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Artifact Friday: Fulton MX991/U Flashlight

It is that time of the week!

Today we are highlighting the Fulton MX991/U flashlight.

The precursor to the MX991 was the TL-122. This flashlight was produced by Bright Star and distributed to the U.S. military in World War Two.

During the Vietnam War, the military wanted a more modern version of the TL-122, so it awarded a contract to Fulton Industries and G.T. Price (although G.T. Price was for a shorter period).

Fulton Industries and G.T. Price came out with the MX991/U.

This flashlight was angled at the head (like the TL-122). It uses a standard incandescent light bulb along with 2D batteries.

It has a high-impact plastic body, a belt/equipment clip, a lanyard ring, and a multi-mode switch.

The multi-mode is on, off, and signal. The signal mode allows the owner to use Morse code in emergencies.

Additionally, the tail cap has two compartments. One for where the batteries are kept and the other to house different colored lenses. These lenses allowed for the military to send signals in different colors and more focused light patterns to help minimize being spotted by the enemy.

The MX991/U was issued to all branches of the military during the Vietnam War, and it is still used today in our modern U.S. military.

The Arkansas Air and Military Museum has two versions-the TL-122 and the Vietnam era MX991/U.

The one on display is a G.T. Price model and is exhibited in the “Forgotten Wars” which features the story of local Korea and Vietnam veteran as well as Arkansas Military Hall of Fame inductee- James Oden.

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