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Thread: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

  1. #1
    Enlightened Jason_Tx's Avatar
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    Au Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    There is a light bulb in Livermore California that has been burning since 1901.

    The Shelby Electric Company made the bulb. It was handblown and then outfitted with a carbon filament. It has about 4 watts of light.

    The Centennial Bulb

    Live Web Cam of the Centennial Bulb

    Guinness Book of World Records


    The fire department claims that the bulb is at least 108 years old and has only been turned off a handful of times.
    If that is true, your looking at approx 946,080 hours of run time


    FYI, the 2nd longest running bulb is in Fort Worth, Texas. Its been there since September 21, 1908.

    Worthless information? Probably everywhere except here on CPF it is.
    Last edited by Jason_Tx; 11-22-2009 at 04:09 PM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    fascinating little piece of information... I wonder if any of those enthusiasts are CPF members?
    CLICK HERE for my flashlight reviews.
    PAUL KIM... AN INDUSTRY GENIUS

  3. #3

    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Check out that zig zag twisted filament!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* gswitter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    I remember seeing a feature on the bulb in Livermore on Bay Area Backroads or Evening Magazine (local SF Bay Area shows) a while back. I've been curious to stop in and check it out when I pass through the area.



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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    I wonder how long it would last overdriven?

    That is pretty interesting though, guess they don't make 'em like they used to.

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    Flashaholic* leukos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason_Tx View Post
    The fire department claims that the bulb is at least 108 years old and has only been turned off a handful of times.
    If that is true, your looking at approx 946,080 hours of run time
    Sure makes an LED's lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours seem awfully short lived...
    Light is sweet and pleasing to the eyes....

  7. #7
    Enlightened Jason_Tx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by leukos View Post
    Sure makes an LED's lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours seem awfully short lived...

    When I wrote this post, I thought of this but left it out to see who would be the first to mention how this incan kicks the LED @ss...

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    I saw it featured on an episode of Myth Busters.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by leukos View Post
    Sure makes an LED's lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours seem awfully short lived...
    Nice try but my money would still be on the LED. Remember the LED does not go at 50,000-100,000 hours. Its output is just slightly lower. It will still outlast an incan.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    I thought there was already a thread on this....

    I know i read it somewhere, and where else if not CPF?

    Crenshaw

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Crenshaw View Post
    I thought there was already a thread on this....

    I know i read it somewhere, and where else if not CPF?

    Crenshaw
    Maybe one of those other sites that we never speak of in public? ...

    Oh darn, I spoke about them!
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic Howecollc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedball View Post
    Check out that zig zag twisted filament!
    And thanks to the nostalgia of Robert Redford, you too can have a similar but shorter lived version in your own home.

    http://www.sundancecatalog.com/PRODUCT/40888.html

  13. #13
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Crenshaw View Post
    I thought there was already a thread on this....

    I know i read it somewhere, and where else if not CPF?

    Crenshaw
    Perhaps this thread?
    The Grandaddy of flashlight bulbs
    Norm

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Dioni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by leukos View Post
    Sure makes an LED's lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours seem awfully short lived...


    I would love to see this on the bulbs of flashlights, but without losing power, of course.

    This bulbs dond't know what a orverdrive is.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by saabluster View Post
    Nice try but my money would still be on the LED. Remember the LED does not go at 50,000-100,000 hours. Its output is just slightly lower. It will still outlast an incan.
    I'll believe it when I see it. Which won't be in this lifetime.

    My experience is many LED's go *poof* in a lot shorter period.
    ampdude

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Dioni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    I'll believe it when I see it. Which won't be in this lifetime.

    My experience is many LED's go *poof* in a lot shorter period.
    +1

    and I WANT to be here to see it!

  17. #17
    Flashaholic jerry i h's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    The pictures of the bulb
    http://www.centennialbulb.org/bc/sis3.jpg
    http://www.centennialbulb.org/intrvw/sister/sis17.jpg
    Look very much like this modern reproduction:
    http://www.tubedepot.com/al-f1893.html
    Kinda hard to tell, since the pictures are taken from an oblique angle, reflections, and the distortions from the envelope.

    Actually, there is a whole class of these modern day reproductions. There is one called “squirrel cage”, which I have: really cool, and so far they last as long as regular bulbs. The only problem is the orange tinge: kinda like living in a jack-o-lantern. Google “antique reproduction light bulbs”, and you get lotsa places to buy ‘em. Some actually seem to be made of a carbon filament that is an unsupported loop, that you have to install vertically.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic ypsifly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Where I work we have a collection of late 19th/early20th century bulbs including many made by Edison and Westinghouse. I've been told that many are still in working order.

    As a side note....we also have the entire Menlo Park Laboratory, which as most of you will know, is where the light bulb was invented. We not only have the building, but when it was moved they even trucked in the dirt from the ground surrounding it.
    "None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me."

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by ypsifly View Post
    Where I work we have a collection of late 19th/early20th century bulbs including many made by Edison and Westinghouse. I've been told that many are still in working order.

    As a side note....we also have the entire Menlo Park Laboratory, which as most of you will know, is where the light bulb was invented. We not only have the building, but when it was moved they even trucked in the dirt from the ground surrounding it.
    Another example of how things were done back before America became a disposeable society. Even the bulbs were made to last.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Maybe one of those other sites that we never speak of in public? ...

    Oh darn, I spoke about them!
    Oh but I dont visit those other sites...

    Crenshaw

  21. #21

    Default Re: Worlds Longest Running Bulb 108 years

    It's right around the corner; I keep meaning to go take a peek before it finally blows!

    For anything we'd consider a "useful" incan light, Tungsten rules. But at very low wattage, the carbon filament is well-suited for extreme longevity. This bulb was made when carbon filament technology was at its zenith, right before Tungsten took over.

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