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Wireless World, December, 1939.
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You see, everybody needed flash-lamps and torches when the black-out regulations were enforced, and the sales of these rocketed. Hoarding showed its ugly head again: those who already had torches and those who bought them for the first time tried to lay in all the refill batteries that they could, and that led to one very reprehensible piece of work on the part of certain dealers who ought to have known better.

The little 'pencil' torches that take up so small an amount of room in the pocket or the vanity bag use refills consisting of two cells of the same dimensions as those that go to make up standard HTBs (High Tension Batteries). Thousands of such HTBS were broken up and turned into torch refills, the cells being sold at 2d. or even 3d. a piece. A 6s. 120-volt HTB contains eighty cells. Dispose of these at 2d. each, and the 6s. becomes 13s. 4d., which allows a pretty handsome profit.

Some dealers pleaded that this was justified by the cost of breaking up the batteries. Ive my own ideas on that point! Anyhow, I'm jolly well certain that you can't make out much of a case for collaring a whole pound by turning a 6s. battery into eighty threepenny cells. It was this breaking up of the HTBs to make highly profitable torch and flash-lamp refills that made it so difficult for many wireless users to obtain replacements when they needed them.

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