What is the oldest lightbulb in continuous use?

Answer by Brian Roemmele:

The Beautiful 110 Year Old Light Bulb That Never Turned Off

Installed before the Wright Brothers took to flight, 110 Years old and she is still beautiful.  It is perhaps the oldest electrical device in continuous use.  Take a moment and contemplate just how much the world has changed around this amazing device.

Beautiful glow of the Shelby Incandescent lamp.

It was a hot summer evening in Livermore, California in 1901 and the band concert across the street was just about to conclude, but the fire captain had an announcement.  The Fire Department Hose Cart House on L Street had just installed a new modern technological marvel, one of the first electric carbon lightbulbs in town and invited anyone curious to stop by and witness this new  invention.   This was the “Improved Incandescent Lamp” was the lightbulb of choice and it was an incredible design.  In many cities the Fire Departments were motivating people to consider using this relatively new invention for safety.  And of course this came by years of heartbreaking experience.

A lost era when companies had so much pride about who they were, where they were and what they built.

Genius Inventor

This amazing light bulb was invented by Adolphe A. Chaillet and manufactured by the Shelby Electric Company. The beautiful handblown glass bulb with a uniquely shaped carbon filament beamed a consistent ~10 watts (perhaps more).  This light bulb has been turned on ever since, over 40,150 days.  The only rest she took was for about 7 days during a renovation and the random power outages over the decades.  She always woke up.

Showing her unique curves, what stories she could tell about how the world changed around her.

You can check in on how she is doing, still proudly casting her light and reporting for duty for the last 110 years at this live webcam:

A Lightbulb That Lasts Forever Is Not Good For Business

Know as the Centennial Light (http://www.centennialbulb.org/), the Livermore Fire department is really quite proud of the bulb and the built to last American engineering and manufacturing that went into it. Sadly  Adolphe’s superior lightbulb design and the Shelby Electric Company did not survive for a number of reasons.

One of the many reasons tweets would not work in 1901.

Some suggest that it was a plan of planned obsolescence that was taking over the industry that finally drew the end of Adolphe’s design.   Some may suggest that the Shelby technology did not survive because in some way it was inefficient or high wattage or bright light was not possible. This is not the case at all. When the Shelby bulb was installed in 1901 it was brighter then a standard Edison bulb.  Shelby also had bulbs of up to 60 watts in 1901 with color tonality of light orange to almost bright white this was far better then any other product.

Shelby was sold in a roll-up of a vast majority of Lightbulb companies in the United States.  The National Electric Lamp Association a division of the General Electric Company purchased the Shelby Electric Company and with-in a year stopped all production on Adolphe A. Chaillet amazing design.

Still Thinking

I have sat here and tried to think of any electrical device that I use that could weather 110 years of “always on” use. I am still thinking.

“I am still here”

The many advancements Adolphe made are lost to the sands of time.  The exact processes may not have been saved, his knowledge is gone.  Although there were three tantalizing patents issued in his life, they do not explain how he made his amazing carbon filament.  What Adolphe really created was almost erased from popular history.

Yet this 110 year old light bulb is proof of what one person can achieve.  It’s very existence proudly states, I am still here. It is proof that there is far more to all technologies then we can ever imagine.  It is proof that true history matters.  If only to pay tribute to the genius that got us so very far.

This proud 110 year old girl elegantly reminds us of all of the past, present and future Adolphe A. Chaillet’s of the world.

My deepest wish is that this light never goes out and can be contemplated  perhaps a thousand years from now. May she serve as a living reminder of how we can make even the most simple useful things heroically beautiful.

The world may change and still she glows…

At 110 years old, she is spectacularly beautiful to behold.  I see so much character and individuality.

View Answer on Quora

We act against our well being

Listening to a “This American Life” episode this morning, focusing on global warming. This addresses two of my favorite interests: humility and denial.

I was seven when I began to grasp some of the issues that have always concerned that small band of unhappy few who actually care to use more than 5% of their on-board computers; issues such as suffering, war, disease and as of the last 50 years, global warming.

For now, I’ll just cut to the chase. My father relentlessly abused my mother and me from the time I was six, and almost always behind closed doors. It was probably a lot earlier than that for Mom, but that’s when it started for me. Bottom line is that it was some combination of sociopathy, PTSD brought on by childhood and adult trauma, OCD and male Jewish anger. I only saw a relatively normal father in the last two years of his life. At that time he was put on a daily dose of an antipsychotic starting the very first day that he was admitted to a nursing home.

My point is that David (Dad) was convinced that my mother and I were deficient in various ways that necessitated regular exposures to his dictates and wisdom. He even went so far as to take us together to a venerable psychiatrist ( as I recall, a classic Viennese old-school Freudian) to get an evaluation of us two. We only went once and D made it clear that it was we two who were to be scrutinized, not him.

I won’t have time to finish this this morning so I will tie this all together this weekend, inchallah, but for now my point is that, in general, pride and denial rule human affairs, and now they rule our global environment. Most of us never seem to be able to make the tiny mental leap from witnessing the sheer craziness all around us to understanding that we can all easily fall prey to the illusion that everyone else may be fallible but we ourselves are the soul of sanity and realistic thinking.

(To be continued)

“Too Much Magic” by James Howard Kunstler: why technology will not dig us out of our hole.

On my reading list         Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-bg “The nationally best-selling author of The Long Emergency expands on his alarming argument that our oil-addicted, technology-dependent society is on the brink of collapse—that the long emergency has already begun…”

“Targeting Iran” documentary w/ Noam Chomsky. URGENT: help support production.

“Targeting Iran” documentary w/ Noam Chomsky. URGENT: help support production.

Please support and share this effort. Thank you.

Help support creation of documentary on book about Iran by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian
Help support creation of documentary on book about Iran by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

“The project:
TARGETING IRAN is a thirty-minute film based on the book by David Barsamian and Noam Chomsky.  Thanks exclusively to financial contributions from independent supporters, we have been able to complete our interviews with David Barsamian, Noam Chomsky and Dr. Vandana Shiva.  Now we need to hunker down and focus on editing and distributing the final piece!  Without financial support we simply cannot afford the time to finish this important work.

As Israeli and American policy makers consider a bombing of Iran‘s nuclear facilities, the corporate media is dutifully ignoring many issues related to Iran and the country’s nuclear ambitions.  Through the lens of some of the world’s greatest sociopolitical thinkers, TARGETING IRAN will examine the many political, historical, economic, military and cultural aspects of the U.S./Iranian tensions that are not being discussed in the mainstream media.

It is our intention to release the film widely, for free, before this year’s U.S. presidential election. Outlets include Free Speech TV, MoveOn.org, community access stations, and internet sites offering free downloads.  We will then take the film on the festival circuit to increase exposure.

Our first film, SOURCE TO SEA: THE COLUMBIA RIVER SWIM won several awards on the film festival circuit and screened in theaters across the United States and Canada.  Awards included 2007 Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival “Most Inspiring Adventure Film”, 2008 Telly Award “Outstanding Achievement In Sound Design” and 2007 EarthVision Film Festival “Environmental Activism/Social Justice Award”.

Please help us get this important film into the public sphere as soon as possible!”


“Hello Indiegogo supporters!  It’s day thirteen of our campaign and we are very grateful to those who have supported this project!  Knowing that people across the globe see the importance of this issue is very encouraging!  However, we are still very far from our goal!

We had hoped to travel to New York to interview Targeting Iran’s co-authors in New York.  We had also hoped to get the film out before the US Presidential election.  Both of these goals seem evasive at this point, and indeed, the entire film is in jeopardy.  We need several thousand dollars in additional contributions to even think about editing this film and distributing it to a global audience, for free.”


Andy Norris and Ralph Davis

Meltdown in Spain and the Spanish Inquisition

ImageThis just occurred to me, and I know it’s mean, but in regards to the financial meltdown in Spain… to paraphrase Tricky Dick (a notorious anti-semite who loved kissing her, look it up kids), this time “you don’t have the jews and muslims to kick around and rip off anymore.”

Who knows, maybe Spain would be better today, by keeping her nasty mitts off of her jews and muslims huh? Ditto Russia, Poland etc….

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition


It is unknown exactly how much wealth was confiscated from converted Jews and others tried by the Inquisition. Wealth confiscated in one year of persecution in the small town of Guadaloupe paid the costs of building a royal residence.[80] There are numerous records of the opinion of ordinary Spaniards of the time that “the Inquisition was devised simply to rob people. “They were burnt only for the money they had,’ a resident of Cuenca averred. “They burn only the well-off,” said another. In 1504 an accused stated, “only the rich were burnt.” …In 1484…Catalina de Zamora was accused of asserting that “this Inquisition that the fathers are carrying out is as much for taking property from the conversos as for defending the faith. “It is the goods that are the heretics.” This saying passed into common usage in Spain. In 1524 a treasurer informed Charles V that his predessor had received ten million ducats from the conversos, but the figure is unverified. In 1592 an inquisitor admitted that most of the fifty women he arrested were rich. In 1676, the Suprema claimed it had confiscated over 700,000 ducats for the royal treasury (which was paid money only after the Inquisition’s own budget, amounting in one known case to only 5%). The property on Mallorca alone in 1678 was worth ‘well over 2,500,000 ducats.”[81]”

See also: https://www.google.com/search?q=jews%20expulsion%20reasons%20inquisition

BTW, I’m speaking as an atheist jew, who lived in Spain as a teenager… and loved every minute of it. A wonderful country with wonderful people.

“…But as every previous generation of Americans understood, a truly open market is one of our fundamental democratic institutions.”

“Over the past four years of financial collapse, many of us have come to view markets as a fantastical scam: a giant mechanism geared to transfer our hard-earned dollars into the hands of a few select bankers. And when it comes to the Wall Street markets we rely on to trade our equities and debt and commodities, this sentiment is not all wrong.
But as every previous generation of Americans understood, a truly open market is one of our fundamental democratic institutions. We construct such markets to achieve some of our most basic rights: to deal with whom we choose, to work with whom we choose, to govern our communities and nation as we (along with our neighbors) choose.”From http://harpers.org/archive/2012/02/0083788

#history #education #politics #ows #monopoly #antitrust #teddyroosevelt

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