If Adolphe Chailet had his way some 110 years ago, buying light bulbs would be a rarity. This competitor of Thomas Edison is the engineering mind behind the world’s oldest light bulb, a 109-year-old light at Fire Station 6 in Livermore, California. Not only has Chailet’s design survived several moves and a multitude of earthquakes, it’s also survived going up in voltage from 110 to 120 volts. It’s indestructible!
Even when it was built back in 1900, the Shelby-style light bulb was remarkable. During a series of challenges, Chailet’s bulb proved to have the strongest filament, surviving increasing voltage levels while competitor bulbs burned out. The so-called Centennial Light just kept getting brighter. The light stays on all day, and has only been off for a grand total of one week, during station renovations in 1937. It’s not very creatively made or exceptionally bright these days, but it’s definitely stood the test of time.
When they say that things were better made in the old days, they’re not taking into account this light. Even in the old days, they didn’t make a bulb this good! Chailet didn’t build his inventions to fail.