It has recently been brought to my attention that Maisy Mouse has been translated for the US and UK markets. Since there is not much talking in the Maisy mouse oeuvre this kind of tickled me. Here is the object under discussion:

torch

In my mind this is clearly a torch but over here in the States, there is no doubt that this is a flashlight. Why is that? Well according to my research the flashlight was invented by someone or other at about the turn of the century. I could be more specific but reading anything about batteries and lightbulbs makes my left eyelid twitch and I start to feel unwell. Physics (would all that come under physics?) was never my thing.

What does interest me is the idea that in Britain we called battery operated hand held lights exactly the same thing that we had been calling hand held pieces of burning wood for centuries whereas in the US, they thought up a new word.  Perhaps Americans didn’t want to confuse this:

1899 Ever ready flashlight print ad framed

With something like this:

statue torch… but that’s purely supposition on my part.

But why flashlight, instead of say hand light? Well according to the Flashlight Museum website its because the first ones kept flashing. Don’t you just love a simple answer sometimes 🙂

 

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