- 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
for a few hours. It has since dimmed to its former
4 Watts. Why is still a mystery.
- Proof of Longevity: From
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
A. Chaillet, was made by the
Electric Company. It is a handblown bulb with
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
- Recognition: Declared the
oldest known working lightbulb by Guinness Book of World Records.
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
books, and online 2014.
- Closest Competitors:
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
burning". The building was renamed the Palace Theatre, and
the light was known as the
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)
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
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
For press photos please contact Dick Jones by
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)