• Age: 117 years (as of June 2018)
  • Installed: First installed at the fire department hose cart house on L Street in 1901. Shortly after it moved to the main firehouse on Second. In 1903 it was moved to the new Station 1 on First and McLeod, and survived the renovation of the Firehouse in 1937, when it was off for about a week. During its first 75 years it was connected directly to the 110 Volt city power, (subject to the power outages), and not to the back-up generator for fear of a power surge. In 1976 it was moved with a full police and fire truck escort, under the watch of Captain Kirby Slate, to its present site at Fire Station 6, 4550 East Ave., Livermore, California. It was then hooked to a seperate power source at 120V, and UPS according to Frank Maul, Retired City Electrician. There was one interuption in May, 2013, when the UPS failed and it was off for at least 9 1/2 hours. When it was plugged back in it shined at 60 Watts for a few hours. It has since dimmed to its former 4 Watts. Why is still a mystery.
  • Proof of Longevity: From local newspaper records; also GE engineers researched it. Was donated to the Fire Department in 1901 by Dennis Bernal who owned the Livermore Power and Light Co.
  • Vital Statistics: The improved incandescent lamp, invented by Adolphe A. Chaillet, was made by the Shelby Electric Company. It is a handblown bulb with carbon filament. Wattage- Began at 60 watts, currently shines at 4 watts. Left burning continuously in firehouse as a nightlight over the fire trucks. For some research test results on another Shelby bulb go to Annapolis test and then Sandia test.
  • Recognition: Declared the oldest known working lightbulb by Guinness Book of World Records. Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not in 1972 researched it and declared it the oldest. Charles Kurault of the TV program "On the Road with Charles Kurault" visited the bulb in the 1970s and included it in his book as well. Declarations from the President of the U.S., Congress, Senate, State Senate and Assembly, and Shelby, Ohio. In 2007, and 2012, it was again recognized in Guinness and Ripley's books, and online 2014.
  • Closest Competitors: The Second longest bulb was listed in the 1970 Guinness Book under the heading Most Durable says that "on 21 Sept 1908 a stagehand named Barry Burke at the Byers Opera House, Fort Worth, Texas screwed in a new light bulb and that it was still burning". The building was renamed the Palace Theatre, and the light was known as the Palace Bulb ever since. It now resides in the Stockyards Museum, and will have been burning for 100 years Sept of 2008. For a list of "longest-lasting light bulbs" visit Wikipedia.
  • Visiting: You can visit the bulb if the Firefighters are not on an emergency call or out training. Go to the front of the station and ring the bell at the door to the left of the apparatus bay doors. If they are in the station someone will answer the door. Otherwise you can see the bulb if you look through the right apparatus door window. The bulb is hanging from the ceiling near the wall to the right. To contact the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department you may call (925) 454-2361. Click her for visiting hints.
  • Celebration: We commemorated its centennial on Friday, June 8, 2001 at the fire station. Please see the 2001 celebration gallery for all the pictures.
    We commemorated its 110th birthday on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at the fire station. Please see the 2011 celebration gallery for all the pictures.
    We commemorated its 1 Millionth Hour birthday on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the fire station. Please see the 2015 celebration gallery for all the pictures.

Contact Info: For more information about the bulb, contact the Chairman Tom Bramell at his email tombramell@gmail.com. For press photos please contact Dick Jones by his e-mail at rjaerial@comcast.net or look over the pictures at rjaerial.smugmug.com. To contact the LPFD directly you may call them at (925) 454-2361.

(Information provided by Livermore Lightbulb Centennial Committee 1/2015)

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