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This 120 Year Old Light Buld Still Shines Every Day

Certain things often make us reflect on the old adage, “They just don’t make them like they used to.” At Speed Society, we usually associate this saying with classic engineering found under the hood of an old-school hot rod. However, in this case, we find old-school craftsmanship in an unexpected place – a lightbulb that has been burning longer than pretty much everyone on Earth has been alive!

The extraordinary bulb was crafted by Adolphe Chaillet, the founder of Shelby Electric Company, in the 1890s. When his business closed down, Chaillet donated the bulb, along with other supplies, to the local fire company. Little did he know that his creation would continue to shine brightly for generations to come, outlasting its creator by decades!

Although Chaillet passed away 83 years ago, this handmade bulb shows no signs of dimming. Since 1901, it has remained illuminated at California’s Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, outlasting power supply issues, two world wars, and 22 presidents.

This remarkable bulb, which features a carbon filament, has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Its endurance is truly astonishing, having burned for over 1 million hours throughout the years. While the fire department has likely undergone numerous changes from staff to trucks and everything in between, the current staff ensures that this lightbulb, holding a world record, remains untouched and unchanged. It might not feature modern LED technology but it’s really hard to argue with such longevity, especially compared with the current state of the world which seems to be more prone to just throwing things away when they get older.

So, is the longevity of this lightbulb a mere freak accident or a testament to the idea that things were made better in the past? One can only wonder.

Perhaps we should try to dig up other bulbs created by the Shelby Electric Company!