Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day

NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY – Day of Winter Solstice

NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY – Day of Winter Solstice


National Flashlight Day, on the same day as Winter Solstice, reminds us to turn on some lights during the shortest day of the year.

Around 1899 the invention of the dry cell and miniature incandescent electric light bulbs made the first battery-powered flashlights possible.

Today the flashlights that we use are mostly incandescent lamps or light-emitting diodes and run on disposable or rechargeable batteries.  Some are powered by the user turning a crank or shaking the lamp, and some have solar panels to recharge a battery.

In addition to the well known, general-purpose hand-held flashlight, other forms have been adapted for particular uses.  Head or helmet-mounted flashlights designed for miners and campers leave the hands free.  Special flashlights provide light underwater and in flammable atmospheres.

January 10, 1899 – British Inventor David Misell obtained U.S. Patent No. 617,592, assigned to American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company.  This electric device designed by Misell was powered by “D” batteries laid front to back in a paper tube with the light bulb and a rough brass reflector at the end.  The company donated some of these devices to the New York City police, who responded well to them.

HOW OF OBSERVE #NationalFlashlightDay

Grab a flashlight for the shortest day of the year. Depending on where you live, some parts of the Northern Hemisphere experience darkness long before the solstice. We’re looking at you Barrow, Alaska. Use #NationalFlashlightDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar keeps shining a beam of light into the history of this bright idea. 

December 21, 2019
Check back in 2031 for a date change. 

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