The Livermore fire station in California has become a tourist attraction today.
Every year hundreds of curious people pass through the city to see the lamp known as the ‘Centennial Light’ which was lit in 1901 and has only been turned off four times due to renovations.
The origin of the lamp
In 1971 a local journalist Mike Dunstan became interested in the lamp.
All the firefighters claimed that it was never extinguished.
Through interviews and consulting archives, Dunstan concluded that the lamp had been lit since 1901 and that the lamp was a gift from businessman Dennis F. Bernal to the fire station.
Its manufacturer is the Shelby Electric Company, where a French engineer, Adolphe Alexandre Chaillet, had come to work in 1896.
Chaillet knew how to improve the efficiency and life of incandescent lamps.
However, this technique did not convince the companies, who preferred to make lamps with an expiration date, preferably under a thousand working hours, to sell more.
Instead, the ‘Centennial Light’ has worked for more than a million hours.
What is her secret?
There are several theories that explain why the lamp produced by Chaillet was able to survive for so long.
Some claim that the bulb is the result of a unique and secret process.
Others believe that since it was on and off very little, it produced a much slower burn that prevented it from melting.
While recently, there are those who believe that its longevity is due to the fact that it was produced by hand, with much more care.
Due to its longevity, the light bulb has entered the Guinness Book of Records.
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