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View Full Version : O.T. anybody see the news last night about light bulbs?



A.K. Boomer
05-05-2008, 10:24 PM
It was on channel 5 and the preview talked about the new light bulb that was baffeling scientists and stuff - they made it sound like it was going to be the last thing they talked about so i went out to the garage to work on a honda and came back but they must have already talked about it --- what kind of bulb was it - anyone know what the big mystery was? thanks

Edit; my title says last night, actually it was tonight, but tomorrow morning the title will be correct.

Evan
05-05-2008, 10:29 PM
It was obviously a slow news day.



Light bulb still burning after 107 years


Published: May 5, 2008 at 9:03 PM
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LIVERMORE, Calif., May 5 (UPI) -- A 107-year-old light bulb in California has been deemed by Guinness World Records and Ripley's Believe It Or Not as the word's longest-ever burning bulb.

The low-watt rarity has been burning nonstop in the Livermore, Calif., Station No. 6 firehouse since 1901, the Los Angles Times reported Monday.

"This fragile thing that wasn't meant to last has outlived the company that made it, people who first screwed it in, people who have written about it and who have kept watch over it," said Edward Meyer of Ripley Entertainment.

The bulb even has its own web-cam and a Web site named centennialbulb.org, which is viewed a million times each year, the Times said.

It is reported many people think the bulb has burned so long because it is never switched off.

wierdscience
05-05-2008, 10:42 PM
This new bulb promises to get rid of the fart smell without having to light them on fire:D

http://fresh2.com/

PTSideshow
05-06-2008, 06:06 AM
it is a four watt bulb that was a night light for the guy who did the overnight shift counting the bell for the alarm when it came in. It has a very large dia filament compared to other bulbs. This story comes up around this time of year every year.
:D

A.K. Boomer
05-06-2008, 10:03 AM
Thanks Ev, (geese what a bunch of smartasses:p but i can relate)

If thats all it was then I can go back to living in a coma, I seen that same bulb a couple of years ago on the news, I guess its still alive, In fact, didnt we cover that on here before? and the reason its still kicking is because its being run on a fraction of the wattage of what it was designed for? still for old tech. and all of calies earthquakes its kinda amazing...

Evan
05-06-2008, 12:51 PM
I'm waiting for the news story when the new janitor unscrews it and throws it out to replace it with a CFL made in China....

darryl
05-07-2008, 01:12 AM
Ha- yeah I can just see that-

RJulian
05-07-2008, 01:37 AM
I believe it. Dad always said that manufacturing light bulbs is a guaranteed business. The longevity of the bulb is highly dependent on the vacuum. It's the dark secret of bulb manufacturers - if sales are down, reduce the vacuum. In 1901 they hadn't figured that out yet.

A.K. Boomer
05-07-2008, 03:13 AM
I'm waiting for the news story when the new janitor unscrews it and throws it out to replace it with a CFL made in China....


Im thinking something much more intentional --- Like the "green people" mapping out the "carbon footprint" of the bulb, and coming up with all kinds of figures like how many days the local power plant had to run at its normal capacity just to keep the bulb alive, how many tons of coal had to be used and on and on -- then it enters some kind of big vote off in one of Calies infamous elections, Ban the bulb -- pull the plug......
All while the other side conjures up images of history and the importance of not to forget where we came from --- with split second flashes of US garbage dumps filled with broken mercury leaching CFL light bulbs, and of course the last frame a close up of one of the bulbs revealing the made in china letters in toxic looking print for all to see... then nuclear missiles being launched at china --- but again split second frames that show the inside electronics of the missiles and once again the toxic looking "made in china" print --- only to realize as the image gets pulled away that the entire missile is just a toy rocket that an infant is using to teeth on, but its lead paint -- then it flashes to the garbage dump one more time -- ceptin this time its all diapers and they have in very large print "made in USA" then theres a brief picture of an indian crying,,, while sitting on his grandmothers lap....:(

Evan
05-07-2008, 04:55 AM
I believe it. Dad always said that manufacturing light bulbs is a guaranteed business. The longevity of the bulb is highly dependent on the vacuum. It's the dark secret of bulb manufacturers - if sales are down, reduce the vacuum. In 1901 they hadn't figured that out yet.
Incandescent bulbs aren't evacuated. They contain an inert gas. If they were evacuated the filament would burn out in short order as it would quickly outgass metal that would plate on the inner side of the envelope and would reduce the filament thickness.

The light bulb in question is undoubtedly an original carbon filament Edison bulb. They are evacuated and the carbon filament doesn't suffer the same effects that a tungsten filament does. If protected from shock and properly sealed such a bulb can be expected to operate for a very long time.

I just wonder how they know it has never been replaced.

wierdscience
05-07-2008, 08:12 AM
I just wonder how they know it has never been replaced.

Ya,me too and I also can't believe it's never been turned off or lost power.

Seastar
05-07-2008, 08:52 AM
Urban legend perhaps???

Frank Ford
05-07-2008, 10:40 AM
I dunno.

My house was burgled in 1980, and it was then that I noticed it was the darkest on the block, so I installed perimeter flood lights. Not needing to make the yard light up like a ballpark, I wired a dimmer in the circuit and cranked the volume down. I haven't burned out a bulb in 28 years.

Run a regular incandescent bulb at low temperature and it lasts basically forever.

I've always assumed that's the deal with this firehouse bulb - rated for higher voltage, and burning quite cool.

Evan
05-07-2008, 11:07 AM
The tungsten filament bulb wasn't invented until 1906 by GE.

Optics Curmudgeon
05-07-2008, 11:36 AM
As with many things that seem overly remarkable, this is of course a mix of fact and hyperbole. Yes, the bulb is as old as they say, and it has been "in use" as long as they say. Has it been on the whole time? Nope, ridiculous to say so. In the first place, it's been moved twice, the firehouse it's in is a new building. It's last residence, an art deco building across town, is a restaurant now. Before that it was in an earlier building, I don't know where that one was. They were all firehouses, that much is true. It's a carbon filament bulb, from the days when people were still figuring out how to make incandescent lamps, it burns cool with a light that is like a candle, early buyers of electric lights thought there was nothing wrong with that. Livermore's electric system (PG&E, locally known as Pillage, Gouge and Extort) is not the most reliable one I've had the pleasure of paying for. There are several outages each year, and The Bulb goes dark at least momentarily with each one. I agree with those that think it's burning cool. Remember, it's the Ripley's people that bring this up each year, and they've never seen anything that they couldn't make seem the most fantastic.

Joe

RetiredFAE
05-07-2008, 11:53 AM
Dark suckers? I always thought that those things in the sockets were dark suckers. You flip on the switch and it proceeds to suck all the dark out of the room. The proof of this would seem to be two-fold. At the other end of the wires that lead out of those things you often find concentrated piles of dark, which local folks sometimes refer to as "coal". At least in the colder climates like where Evan lives, where the dark tends to solidify immediately upon leaving the wires at the other end. In warmer climates they call it bunker oil or some such thing.
Secondly, when the dark sucker has sucked up all the dark it can handle, and the wires that transport it to the so called "power plant" are busy carrying Internet traffic and can't be bothered to carry away the dark, then the dark sucker itself turns dark and refuses to suck anymore dark out of the room.
At least that's what I always thought. But then again, thinking has gotten me into more trouble than I care to remember!

Evan
05-07-2008, 01:24 PM
Joe,

I have a small bit of trivia for you. I don't know if PG&E is still in the same building in Berkeley as they were when I lived there but it is possible since you can't build anything over three stories tall in Bezerkely. The PG&E office building has/had the entire three story facade made of decorative concrete 1 ft square blocks. One of them is rotated 90 degrees so it doesn't match. It's on the third floor...

:D

Optics Curmudgeon
05-07-2008, 01:33 PM
I'm going to try and find that, it'll make for a good treasure hunt.

Joe