Flashlights in the 1940 Sears catalog

Dr. Jones

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Was poking around a website that has archived almost all of the old Sears catalogs back past the mid-20th century, and came across the flashlight pages in the 1940 fall and winter edition. I thought it might be of interest to some here who collect and enjoy the older flashlights. Here are the URLs for the two pages:



Some mighty nice items there; the "Screw-Type Focusing Light" on the first page my favorite.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Love art deco.

If you look at the old movies from the '30s and 40's, things had real style back then. Functional, yes, but classy. Love that old stuff. Things these days just don't have the same classy look that they had back then. Men's clothing, women's clothing--look at the clothes in the film Casablanca, or about any of those old films. And it wasn't just the clothes, it was the buildings, cars, flashlights, jewelry, dishes, all sorts of things. I don't know what happened to our society, that classiness with style has gone extinct. :(
 

aznsx

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That would be around $6.99 today, taking inflation into account…

...if one could in fact buy one as nice as those today for that money, which I seriously doubt.
 

bykfixer

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Thanks for sharing.
Surprised bykfixer hasn't found this thread, yet.
He'd be in Heaven. And trying to track down that Art Deco one for sure.
These were made by Rayovac. Eventually Sears had the "Homart" brand, which were also made by Rayovac.

The so called "Streamlite" focus beam was a similar approach to the Burgess Range Finder where the bulb holder slid forward to reveal the entire bulb for a wide cast of light from the bulb. When pulled back the bulb slid into a collar to give it a sort of "snoot" looking beam. It worked a lot better on paper than real life but it was still a cool idea. Tony Maglica later used a cam on his reflectors to achieve the same thing.

The batteries were also made by Rayovac. The Westinghouse bulbs of that era were pretty good. Mazda bulbs were an Eveready brand. Mazda stood for "god of light". Tung Sol were better though. They were made more durable since Tung Sol was never part of the Phoebus Cartel (a group of manufacturers who all conspired to make bulbs less durable so they'd sell more bulbs more often). Mazda and Westingouse were members along with Osram, Phillips, GE and others.

If you look at the bulb chart those ones with "no threads" were the brand new must have PR bulbs. They'd been used in radios and such before but were new to flashlights.

Did anybody notice on page 1 light D could be had as an 8 cell number? Says it weighs 2 pounds empty. 😱 It was likely a 5 cell body with 3 cell extension. That was common for search and rescue lights back then and probably put out about 150 lumens with fresh batteries.


Good thread Dr. Jones.
 
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Dr. Jones

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Princeton, New Jersey
Love art deco.

If you look at the old movies from the '30s and 40's, things had real style back then. Functional, yes, but classy. Love that old stuff. Things these days just don't have the same classy look that they had back then. Men's clothing, women's clothing--look at the clothes in the film Casablanca, or about any of those old films. And it wasn't just the clothes, it was the buildings, cars, flashlights, jewelry, dishes, all sorts of things. I don't know what happened to our society, that classiness with style has gone extinct. :(
I fully agree! For the most part, we've collectively traded beauty for streamlining, and the lowest-common-denominator, cheapest "functional" design. Art Noveau and Art Deco were murdered by the cubists and Dadaism.
 
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