Located in California, the Centennial Light is the world’s longest-lasting light bulb. It was first turned on in 1901, and still continues to shine today

Although dim, the hand-blown, carbon-filament bulb was made by the Shelby Electric Company. The bulb was donated to the Fire Department by the owner of Livermore Power and Water Company.

The bulb first came to the attention of the public in 1972 when reporter mike Dunstan penned an article in the local newspaper about “the world’s oldest light bulb”.

The community celebrated the bulb’s 100th birthday in 2001 with a large barbeque and live music event.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about the light bulb, which was manufactured in the same way as other bulbs from the same era. However, the lifespan of bulbs was cut significantly in the 1920s when the top lighting companies formed a global cartel to reduce the lifespan of bulbs.

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This was when the 1 000-hour ‘rule’ was implemented. Bulbs were not made to last longer than 1 000 hours.

The Centennial Light, however, was manufactured using the older technology, and continues to burn today. You can watch it on a webcam here.


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