An immigrant from Odessa, Russia by the name of Isadore (Israel) Koretzky, the founding father of Bright Star, arrived at Ellis Island some time prior to 1909 and shortly thereafter obtained a job with the Manhattan Electric Company, a manufacturer of dry cell batteries. Their battery products were marketed under the trade name, Red Seal. In his spare time Isadore developed some battery improvements in the basement of the tenement house in which he lived on Brite Street in New York City. As was not uncommon in that era he decided to break away from his employer and founded his own battery making operation in 1909.
Koretzky fabricated the name of his company from a combination of the name of his street and a saying that his batteries produced a light like a star from heaven. Therefore he named the company, The Bright Star Battery Company. Legend has it that he would manufacture a batch of batteries one night, test them the next night, cull out the bad ones, then the third night put the good ones in a push cart and sell them to the shop keepers in the area of his small basement factory.
Bright Star pioneered the high impact injection molded flashlight in the late 1930s, played a prominent role in the creation of the MX type military flashlight and spearheaded the development of standards for explosion proof handheld lighting products. During World War I and World War II the company enjoyed a large volume of government business in both flashlights and batteries. After World War II Bright Star expanded its flashlight business to become a worldwide leader in the production of industrial flashlights and lanterns. Over the same period, its battery business continued to grow, as Bright Star became a full-line supplier of high-quality carbon-zinc industrial batteries.
In recognition of Bright Stars accomplishments in the area of export, it has received the U.S. Department of Commerces highest award for export excellence by American companies. In 1961, the President of the United States created the E award to afford recognition to companies that contribute significantly in the effort to increase U.S. exports. In 1974 Bright Star received the E award and in 1986 it received the E Star award for continuing export excellence.