MAGLITE®, in California USA and Europe

Blogs - MAGLITE_Tony Maglica_01

Anthony "Tony" Maglica (Croatian: Ante Maglica) (born 1930) is the owner and founder of Mag Instrument, Inc., the company that produces the Maglite® flashlight and which he founded. A "Maglite®" is a powerful and durable flashlight that has become standard equipment for law enforcement officers in the United States and is well known around the world.

Tony Maglica was born in New York City during the Great Depression and grew up in his mother's Croatian homeland. He was a young child when his mother decided to return to Croatia so he could grow up close to her family. In 1950, with the country in the ruins of World War II and the communists in control, Tony went back to America. Here he set out to make the most of his training as an experimental machinist, despite not speaking English. He reached himself a few words every day while taking various jobs wherever they were found and worked for himself during the times when he was supposed to be free. Still, it was a struggle to save money. Eventually he managed to save $125, the down payment for his first lathe. Thus began Tony Maglica's quest for the American Dream: there in his one-man machine shop in a Los Angeles garage, he knew his days of working for other people were behind him. Finally he could work for himself.

Mag Instrument, Inc.1955

Mr. Maglica began manufacturing precision parts for the industrial, aerospace and military sectors. He quickly gained a reputation for quality, efficiency and resourcefulness. Mag Instrument was finally founded in 1974. By this point, Mr. Maglica had clearly demonstrated his innovative techniques to reduce production costs and increase quality. Continuous improvement is a talent that continues to differentiate your company from the competition. Mr. Maglica established a hands-on leadership style as well as a core business philosophy that combines the superior quality of all Mag products with unmatched customer service.


As his business grew, Mr. Maglica's goal was to design and manufacture a new and improved flashlight. The Maglite® flashlight was originally developed for the public safety sector and introduced in 1979. Police officers, firefighters and mechanics quickly spread the word about this rugged, reliable anodized aluminum flashlight that would change the portable lighting industry forever. Committed to product innovation and refinement, Mr. Maglica has continued the success of the MAGLITE® flashlight with the Maglite® Rechargeable Flashlight System™, one of the most powerful rechargeable flashlights of its size.

The Mini MAGLITE® AA Flashlight was released in 1984 and set a new standard for compact sized flashlights. A smaller AAA cell version of the Mini MAGLITE® flashlight, ideal for many industrial and medical applications, was introduced in 1987. The Solitaire® 1x AAA cell flashlight, designed for keychains and wallets, was introduced to the market in 1988.

Often referred to as “a work of art that works®”, the MAGLITE® and Mini MAGLITE® flashlights have received awards from the Japanese Institute of Design and the Museum of Applied Arts in Germany. Fortune and Money Magazine ranked Mag Instrument® products among the top 100 products that "America Does Best." In 1996, The Wall Street Journal dubbed the Maglite® flashlight 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."


Mag Instrument, Inc. Ontario California USA

Mag Instrument is headquartered in Ontario, California in the USA and has employed several hundred people since 1982. The factory, offices and main distribution center are located on an area of over 65,000 square meters.

New products are constantly being developed at Mag Instrument, but they will not be introduced until Mr. Maglica is personally satisfied that the design and workmanship meet Mag Instrument standards. In the meantime, he has developed many other interests, including building an environmental treatment plant in Zlarin, Croatia, where he grew up.


In 2018, Mag Instrument, Inc. took the next step in its internationalization strategy. In addition to the worldwide and international sales network, Mag Instrument, Inc. founded the company MAGLITE Europe GmbH & Co. KG with headquarters in Rottweil, Germany.