There's something to be said for an object that just keeps on doing its job, day after day, year after year. Especially when that object consists of thin glass and wispy little wire. Steadiness in good times and bad. Reliability and durability you can count on.
In 1970, the Guinness Book of World Records listed a light bulb in in Ft. Worth, Texas as the world's "most durable." But then somebody in Livermore, California jumped up and said a bulb in a fire station there had been burning even longer. A lady claimed she was the daughter of a man who had donated some light bulbs to Fire Station #6 on East Avenue and she remembered the light bulb being installed and turned on in 1901. Or maybe it was 1902. Or it might have been 1905. Even with this somewhat sketchy "documentation," Guinness decided the claim was legitimate and the little lightbulb in Ft. Worth was dethroned and relegated to obscurity.
Since bulbs usually fail when they are turned back on, the city of Livermore installed a dedicated power source for the bulb to ensure no electrical interruption even in a blackout or a fire house blown fuse. A rheostat was installed to smooth out any power surges. For its maybe, possibly 100th birthday, the Sandia National Laboratories donated and installed a "Bulbcam," a small camera which has its own web page showing the world that "The Centennial Light," as it has been named, is still burning.
|"The Eternal Light"|
In 1970, a nameless somebody flipped a very dusty, never used switch just to see what it went to. The building's owner happened to walk by as the bulb went dark. When he found out what caused it, in a panic, he flipped the switch back and was astounded and relieved when the little light came right back on and burned as steady as ever. After shouting a while (nobody knows what happened to the guy whose curiosity got the better of him and flipped the switch), he placed a piece of cardboard over the wall switch with clear instructions to never, ever, ever touch the switch.
|"The Eternal Light" in it's display case.|
|Ft. Worth Stockyards entrance portal.|
To see the unheralded World's 2nd Longest Burning Lightbulb, visit the Stockyards Museum at 131 E. Exchange Ave, Ft. Worth, Texas. You might want to hurry as there is no telling when it will finally give up the ghost and become just another burned out bulb. Or who knows, the thing just might keep on shining and outlast us all.