by Don Martinez EXAMINER STAFF WRITER
LIVERMORE - A coast-to-coast "battle of the bulb" is raging between this city's main Firehouse and a New York City businessman.
At issue is the tiny globe in Fire Station No. 1 that old-time Livermore residents claim has been burning since 1901.
The story of the municipal heirloom has been bounced off satellites to an international audience for years.
Livermore fire officials say bus loads of
tourists from across the
It even has the distinction of being listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest-living light bulb.
All the publicity attracted the attention of Jack Gasnick, a New York City mechanical engineer, who claims that a tiny bulb has been burning in his family business since 1912.
"And I've got documentation to prove
it," he said in a telephone
"My father started the business in 1912
and our bulb was turned
It has been moved only once in 71 years, "from
the front entrance
Is he challenging Livermore's claim to fame?
"Fully so," said Gasnick, who has
fired off terse letters to the
Gasnick has never seen the Livermore bulb
up close, "just in
"But what bothers me about it is that
there is no carbonization in
Additionally, Gasnick has noticed that the
Livermore bulb is
"If that thing has been burning for so
long, how come I've seen
Claiming to be "suspicious and skeptical"
of the East Bay bulb,
Meanwhile, Livermore natives are handling
the assault on their
They have been through this before.
"These challenges come up periodically,"
Baird and others are convinced that theirs
is the oldest-living
Lending considerable credence to their contention
is the word of
"I'm confident that criteria used by
Guinness officials is