13 February 2006

A lightbulb manufactured in 1901 burns bright to this day



The electrician who just put in our lights informed me the older lights burn alot better than modern ones.
Apparently, as is probably obvious, what kills the light is turning it on and off.
Tvs are the same way and pc monitors, Any electrical appliance suffers the most stress when the power is suddenly stopped or started. Ever notice that most light bulbs *pop* out as they are turned on?
The Livermore Centennial Light was manufactured in 1901 by the Shelby Electric Company. It is a hand-blown bulb with a carbon filament. It uses approximately 4 watts of electricity. The bulb has been left burning continuously in the firehouse as a night light over the fire trucks since 1901.

Regular incandescent light bulbs last about 750 to 2,000 hours, if they were left continuous burning. Fluorescent lights can last 20,000 hours. As of June 8, 2002, its 101st Birthday, this bulb has reportedly been burning more than 800,000 hours!! It's even made the Guiness Book of Records.
Interesting story. But the one part that ... well, saddened me a bit was the reverence given toward this light bulb as some sort of talisman, even to the point where everyone at that station understands that, if he should just happen to break that bulb, he can clean out his locker and look for a new job.

How stinkin' superstitious. It's a LIGHT BULB, for Pete's sake!
This light bulb, Phrank, will be even more sigificant in another hundred years, even if it burns out. Just as the first automobile, the first cotton gin, the first calculator; they are all held with historic significance.
Wouldn't one expect to fire a worker, or specialist who accidently "drops" the code of Hammurabi, or breaks the torso of Venus de Milo? I say, why not (well, maybe not if it was purely accidental, I do have a conscience).

Just as vessels from an ancient era are priceless, so to will our items of historic significance.
I realize my examples are a tad extreme. However, as I said, in another century, this bulb may be all that represents the "primitive" era of Electricity.

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