light bulbs

Longest-lasting light bulbs

The world's longest lasting light bulb is the Centennial Light located at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California. It is maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. The fire department claims that the bulb is at least 107 years old and has only been turned off a handful of times. The bulb has been noted by The Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and General Electric as being the world's longest-lasting light bulb.

Other long lasting light bulbs

Second longest-lasting light bulb

The second longest-lasting light bulb is in Fort Worth, Texas. The bulb, known as the Eternal Light, was credited as being the longest-lasting bulb in the 1970 edition of the The Guinness Book of World Records, two years before the discovery of the Livermore bulb. It was originally at the Byers Opera House, and was supposedly installed by a stage-hand, Barry Burke, on September 21, 1908, above the backstage door. The theater was demolished in 1977 and the bulb was transported to a museum located in the Livestock Exchange Building. Since its installation in the museum, it has only been turned off once — by accident — before being put on its own, unswitchable, circuit.

Third longest-lasting light bulb

The third longest-lasting light bulb was above the back door of Gasnick Supply, a New York City hardware store on Second Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets. It was installed in 1912, according to store owner Jack Gasnick. Apparently Gasnick tried several times to discredit the Centennial Light in Livermore. In 1981 he wrote to Dear Abby and claimed that the Livermore bulb had burned out, although it had not. In 1983, he wrote to Guinness and claimed that the Livermore bulb was a fraud. In his opinion as a trained electrical technician, the socket for the bulb was incorrect for its age. He also pointed out that there were no carbon deposits on the inside of the glass, unlike his bulb, which was filthy. He then declared his bulb to be the world's oldest, seemingly unaware of the bulb in Fort Worth.

It is not known what happened to Gasnick and his bulb. The store, and the entire half-block on which it stood, were torn down in 2003 to make room for a 31-story tower of million-dollar condominiums.

Fourth longest-lasting light bulb

The fourth longest-lasting light bulb is located in a fire house in Mangum, Oklahoma. The bulb is not attached to any special electrical supply, and when the power goes off, the bulb turns off also.

Fifth longest-lasting light bulb

The fifth longest-lasting light bulb was in a washroom at the Martin & Newby Electrical Shop in Ipswich, England. Given its shape and design, it was thought to date from the 1930s. It burned out in January 2001.

Edison and the Eternal Light

Thomas Edison designed a bulb that was supposed to last forever, called the Eternal Light, and turned it on on October 21, 1929. The bulb is located in the Memorial Tower at the Edison Memorial Museum in Menlo Park, New Jersey. The tower fell down in 1937, but the bulb's power was supposedly uninterrupted, according to General Electric, and continued to burn while a second tower was constructed. According to museum curator Jack Stanley, the bulb is fake, consisting of a hollow bulb illuminated by a series of automobile headlights mounted in the display's base.


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