Maglite D3 cell torch


Designed by Tony Maglica in 1955.

This American icon was designed and first manufactured by Tony Maglica who set up Mag Instrument in 1955 – an finally incorporated in 1974. He was born in New York City in the Great Depression and was raised in his Mother’s native Croatia. In 1950 Mr Maglica escaped back to America and even though he spoke no English he was determined to make the most of his training as an experimental machinist. Finally he managed to save $125 to place a deposit on his first lathe.

He manufactured precision parts for industry, aerospace and the military, gaining a reputation for quality. As the company grew, Mr. Maglica wanted to develop and build a new and improved battery operated torch. The anodised aluminium Magnate was introduced in 1979 and soon became the firm favourite with the Police and Firefighters – and then mechanics, stage builders and DJ’s.

Over the next twenty years multiple versions of the Maglite were developed including miniature, LED and rechargeable versions. Since 1982 Maglite production was moved to company’s HQ in Ontario, California.

Excellence in design has been recognised by the Japan Institute of Design and by the Museum for Applied Art in Germany. As short-hand for quality the former CEO of Apple Computer, Gilbert F. Amelio, said he wanted Apple to be “essentially the Maglite of computers”.

My Maglite – I have several of these beautifully designed and manufactured torches. My first, the large D 3 cell version (first available in 1979), is a cross between a torch and truncheon! I have a couple of small sized belt-loop portable Maglites that when unscrewed and the cap place at the end of the battery compartment turns the simple torch into a romantic dinner table-centre candle – with the small naked bulb twinkling like a flame – go on try it.


Images by Maglite


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I am an English trained and experienced lawyer. I have lived with my wife and family for nearly twenty years in the “California of Europe” - at the tip of Southern Europe. I am a proud European and driven to evangelize about the quality of life to be enjoyed here.

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