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Escaping WWII in Croatia to Founding Maglite: Tony Maglica's Story

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
September 7, 2022 3:00 am

Escaping WWII in Croatia to Founding Maglite: Tony Maglica's Story

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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September 7, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Tony Maglica's family escaped the horrors of World War II and left their homeland of Croatia; however, his flashlights are proudly made in America—and his dreams were too.

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This is our American stories in 1996 Wall Street Journal referred to the Maglite flashlight is the Cadillac of flashlights, the creator of this flashlight that sold millions only medically found of mag industry today. Our own Monty Montgomery brings us the story of this Croatian immigrant started with nothing and ended up with something.

Tony make the cut was born in New York City in November 1930, but with the Great Depression. False. When in his family moved back to his mother's native island in Croatia 1932. My mom went to back to Europe. My father say here they thought things on block. No time so things can be good right away so that he said he then having him on a hill have no jobs.

My father didn't even have the money to send my mom back.

He had to borrow money on the future job that he gets I went over there with my mom as we supposed to be go back in a couple years so they said about several more money doesn't God and we are quite caught in the war World War II and that was a very pleasant to anyone.

It was very difficult to live under Marceline Dave is a suspect that you are a communist or you are not deciding whatever side I did simply torture you and kill you wanted one of torture, their laws by which an oil cost strong and it will put a tool in your plot and it will give you maybe 1/4 so the soil and you die. I may just simply not immediately let you know if just is horrible way to die.

There was no freedom to leave that time we have no income. Then when the Italian God's field, they got involved with with Germans when German comes in anytime it was so frightening because they've gone that all the people to come down to a two time they put entirely time in the semi circle against a big wall with three machine guns one. Long gone are the center.

How was this young man. I remember my mom was there standing up.

I was right in the center. So I went under my mom's skirt. This guy was really upsetting to come out. They tell us to, we exposes somebody base said that they know that we kill somebody income to this because the person who have committed this crime was no longer commit a crime and with no noise somebody commit a crime said if you don't say within a category all of you so. What I do. Just point the finger is a person and the people that time even if their life was on the line.

They will good lie.

There was a priest there and he was begging there that as people are never committed any crime crime and it hasn't.

Please say you have a particular result. I understand that but if we tell you that this person collect commit a crime.

We don't know that anybody commit a crime and this time never been personally in jail. There's never been anyone I completely inundated.

They believe in God by doing limelight out so anyway Randall about four hours there standing up and he don't know what they going to public. It's almost like being there anyway you don't know any second that a lot is RR software. Surely so my mom was terrified because I was terrified and it will all therefore Tomlinson, then they let us go 1117 everywhere in the country you are that Tom illiquid people against the wall should should you listen to the voice of Tony McGuigan is telling the story of his life in Croatia around World War II and letting folks know what real totalitarianism looks and feels the small village.

Set up until these Grandin positions interrogations by by the Nazis that there never been a person in jail is and yet they were looking for murder murder suspect and make one up. We don't care when we come back story of Tony Meg Lincoln continues from nothing to something part of our American dream or story here on our American story.

We have been here the host about American stories every day on the show were bringing inspiring stories from across this great country stores for big cities and small towns, but we truly can't do the show without our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to me if you love what you hear L American and click the donate button give a little give a lot go to L American and give and we continue with our American stories and the story of 20 likely to only last left off. Tony was telling the harrowing story of living under both Italian and German occupation in war-torn Croatia during World War II. But if there was anything positive about this time in Tony's life. It was his mother hears Tony telling the story of what she did help the family during this traumatic time and acting like a lead we saw that everything that we brought it from you last saw them blank as the cops this moment.

The place better than we have traded for corn my mom will have an insanity call and the prettiest season that is grout advanced beans and stuff like that and I learned something from no matter how hungry we want my mom to go pillowcase. She would take a cup wheat and I think it's hard for me talk about getting snow like mother.

By 1950, Tony had enough of living in war-torn Croatia and made the decision to come back to the United States without there was a dog that I wore broad personnel board the ship and they got it in England got a four-game dominance today did I gather they had to pay so they took the ball and so they use that to transport the people I know. It was like I was making attorneys so you have two, three classes on The Terry class. It was just her shelves like shelf where you store your your cans. There was a six bed in this this early closet so was myself 500 people so I have itself is other people have it even tougher than I came and was torture then that all defendants got killed all these things you have to have the desire to summarize, you have to have a desire so cumbersome and Tony would accomplish something. But for right now. He was just one of many immigrants arriving in New York. Speaking very little English and with no money, so his first task was finding work coming to New York. Went to work in his selling company making calls. So make a collared sleeves or whatever $0.55 an hour. I was a lot of my dendrite lease for many laws anyway. I didn't know anything in the interests metric. So I said I want to learn how to do a self. The guy says to me go to school this place called I went to today's score of that one week is a guy.

The guy settler fellow you need to go have a job you don't need to go to school. For this you can teach got a guys how to do could speak English, can I teach. I saw I went to Denver Colorado got a job in machine shop before Tony was hired shop you would work out effacement version because of his lack of English they said you can.

How can you do this job you can work. I said, give me a job if I can do it don't have to pay me. I was afraid said all we have a union here. We can the guy says over there were speaking.answer my Italian was. Not really goodbye was the only thing I have another speculations are guided talk to me and I thought how nice it you really think you can do the guy say that the guy want to give a guy opportunity given the chance a guy said, all in our office at one light down the highway doing select nobody knows. And I want you chest maybe you get a big laugh out of the guy give it to me. Give me a machine that wasn't running for years.

I cleaned out machine made the slides move turn machine on May the parts in one week. Just as good as the people was doing out another machine that was cussing that got time probably maybe $8000 and were therefore either something but then these people says you Tony want to go to California. Nice weather you can make $15 an hour.

Three dollars amount God is all a lot of money three dollars an hour more than three times. I mean now and I bought a 1947 survey and I was the guy that I worry that begin the dollar on the Coronado give me his card to the doctor first asked me in this country at people pleasant. The one in the hot want to help me. I felt so guilty I have to leave Levi's or I gotta get it. I got to get ahead.

So anyway, I only made about 10 miles away from the Denver Mike got overheated. Nevertheless only made it to California you would eventually find work at the A.O. Smith company manufacturer of everything from car bodies. Water heaters.

I was really good job. I was making over three dollars but there was a downside. We have no did you have to produce leas that marks to keep your pay rate and so I would make God. I will even give some parts to the people next to me and making some parts. Remember, the inspector will say this is not your part.

This is this a story part to the other guy so the guy would let a car you know the one thing that in light they didn't want me to make a so many parts didn't want me to shop my own to a very strict year guy settler. You don't have to make that many parts patient but look at how many people in line waiting to get a total shock say I can do it in five minutes. I like to work guys.

Tony if you want to do that you going to get in trouble and it was right. I did the people. When I was in the bathroom they over there saw me down everywhere I can master Tony's machine hampering his ability to produce.

I said my God, I was thinking about my mom tell me you were hard and do a good job.

Why this might get people to do stuff like that. I really sick in my stomach. Tired of spending his days in a company where he was being held back only decide to use $125 he had saved up make a down payment on his own machine. Soon he was able to rent the garage and South Elmont to California to pick up some contract jobs initially working for supervisor A.O. Smith company would offer him some advice. Said time I heard you have laid home and said what about making these satisfying sexual here is what you can do. The guy gives me that his atoning you know doing a good job but I need thousands of the smart contest 1500 want you just quit a job and do this in your garage make more money that you make it here. I said that was my goal that I know where to get the cannula stated Tony medically could tell the story of journey from Croatia through your United States from New York City to Denver and ultimately California is looking for that three dollar day job. In the end, fellow workers were holding him back from his potential. What he could do with his life and what happens next, you'll hear more.

Tony medically story of our American dreamers on our American school and we continue with our American stories and the story of when we last left off only just been given a bit of advice he was told he could make more money being his own boss. So 1955, Tony founded mag instrument. Let's pick up where we last left I was doing the water for Jan's father Clark's and I was doing. Also the business for clotted multiplier is to be a calculator that device division and multiplication. Anyway, they did a government job, so I was doing some jobs from that and I was doing this kind of stuff did 30 mm projectile byways fuse blown and does a very competitive job for long penny. You can lose the job even if you run now as Job Shop is very competitive business people don't know how competitive that is.

Anyway, I was doing different Job Shop work all kind Job Shop work, including a component that actually took the side offers sidelight happening in space. I was making parts for everyone that is accompanied by a Bianchi company and they made aluminum light so I told the guy you know I can make it like that that anything that you guys can so when I develop and I sure meant. He said no, we want to make our life we don't want your line, but despite the setback, others were still interested in Tony's flashlight including Neil Perkins, founder Safari land was looking to make a new flashlight specifically designed for law enforcement and he said I heard that you have a flashlight. How about let me sell your flashlight okay how many you can sell last year with so several thousand for the whole year. Yockey said the part of it. We couldn't get it I said about if I'm going to make it for you.

I want to 15,000 a month six 2015, it's crazy that I said it.

I know I can make it.

I can sell it. I can make it and I can make it in production make economic and be able to sell said I'm sorry Tony but I wish you change your mind if you change your mind doesn't work please come back so we determined Tony took his flashlight to a tradeshow song first so thousand you heard right.

Tony had far exceeded expectations is first tradeshow and make it wasn't just popular with law enforcement.

With the introduction of many mag it became popular of the average consumer as well. Tony was making on the part of flashlights we I thousand. They all flashlight combined not just many may not.

We sold millions Helena Glinka came back to his birth country speaking no English and with very little money to become self made millionaire Tony didn't settle down well and now in his 90s. He still working making Maglite in America.

Nowhere else to go to work everyday. I never missed a day.

I work from Monday to side-to-side Saturday I spend not quite a full day but doing that we are trying to be here before eight and I never leave before six, maybe seven sometime when is nice when the light is on ~9 and when I come home I did I go right in the drawing. Absent this is what you doing to make enough money. Yes, I now any along my children to continue.

I want people to hear been with me from beginning continue to what I do now. Just kick back and say go home.

My conscience when you make enough money for yourself and your family are secure. If you can do a good thing. The there is not think this lesson will doing that my really going to visit someday to have this company before I leave this earth that I can get a good people, given the slice of the pie. Tony's mission is to keep his business in the country that made it possible to exist in the first place into continue to help the people open their arms to him.

It's the least you can do people retire or people call me and tell me that they thank me.

They thank me what I down for their one guy have it. I didn't have very much money a day. I was really struggling. There the doctor thought he had asked for work.

The guy comes him in my office and he's crying let's not have to leave my job. This job I said that this man of the world.

Let's say I have a heart problem. Doctor wants me to stop working so gently it's okay I have that much money to cover thousand dollars. Send around the world.

I sell goods and know that I was able to do I invest in equipment and his day invest on the people and I didn't want to go to China to make items onto it into China, making the meat multi-multimillionaire why this is the only place in they can do what I and everybody has a There is no place in the world that you can have what you have here. I will give up all my business.

Everything for this country. I would give my life for this country you free to do whatever he wants long as you say, we can all the best day I have.

I think when I landed in New York was land of freedom don't understand what I know I understand what the freedom nobody understand what we need to understand that our Constitution, like the something, saying they think they wanted change it, why you wanted change which is perfect, trying to fix something is not broken compatible with all the world to find a place that you contain. You rather be in here biochemically. I don't care what you God bless you what you want to be you been listening to the voice of Tony McGuigan. This may be as good a story told not just about him, but about the country that adopted him in the country.

He adopted is a two-way street. My goodness to you about this country doesn't love Croatia across Europe and across America from New York to Denver to California and when he finally becomes his own boss and brings his Maglite to a tradeshow 250,000 order and yet you can cash out. It didn't make his Maglite in China you want to keep it here in appreciation of the country that he so loves the story of Tony my Glinka.

The story of American entrepreneurialism and the American heart.

This is our Americans

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