Anthony "Tony" Maglica (Croatian: Ante Maglica) (born 1930) is the owner and founder of Mag Instrument, Inc. the company that manufactures the Maglite flashlight which was designed by Maglica. The Maglite is a powerful and durable flashlight that has become standard issue gear used by police officers in the USA.
Although born in New York City, Maglica grew up on the island of Zlarin, which is off the coast of Croatia. During the Great Depression, his family returned to their homeland. World War II ravaged Croatia, and in 1950 he returned to the United States, settling in Ontario, California. Speaking little English, he obtained work as a machinist. While working there, he learned that one of his bosses operated a side business machining hydraulic parts. Tony learned of a metal lathe for sale for $1.000 and convinced the seller to accept a $125 down payment, most of his money at the time, with the remainder being paid off with monthly payments.
Mag Instrument, Inc.1955
That business grew into his own machine shop which he incorporated in 1974 called Mag Instrument Inc.
Fast forward to 1979, which is the first year that Anthony made the amazing flashlight, called the “Mag-lite”. It was a big hit with the policemen, because it was aluminum, rugged, and dependable. That basic design hasn’t changed much to this day. But he developed other Maglite Flashlights in the next several years, in the 1980’s.
- Early 1980’s- The first Maglite® Rechargeable Flashlight System (TM)
- 1984- Mini Maglite® using AA batteries
- 1987- Mini Maglite® using AAA batteries
- 1988- Solitaire using only one AAA battery
The rocky part of the history involves lawsuits, over the years, by Maglite Flashlights over copyright infringement. Maglite® does have a full-time legal department on site, to take care of these matters.
After this rocky history, Maglite® has become a standard for all flashlights. Often referred to as “A Work of Art That Works®”, the MAGLITE® and Mini MAGLITE® flashlights have been honored by the Japan Institute of Design and by the Museum for Applied Art in Germany. Fortune and Money magazines ranked Mag Instrument® products among the top 100 products that “America makes best”. In 1996, the Wall Street Journal referred to the Maglite® flashlight as “the Cadillac of flashlights”, and quoted then-CEO of Apple Computer Gilbert F. Amelio as saying he wanted Apple to be “essentially the MAGLITE® of computers”.
EXPANSION AND INNOVATION
Headquartered in Ontario, California, since 1982, Mag Instrument now has several hundred employees and occupies over 700,000 square feet of space, including its factory, offices and main distribution center.
New products are constantly under development at Mag Instrument, but they are introduced only when Mr. Maglica is personally satisfied that their design and execution are up to Mag Instrument standards. From Mr. Maglica’s childhood home to the birthplace of his success, this patriot and businessman continues to champion and exemplify the blessings of free enterprise.
INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION TO EUROPE
In 2018, Mag Instrument, Inc. took its next step forward in their its Internationalization strategy. In addition to their worldwide and international distributor network, Mag Instrument, Inc. founded the company MAGLITE Europe GmbH & Co. KG, which is now based in Rottweil Germany.
The German branch is managed by Anthony Maglica himself and Andreas Lebherz, who and his team work close together with all partners in the entire regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the so-called EMEA territory.
Andreas Lebherz, Managing Director of Maglite Europe GmbH & Co. KG