A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Little Light of Mine

...I'm gonna let it shine.  For 112 years.

Bulb-cam keeps live watch on world's oldest light bulb
The longest-lived light bulb is in a fire station in Livermore CA. Live more in Livermore?

From the site:
First installed at the fire department hose cart house on L Street in 1901. Shortly after it moved to the main firehouse on Second. In 1903 it was moved to the new Station 1 on First and McLeod, and survived the renovation of the Firehouse in 1937, when it was off for about a week. During its first 75 years it was connected directly to the 110 Volt city power, (subject to the power outages) , and not to the back-up generator for fear of a power surge. In 1976 it was moved with a full police and fire truck escort, under the watch of Captain Kirby Slate, to its present site in 1976 at Fire Station 6, 4550 East Ave., Livermore, California. It was then hooked to a separate power source at 120V, and UPS according to Frank Maul, Retired City Electrician. There was one interruption in May, 2013, when the UPS failed and it was off for at least 9 1/2 hours. When it was plugged back in it shined at 60 Watts. It is still brighter, months later, than it's former 4 Watts. 


  1. hello, I started reading your blog recently. I was particularly taken by the posting you had about the role of Christianity in the development of modern science - it was coincidental because I was writing about that very thing myself.

    However, I was moved to comment here, because although I have read about this lightbulb that has lasted since the early twentieth century, I have not heard an explanation as to why it has lasted so long.

    Is there such a explanation?

    1. Near as I can figure, some light bulb will be out in the right hand tail of the life distribution. IOW, dumb luck.

    2. No no, TOF, dumb luck is the origin of the universe. Contrarily, this light bulb was intelligently designed and intentionally produced by Adolphe Alexander Chaillet in the town of Shelby Ohio in 1895. He wasn't blind, but he didn't make watches either so I guess nothing can be drawn from that.

      According to the documentary (I posted the link below), he never revealed the secret to his filiament's longevity. Perhaps they were made of inexplicable flagelli?

      BTW, I loved ptolemaic smackdown.

  2. Interesting. Can they not thus examine this bulb, and then copy whatever it is that makes it so permanently luminescent, and make all other bulbs as such?

    I'm really asking because I don't know and it just seems entirely bizarre to me.

  3. The question is not why this light bulb hasnt burned out, but why most light bulbs do. The answer is, planned obsolescence implemented by secret cartel. Watch "The Light Bulb Conspiracy". (It features this light bulb, among other sinister things). It is available on youtube here for example:


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