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THE CENTENNIAL LIGHT BULB
Over 119 years ago a French engineer, Adolphe Chaillet, patented what is know today as the centennial light bulb or the Livermore light bulb. The exact date it was first lit is unknown, but is estimated to be around July 18th 1901. Although there are a few of these bulbs still burning today, this particular one is honoured as the worlds oldest light bulb. It has been consistently lit (besides a few minor power outages and four known moves) for so long due to its sturdy materials and extra thick filament. Great lengths were taken during its final move in 1976 to its current home at Fire Station No. 6 in Livermore, California. An electrician carefully cut the power cord, not to damage the bulb by unscrewing it, and transported the bulb, with a full firetruck escort to the station in a specially designed box. In fact, it is now powered by and uninterruptible power supply to ensure its longest life possible.
It burns at a whopping 4 watts, although originally 30 watts, 24 hours a day acting as a night light for the station and its members. Its beautiful hand blown glass and thick carbon filament may have influenced the popular Edison bulbs we find today.
In 2003 everyone watched as the bulb flickered its last flick. It was over, one hundred years of light had finally fizzled away…but did it? No! It actually outlived the power supply which failed and gave the light bulb a falsified demise. When the failure was detected and a new one installed, the light bulb gently came to life and is still burning today!
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