 2D Rayovac Industrial and is branded as Penzoil, but is a cheap knockoff.
In 2001 or 2002, my flashlight interest had waned a good bit, not to come back fully until 2005.
In the Summer of 2003, a new library was built which would many times feature interesting collections from local people. There was a collection of flashlights on display and me seeing this caused me to realize that there might be others out there who are interested in flashlights like I am. Prior to this, I was deeply ashamed of my flashlight interest and kept it quiet, in fear of harassment.
In January of 2004, I had just made seventeen and was seeking medical attention for my first of many ear infections. I was given a Cortisone shot and a round of oral antibiotics. While waiting for my prescription to be filled, I was looking around at the flashlights in Wal Mart and purchased a 2 AA Lumilite Industrial II flashlight with a push button switch. I did indeed EDC it for a while and I had it in my tool box until 2007 when it began to malfunction.
In the Summer of 2004, after suffering a mental breakdown, I was closely watched by my parents and didn’t get out much. I had spent many hours on the computer looking at flashlights. The interest was coming back, but slowly.
In October of 2004, Academy Sports and Outdoors opened a store in my area and I went shopping there. That day, I had seen many flashlights that I didn’t even know existed. This would be the beginning of the transition from my interest in pocket sized Industrial flashlights to pocket sized Tactical flashlights. However as I was an unemployed seventeen year old I couldn’t afford any of the tactical flashlights sold at Academy. I will say this though, Academy had a much better selection of flashlight in those days as did Target and even Wal Mart.
In January of 2005, I began to carry a knife on me, except for when I was in school.
Then on May 1, 2005, I was shopping at Wal Mart and saw a Garrity LED Aluminum flashlight. It resembled the Tactical flashlights I had long coveted, but was actually afforable! On May 5, 2005, I purchased it and from that day, I had pretty much carried a flashlight on my person ever since…