A Brilliant Book about Flashlights - at Last !!

lightlover

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
1,901
Location
London, UK (Parallel Universe)
Gentlemen (and Ladies),
A chap called Billy T. Utley has written a softcover book, titled:

"FLASHLIGHTS - with rarity and value guide"

It is 320 well produced and full colour illustrated 11" x 8.5" pages of sheer delight. Reading it, you get a strong feeling that it is a True Labour of Love. Bill has obviously spent years working on it. The very least that can be said about it is that it is readable, comprehensive, detailed and authoritative.

He obviously has a dedicated heart and clear mind, with good researching and writing skills. He is knowledgeable, being a flashlight collector himself, and is Publisher and Editor of "The Flashlight Collectors Newsletter", a printed leaflet.
(This is the chap I'm trying to persuade to join to moderate the proposed "Collectors Forum". I feel sure that there is no better qualified person on the planet.)

This tome is the first part of a projected two volume work, and so covers the history of flashlights from the earliest days up to about 1980. At that point, the coverage becomes less detailed, but still, some info is given up to 1990.
(For instance, Lithium powered torches, Diving lights and LED's are not covered - that will all be in the eventual second volume.)

The early history in particular is thoroughly detailed, especially the products of the EverReady company. EverReady co-operated fully with Bill, providing him with much background material. Besides the lights themselves, many of the illustrations are of early adverts, catalogues and ephemera. Mentions are made of companies short-lived and long forgotten: I wonder how Bill managed to find such arcane information at all, let alone in such detail.
I learned much from reading it. For example, I never would have thought that in the early days, a multitude of companies sprang up to exploit the new technology of batteries and incandescent lamps.

There really isn't much new to be found in flashlight designs. All manner of switches have been tried out: tailcap buttons surfaced around 100 years ago.
The "Whaley Sight Light", a light with a deep groove in the body, made to be held under a revolver barrel was Patent No 2,132,063, dated 1938.
The "Permissible Electric Flashlight", approved by the Bureau of Mines for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, was made in 1926, using a sprung-wire "safety fuse" arrangement to cut power if the lamp glass broke, exposing the filament.

And the photo of the EverReady stand at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair is an example of Luxury that SHOT 2002 in it's entirety couldn't possibly match !!

If you have an old flashlight of any type or description you want to identify, and even date, Bill probably has the info in the book.
(Stuart Schneider's book "Collecting Flashlights - with Value guide" is a basic introduction to the subject: Bill's book is a veritable Encyclopaedia.)

I would go so far as to say that it's an Investment for anyone interested in Flashlights. Even worth deferring the purchase of a light so as to buy the book.
And I really mean that ......

The indexing is good, but with a book as crammed full of information as this, I could wish for even more entries, and much cross-referencing. However, that's about the only quibble I can quibble, and I have tried quite hard to find anything to fault.
I've read the book through, with pleasure.
(To go back for "serious research" to some parts, I put a sheet of paper in the book to use for my own personal index notes, and thus found particular things quickly again.)

The price is normally $49.95, plus shipping within the US at $3.05. (California residents should add Sales Tax.)

I've contacted Bill, and as a special offer to CPF and SFDB members, until August 31, 2002, he has agreed to a $10 reduction in price, to $39.95, (plus printed matter shipping worldwide, at cost), to anyone who orders quoting
"Ref: lightlover".
(Without that reference, no discount ...... )

His e-mail address is: [email protected]
Land Address:
Bill Utley
P.O. Box 4095
Tustin, CA 92781
USA

Book Title: FLASHLIGHTS - with rarity and value guide"
Author, Copyright © 2001, Billy T. Utley
Publisher: ArrowPoint Press

SAN: 253-6099
ISBN: 0-9707559-4-5
Library of Congress Control Number:2001116699

lightlover
smile.gif


[Acknowledgement - I am proud to call Bill Utley an Internet-friend, and have asked if I can in any way help him with the production of the second edition of Volume 1, and the forthcoming Volume 2.
Note: I had to pay full price for my copy ...... ]
 

lightlover

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
1,901
Location
London, UK (Parallel Universe)
Sorry Coldlight, the book goes up to 1980-90, and so does not deal with LED's.
All that will be in Volume 2, which is due - whenever ......

But it isn't a book about antique torches only, it has far more to offer than that.

lightlover
smile.gif
 

pk

Photon King
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Messages
1,735
Location
Westminster, CA, USA
Bill's book features well detailed information on the history and development of flashlights. I found everything I wanted to know on just about every type of old flashlights. From the oldest antique flashlights, (some in sterling silver), to the most interesting and unusual lights ever made. With many photos showing examples ranging from the purely practical to the elegantly stylish, and the playthings of children, I was able to appreciate the beauty of their design and their inventiveness.
This book stimulates my imagination and desire to know more about flashlights.
I would say a must have for any flashaholic.

pk
 

Sigman

* The Arctic Moderator *
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
10,124
Location
"The 49th State"
I contacted Mr. Utley yesterday and he replied with the following information. In a nutshell this book is still available to members of the CPF for the discounted price. I'm ordering mine now!

------------------------------------
The book is still available. A few copies have been sold through Barnes & Noble and Borders to readers who found a helpful salesperson, but they don't carry it.

I suspect it would be quicker and less expensive buying it directly from me, since I sell it to Barnes & Noble, etc. for the same price I offer it to CPF members.

The price to CPF members is still $39.95. Shipping in the lower 48 states is $3.05. Or a total of $43.00. If you want a copy, send a check made to Bill Utley.

If you live elsewhere tell me where you live and I'll find out the shipping cost.

Thanks for your interest,

Bill Utley
PO Box 4095
Tustin, CA 92781
[email protected]
 

Sigman

* The Arctic Moderator *
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
10,124
Location
"The 49th State"
<font color="blue">** WOW **</font> is all I can say about this book. Just got mine today, haven't had alot of time to browse through it in detail...however from what I've seen, it's really great! Lots and lots of pics, photos, advertisements, text...If you don't already have it, you should either plan on forking out the coins or go to your local library and see if they can get a copy!

I'd rather have spent the $40 on this book than on a flashlight! Hey wait, I did! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,225
Location
John 3:16
<font color="blue">** WOW **</font> is all I can say about this book. Just got mine today, haven't had alot of time to browse through it in detail...however from what I've seen, it's really great! Lots and lots of pics, photos, advertisements, text...If you don't already have it, you should either plan on forking out the coins or go to your local library and see if they can get a copy!

I'd rather have spent the $40 on this book than on a flashlight! Hey wait, I did! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Just sent an email requesting a copy.
Didn't use the discount code though.

(Fingers crossed they're still available)
 
Last edited:

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,225
Location
John 3:16
My copy arrived today.

Boy-o-boy is it packed with trivia. Should take at a minimum weeks to soak it all up. More likely months.

A few excerpts to chew on:

IMG_20160503_164634_zpseedeulyz.jpg

IMG_20160503_164731_zpsceooxnfy.jpg

IMG_20160503_165143_zps0zpquhmn.jpg

IMG_20160503_165040_zpspa1pdvhz.jpg

And my favorite nugget so far...

IMG_20160503_164847_zpsvvtobfky.jpg
Boys will be boys
 

lightlover

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
1,901
Location
London, UK (Parallel Universe)
Remember: as endorsed by pk himself:

.............. This book stimulates my imagination and desire to know more about flashlights.
I would say a must have for any flashaholic.

pk

Umm,

RedLED
the second volume. ALAS - may never be ...
(Sir Billy is writing still, but not about lights).

Mr mcnair
"truer words, (etc)

And as Sigman said:

... ** WOW **... is all I can say about this book ... it's really great! ...

I'd rather have spent the $40 on this book than on a flashlight! Hey wait, I did!

StarHalo,
Sir Billy was a CPF member, but hasn't posted for some time.

NOW - ABOUT THE BOOK:
For a mere $39.99 + $4 s&h in the USA,
Buy From:

Bill Utley
PO Box 4095
Tustin, CA 92781

[email protected]

Worth every penny – even worth a $43.99 set of lights. I kid you NOT!

REMEMBER: "printed matter shipping worldwide" is cheaper!

EDIT: bykefixer, you mustahave read more of it now - new thoughts? /EDIT
 
Last edited:

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,225
Location
John 3:16
Remember: as endorsed by pk himself:



Umm,

RedLED
the second volume. ALAS - may never be ...
(Sir Billy is writing still, but not about lights).

Mr mcnair
"truer words, (etc)

And as Sigman said:



StarHalo,
Sir Billy was a CPF member, but hasn't posted for some time.

NOW - ABOUT THE BOOK:
For a mere $39.99 + $4 s&h in the USA,
Buy From:

Bill Utley
PO Box 4095
Tustin, CA 92781

[email protected]

Worth every penny – even worth a $43.99 set of lights. I kid you NOT!

REMEMBER: "printed matter shipping worldwide" is cheaper!

EDIT: bykefixer, you mustahave read more of it now - new thoughts? /EDIT

Well by page 11 I've learned the glove catch switch was soon followed by a reverse clicky type on a duel fuel cane light that kinda started the mult cell idea. Soon after momentary switch and EverReady went to Eveready all before 1910.
By 1921 the portable bulb had been used succesfully. And patent infringement law suits had begun.

I skimmed through the book in an afternnon to get a feel for the subject matter.
Now I'm eating this elephant one bite at a time, making sure to chew 15-20 times per bite... don't want to miss a thing.

It's crazy how info much info Mr. Utley packed onto each page while not being wordy. And then there's the photos and diagrams.
Who ever said "a picture is worth a thousand words" must've forseen this book. Well in this case a photo or diagram is described by a short paragraph that causes one to spend time studying said photo or diagram.

I tried imagining the patent diagrams through PK's eyes for a few minutes wondering how much joy he saw in simple genious of the early days. The seeds of cultivated expectations were just sprouting.

Tbh I think Mr. Utley picked the perfect stopping point for this book... before the simple flashlight became the appliance.
 
Last edited:

RWT1405

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
1,260
Location
PA
I am giving this thread a bump, as I came across it recently and e-mailed Mr. Utley about the book and thought others may be interested

Sure enough, it is still available

His son now handles sales

I was directed to Fleabay (link below), to make my purchase, which I just received this afternoon

 

Attachments

  • Flashlights Book - History - Billy T. Utley - .01.jpg
    Flashlights Book - History - Billy T. Utley - .01.jpg
    182.6 KB · Views: 30
  • Flashlights Book - History - Billy T. Utley - .02.jpg
    Flashlights Book - History - Billy T. Utley - .02.jpg
    90.6 KB · Views: 34
Top