Shine a light on Flashlight Day

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The winter solstice is often (but not always) on Dec. 21, bringing us to one of the key turning points of our year. From this point forward, the days will be getting longer instead of shorter. Winter is just beginning, but spring is in sight.

Along with bringing the longest night, the winter solstice also allows us to celebrate National Flashlight Day.

According to National Today, National Flashlight Day is celebrated on the shortest day of the year, welcoming the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. On this day, the sun “stands still,” resulting in some regions only experiencing about nine hours of daylight. Regions like the Arctic Circle and points northward get no sunlight at all.

The origins of National Flashlight Day are unknown, but flashlights have served humankind well in their time. Flashlights are still widely used for investigations and groups like the Scouts. In addition to the all-purpose flashlight, special variations have been adapted for activities like mining or camping. There are also underwater- and flame-resistant flashlights.

The flashlight was made possible by the invention of mini incandescent light bulbs and the dry cell, which made battery-powered flashlights a reality all the way back in 1899. The invention of the flashlight is attributed to the American-British inventor David Misell.

Flashlights today utilize light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and mostly operate on rechargeable or disposable batteries. With the advent of built-in flashlights on smartphones, though, the original tool isn’t used as much. A high quality flashlight, however, is one of those tools that can literally be lifesaving.

Think about the other tools that are essential in your home or on your farm. There are always the toolbox basics – hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches and whatnot – but what else makes your life and your work much easier? Common answers are a snow blower, a strong torch lighter, a wood splitter. Even a well-trained sheep dog is a great tool to utilize.

Today, though, celebrate your flashlight. And make sure it’s always fully charged.

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