Oakland Tribune...................Feb. 24, 1977

Whose Bulb is Best? OURS!

by John Miller

Eat your heart out, Fort Worth.

Your efforts to depose Livermore as the home of the world's
Longest burning light bulb has proved a dismal failure.

If you doubt it, just check with the people at Guinness
Superlatives Limited, those British folks whose business it
Is to keep up with such things.

When The Tribune learned of the attempt by some Fort Worth
Columnists to recapture the title this year we asked the folks
At Guinness which bulb would be included in its 1977 edition
Of the Guinness Book of World Records.

"At the present moment the Livermore bulb is the one which
appears in the 1977 edition," said Moira F. Browne, editoral

And rightfully so.


The Livermore bulb, which hangs in the Livermore Fire
Station on East Avenue, has reputedly been burning
Without interruption (except for power failures and when it
Was relocated) since 1901.

The former record holder was a bulb that reputedly has been
Burning in the abandoned Palace Theater in Fort Worth
Since 1908.

Some Fort Worth newspaper wags still don't recognize the
Local lamp as the world's champ, a title given it by the
Guinness people back in 1973 following local newspaper
Accounts of its history.

Said one Fort Worth columnist to the Wall Street Journal
Recently, "I'm in no position to say it (the Livermore bulb)
Hasn't burned longer, but I just thought it was strange after
All these years that we never heard of Livermore before."

Even so, the bulb has been the subject of a syndicated
"Ripley's Believe It or Not" cartoon as well as featured on national television in a piece by CBS' Charles Kuralt. It also has been the subject of several Tribune feature stories through the years.


It was donated to the city fire department by the late
Dennis Bernal, frandson of Juan Pablo Bernal, one of the
Early Livermore Valley land grant holders.

Dennis Bernal's daughter, Zylpha Bernal Deck, now 92,
Is the primary source for the bulb's history. She says it
Was given to the city back in 1901 when electric lights
In town.

Since then it has cast its faint glow from four different
Locations in the city. The last time it was relocated
Was last March when it was moved from the First
Street fire house to the new station on East Avenue.

Both Livermore and Fort Worth bulb watchers say
Their respective lamps will burn on for years before
One finally dies out.

The only question is: which one?

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