Oakland Tribune....................Mar. 31, 1976

Resurection Of Persistent Light Bulb


LIVERMORE - Livermore's famed "firehouse light bulb," has been burning continously for the past 75 years, nearly caused a few heart attacks when it failed to come on after being transferred to the shiny new station on East Avenue yesterday.

"Nothing happened," said Batallion Chief Kirby Slate,
who supervised the delicate transfer operation from the
old First Street firehouse to the new station nearly two
miles away.

"It sure scared us when it didn't go on right away," said Slate. "But one of the city electricians made a slight adustment to the switch on the bulb and she lit up just fine."

Slate said the bulb was off for only 23 minutes yesterday as
the transfer was being made. He said this should not affect
its status as the world's longest-burning light bulb, as
Determined by the Guinness Book of World Records.


Slate said the bulb has been transferred twice before and has
Been off for brief periods during power outages, but it
Always comes back on. This is the fourth fire station in
Town in which the bulb has cast its glow.

As far as local officials can determine, the bulb was in-
Stalled about 1901 at one of the early fire stations.
Its exact history is clouded, but it appears that it was
Donated to the city by Dennis Bernal, a descendant of
One of the valley's early settlers, who worked for the
Local power and light company.

Experts believe the bulb was manufactured by the old Selby Electric Co., although there are no manufacturer's markings on it. Firemen say the light has lasted as long as it has because it gives off such a faint glow, about three candles worth of light. Consequently, it doesn't get very hot.


Visitors from all over the nation drop in at the firehouse just to gaze upon the venerable fixture, and Chief Jack Baird has received letters from all over the country from persons who have read about it.

The bulb, the subject of previous feature stories in the Tribune, has been featured in the Ripley "Believe It or Not" syndicated cartoon and on national television.

While hedging their claim somewhat, the Guinness folks state that there is "some evidence" that the bulb has been burning constantly since 1901. The previous record holder was a bulb in the Palace Theatre in Ft. Worth, Tex.

But there's no doubt among local firemen that the bulb is the
undisputed champ.

"I guess it's going to stay on until it finally decides to give up," said Slate. "If it ever does, that is."

Eat your heart out, Ft. Worth.

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