Mag Instruments Inc. It sounds like the name of a company who produce some of the most intricate and technologically advanced precision technologies known to man. In actual fact that company produces common torches or flashlights, used by everyone from school children to police officers. And that’s really the whole point, over engineered though they may be these flashlights are known for their quality, reliability, and durability, so why shouldn’t the company be proud of every last detail their product can lay claim to?
Above: The Mini Maglite (Click image for pricing and reviews)
Founded by Anthony Maglica, a machinist of Croatian ancestry, the Mag story began in a machine shop in Ontario, California in the 1950s after Maglica purchased a lathe with all of his money at the time and founded what would become a multi-million dollar company. From humble beginnings producing parts for other high precision industries, to the flashlight expert of today. The company hasn’t been without its ups and downs however, and a particularly nasty family dispute in the early 90s involving Maglica’s partner both personally and professionally led to her sons leaving their directorial roles in the company and founding their own rival business.
Squabbles aside though, the real triumph here is in the product itself. Though there are many variations, Maglites all share the same basic philosophy, a high quality product machined from high grade aluminium to near aircraft level precision.
In the company’s earliest days Mag Instruments ultimately made a name for itself by marketing flashlights towards industry professionals such as Police Officers and Fire Fighters who demanded a durable product that could be used in the most challenging of environments and scenarios. Being used as a baton to reprimand a criminal, and coping with the extreme heat and poor visibility of a burning building is all in a day’s work for a Maglite!
Above: 2D Cell Maglite (Click image for pricing and reviews)
The original Maglite was a heavy duty flashlight powered by ‘D’ cell batteries, and over the years this has evolved and inspired many variants including, Mini Maglites, which use ‘AA’ or ‘AAA’ cells, small keyring sized models, and most recently an update to the range to incorporate LED technology. Maglites are typically finished in a variety of anodised colours, but many other variations have been produced including camouflage. All this variation has cemented stretched the appeal of the Maglite far and wide, earning its reputation as both a design classic, and testament to the American dream in the process.