Humanities › History & Culture The Invention of the Flashlight Let There Be Light Share Flipboard Email Print Wendelin Jacober/Pexels History & Culture Inventions Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Patents & Trademarks Invention Timelines Computers & The Internet American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated February 26, 2019 The flashlight was invented in 1898 and patented in 1899. The biblical quote "let there be light" was on the cover of the 1899 Eveready catalog advertising the new flashlight. Eveready Founder Conrad Hubert In 1888, a Russian immigrant and inventor named Conrad Hubert founded the American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company (later renamed Eveready). Hubert's company manufactured and marketed battery-powered novelties. For example, neckties and flower pots that lit up. Batteries were still a novelty at that time, then only recently introduced to the consumer market. David Misell, Inventor of the Flashlight A flashlight by definition is a small, portable lamp usually powered by batteries. While Conrad Hubert might have known the flashlight was a bright idea, it was not his. British inventor David Misell, who was living in New York, patented the original flashlight and sold those patent rights to the Eveready Battery Company. Conrad Hubert first met Misell in 1897. Impressed with his work, Hubert purchased all of Misell's previous patents related to lighting, Misell's workshop, and his then-unfinished invention, the tubular flashlight. Misell's patent was issued on January 10, 1899. His portable light was designed in the now familiar tube-shape and used three D batteries placed in a line, with a lightbulb at one end of the tube. Success Why was the flashlight called a flashlight? The first flashlights used batteries that did not last very long. They provided a "flash" of light, so to speak. However, Conrad Hubert continued to improve his product and made the flashlight a commercial success. It helped make Hubert a multi-millionaire, and Eveready a huge company. Source: Utley, Bill. "History of the First Tubular Flashlight." CandlePowerForums, May 20, 2002.