Rick Johnson wrote:
Why is a handheld light
called a flashlight? It does not flash,
According to Wikipedia, originally it did:
"Early flashlights ran on zinc–carbon batteries, which could not provide a
steady electric current and required periodic 'rest' to continue functioning.
Because these early flashlights also used energy-inefficient carbon-filament
bulbs, "resting" occurred at short intervals. Consequently, they could be used
only in brief flashes, hence the common American name flashlight."
Of course, in sane parts of the world, we
call them torches. :-)