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World's Oldest Lightbulb Has Been Burning For 112 YEARS

Look at that - it's not a CFL - it's an incandescent!

Apparently it's outlasted 3 cameras that have been filming it for posterity.

Makes you wonder: if incandescent bulbs last so long, why are we being forced to use Compact Fluorescents that are fragile, don't really last that long, and oh yeah, they have mercury in them?

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Some basic physics if you will

Basic physics will dictate the life of this bulb. Heating and cooling a bulb (turning it on and off) causes the metal to expand and contract. Much like bending a paper clip side to side repeatedly the metal eventually fatigues and breaks. And, since the bulbs are usually coiled, the spring coupled with the heated expansion causes the violent separation. This bulb has lasted so long because it is always on. Had they been turning it on and off all these years it would already be dead.

Mind you I don't give one rats ass what type of bulb you choose to use I'm just stating elementary physics.

As someone pointed out below,

As someone pointed out below, the reason it has lasted so long is because the filament is thick. This is indeed correct. The reason is that the filament is thick. All this hysteria about "well if it lasts so long...!" The lightbulb also isnt very bright either as can be seen.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

how thick is it?

how thick is it?

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

long life = low efficiency

incandescent bulbs are more efficient the hotter they burn.
the hotter they burn, the shorter the life.
Edisons first bulbs produced 1.4 lumens per watt.
modern common bulbs produce 12+- lumens per watt.
compact fluorescents produce 50+- lumens per watt.
newer 4' fluorscent lamps produce 100 lumens per watt.

Planned obsolescence

"Makes you wonder: if incandescent bulbs last so long, why are we being forced to use Compact Fluorescents that are fragile".
That's not the question. The question is, why don't the light bulbs of today last for years too? And the answer is 'planned obsolescence'‎. It's a widespread industry policy, and another simptom of the putrid economic system.

By the way, it's not a conspiracy theory, it's openly accepted by the industry. This documentary proves it 100%. The famous bulb is featured in it:
Make sure to enable the subtitles for when they don't speak English.

Exactly right

Think about the early Ford pickup trucks. Those things were indestructible, but later on Ford came to stand for Fix Or Repair Daily.

We put a man on the moon but couldn't figure out how to make a car last more than 5 years? Yeah right.

The problem was vehicles tore up too well and Toyota came and ate our lunch. Only recently have American car companies tried to embrace quality again.

That's the documentary I saw where I first heard about

this lightbulb. Thanks for reminding me of it!

Like plastic, knowledge comes full-circle. Thanks.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.


Have you people been drinking the kool-aid? Did you get your science education from Saturday matinee "B" grade sci-fi movies? (oops - that one's for the NIMBYs. But you get my point.) If the filament is running at a low enough temperature that the vapor pressure of the tungsten is lower than the pressure of the inert fill gas, any bulb can last indefinitely. Of course, they're making such a big deal out of it because they're so used to bulbs that operate right on the hairy edge of the voltage/liftime/brightness curve to get a compromise between brightness and lifetime. "A 60-watt bulb that's running at about four watts..." Well, duh! Of course it will last forever! But you probably couldn't read line two of an eye chart by the light from it. You could run an ordinary 60-watt bulb so bright that you could use it for a stage spot, for about a millisecond.

And the green weenies/ecofreaks are pushing the crappy bulbs because they've been told to; they're one of the factions of the Useful Idiots™. Of course, nobody mentions the fact that the mercury in the crappy bulbs goes into the ground water unless you pay more for "proper disposal of hazardous waste" than the bulb is worth. And the phosphor is toxic - if you break one, you have to call a Hazmat team to clean that up. (or at least not breathe the dust until you get it all mopped - yes, mopped, so that you don't raise more dust - up.)

Back when I was in school and we had to walk five miles uphill both ways through ten feet of snow with nothing but tree bark for our feet, they actually taught us stuff. But they've had about two generations to turn the schools into nothing but propaganda mills, which is why the Freedom movement is such a Godsend.

Freedom is my Worship Word!

Well sure - all that good stuff.

But when the bulb was first installed it was operated at full power. Also note that it went out for a few hours in April but it came back. Not to mention that being in California it has likely survived some earthquake turbulence.

In other words - is miracle!

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

LED Bulbs

LED light bulbs are the way to go for sure. It took me a few tries to find a type of them I like, as the first couple I bought were weaker than I liked. Then I found some that were brighter than the relative crappy ones, and I'll be taking them with me when I move out of my current apartment because I like them so much. I think cheaper electricity, brighter light and less likely to break is a great combo.

I use LED rope lighting to light my apartment and patio.

I use it for accent lighting and, most of the time, it is the only lighting we use. It is really cheap (about a dollar a foot). I use cheap LED lamp assemblies, either AC current or battery, for lighting my computer armoire, my bedstead, entertainment center and bookcases.
I figure I have about $225 invested, save at least $25/month on my electric bill and I still about 75 feet of rope lighting left over.

All lightbulbs can last so long; the 1,000 hr bulb is deliberate

All light bulbs could last so long. The 1,000 hour bulb is deliberate, planned obsolescence: It would be VERY bad for GE's business if everyone only had to buy a lightbulb once, and even pass them down from generation to generation. Most likely, the filament in this bulb is very thick, and therefore doesn't disinterate. It also needs a lot of electricity to shine. But a least, it lasts forever.

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

"planned obsolescence"

I don't know, I find that particular conspiracy theory a little iffy. Like I said in my other post, you could run a bulb indefinitely, if you run it so dim that you couldn't read by it. The 1000 hours (or whatever) is an acceptable compromise, because if you run a tungsten filament bulb bright enough to be useful, it's doomed from the start, and the bulb engineers know that, and they tell you about the expected lifetime up front so that you don't get too P.O'd when it does finally die of old age.

A 100-watt "long-life" bulb is a 110 or 120-watt bulb that's run at a slightly lower voltage than its design target. (IOW, a bulb that gives you 120 watts at 135 volts gives you 100 watts at 120.)

I'm keeping an open mind on the LED's - we'll see if they can come up with one with a color temperature similar to incandescents or even daylight at a competitive price. They have no hazmat, and they don't use much power, and the engineers and researchers are improving them apace.

(FWIW, I've been an electronics nerd since before TVs were affordable for the average household. People would walk downtown (which wasn't really 5 miles uphill through 10 feet of snow, and we had shoes ;-) ) to watch the TV in the store window. ($600.00 was a LOT of money when a house cost $7,000.))

Freedom is my Worship Word!

Planned Obsolescence is not a theory

It's a Consumerism standard for any industry providing consumer goods. I learned about it when I was in school for marketing and have created many ads for products in my decade-long career in advertising that are meant to break eventually.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

That's exactly right. GM cars were designed to last 5 years

That's exactly right. GM cars were designed to last 5 years in the 70s and 80s, based on marketing predictions of consumer behavior of the late 60s. GM and Ford and others built like crap to guarantee a constant turnover of automobiles. But this ran up against the rotten economy of the late 70s, and people needed more than 5 years out of their vehicles. In came the Japanese, whose automobiles didn't fall apart after 60 months.

When I bought my wife her first car, the seller was a Chinese engineering student. He worked for an automobile firm in China, and told me "all auto parts are designed so the maximum life a car can possibly achieve is 300,000 miles." Much better than GM's planned obsolesence of the 70s, but still, failure is still built into products.

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

Lol I have a Thorens TD-124

Lol I have a Thorens TD-124 record player I inherited from my Grandfather that was manufactured in 1958 and it still works like new.

I have had my cell phone for a few months and it already is having problems...

The tragic aftermath of 'planned obsolence' is the massive piles of electronic waste we ship to 3rd world countried that desperate people have to dig through to find toxic and valuable materials.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

I sold my first iPhone to a friend who still has it

and it works just fine. But slow.

My last iPhone had burned out pixels on the screen, crappy speaker in the earpiece, apps kept crashing, and finally it just wouldn't boot up anymore.

The parts and materials to make long-lasting products are there but they don't result in as big of a profit. Unfortunately this is the current mindset of this crumbling Industrial Age. Not for long though.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


Can you come up with an example of a product that could be made to last a lot longer without adding to the cost? Obviously for many products you can buy the cheaper stuff that wears out, or buy things that cost more but last a lot longer. That's not what people mean by planned obsolescence.

Suppose company X has a product that they could make at the same cost with higher quality, but they don't because with planned obsolescence they can sell more product at the same profit per unit. But now there's a potential market just waiting for company Y to come along and sell a higher-quality product at that same price. Which are consumers going to buy? Company X is now making less money than they could have, not more.

So I'd be curious to see some examples, and how they avoid that kind of competition taking their market share away.

An automobile made out of HEMP materials

everything from the body to the tires to the fuel and whatever else, can be made from a plant that doesn't require any mining in 3rd World countries. Hemp is the most resilient natural fiber known to man.

Company X puts a bullet in Company Y. Problem Solved. Business as Usual.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Not sure if serious

But if you could make a car out of hemp, and make it as cheap or cheaper than existing cars, then what stops companies all over the world from doing it? If there's money to be made then why isn't someone out there making it?

Not just in the USA, where there would be lots of regulatory hurdles, but consider foreign countries where regulations about safety and whatever wouldn't be an obstacle, and importing autos is expensive ... what's stopping some wealthy person in such a country from becoming even more wealthy by producing hemp cars that are cheaper and more durable than the metal and plastic stuff coming out of the US and Japan?

Now, are YOU serious?

What do you mean what's stopping it? Uhhh the WHOLE automotive industry, Steel Industry, the OIL industry, Traditional Rubber Industry, The mining industry, the chemical industry...

Should I continue?

The World is owned and controlled by Corporate Power. You think these HUGE companies that have been around for hundreds of years will just sit quietly while some "Hippie" builds his cheaper, soil-grown-material car that runs on hemp fuel rather than petrol?

GREED is the problem. As long as these OLD methods and industries all make BIllions in profits from a co-dependant system, why in the world would they let ONE company destroy generations of corporate growth? They WON'T and they HAVEN'T. They call in legal favours from their political puppets to make it impossible for such manufacturing to get any kind of grant or funding, they'll keep dishing out millions to the anti-hemp/marijuana lobbyists, they'll even have their pals in the patent office bury REAL advances in technology for reasons of "National Security".

The CAR made of HEMP WAS made, so the question is WHY did it "Go Away" and WHO made it so?

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

That doesn't even begin to answer the question

The question is why *nobody in the world* is making cars that way if it's both cheaper and better than the current metal/plastic materials.

Set aside this country for a moment. What about China, a country where industrial hemp is legal, and a country that has the engineering and manufacturing infrastructure to pull it off, with a huge domestic market for a cheaper and better car, and plenty of wealthy people who would love to find a way to become even wealthier. What's stopping them from doing it? The same goes for lots of other countries in the world that are not under the thumb of the US Auto Oligopoly.

But now what about the US? It's not a question about whether those huge companies would allow *one* to do it, it's a question about why they don't *all* do it collectively. They could use those favors from their political puppets that you mentioned to make it possible for them to all simultaneously roll out these new hemp cars that are cheaper and better than anything Japan has to offer, revitalizing the US auto industry. Why wouldn't they?

But even if there's an obstacle to that, a car is made up of many components and the hemp car claim is that those components could be made from hemp. If they could ALL be made from hemp, then any ONE could be made from hemp. What's stopping any of the countries that produce hemp products now from becoming a source for any of the components that go into making a car? Tesla Motors could use hemp body panels, if it would be a cheaper and stronger product than the carbon fiber composite they currently use. But they don't.

Because they have too much invested in THIS system

Why would they start at the bottom and build up a completely new industry? What about the costs of shutting down the old plants? What about all the steel workers, the oil rig workers, the miners, etc.? Will they all be given Hemp Farming land?

It's not just about the GAIN they COULD all receive, be it financial or even moral—No, it's mostly about the COST of the LOSS of the infrastructure they have set up all over the globe that would cut into their profits.

This is why you CANNOT look to the OLD WAYS for NEW ones. You have to create the NEW ones independently of the OLD. Except that the OLD Guards will not let that happen. They are happy making Billions every year even if it means polluting and getting your materials from conflict zones.

Of course not ALL components could be made from hemp alone. You still need computers and circuits and light bulbs and all that but the BULK of the product including its fuel could come from Hemp.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Still ignoring the argument

China already has industrial hemp. They have domestic auto manufacturers competing for the domestic market, which is needless to say a *huge* market. People start up new factories in China all the time. None of your arguments explain why some wealthy group of guys in China wouldn't want to take this marvelous hemp idea and start making cars that would be cheaper and of higher quality than any of the local competitors.

You also ignore the point about being able to make individual components from hemp. Look at a market like China, where dozens of small auto manufacturers are looking for any edge that would make them more competitive. *If* it were possible to use the hemp that's already available in China to make, say, body panels or a unibody shell or whatever, that would be cheaper and lighter and stronger than the alternatives, why wouldn't some smart wealthy guy be out there taking that business away from the poor saps who are still trying to make those parts with metal?

It might be harder to make that kind of change in the USA, but if there's money to be made by doing it then do you think that "what about the steel workers?" is really the question that's going to come up in the board room? They've had to change the way they built cars before. They've started up new production lines to build cars in more modern ways without shutting down the old ones. Old production lines can be retooled, and if they can put more money in their pockets by doing so, what's stopping them? And if they really had the politician puppets in their pocket and getting hemp was the only obstacle to making more money, why wouldn't they just get those puppets to let them have hemp?

One explanation is that the free market in hemp-based automobile manufacture has been completely stymied in *every* country of the world, including countries where industrial hemp is available, by an automotive oligopoly that somehow extends its power into countries where it really has no significant control. And not just partially stymied, but completely stymied so that parts manufacturers around the globe don't even dare make components out of hemp in order to reduce costs, sell a better product at a lower price, get a larger share of the local market, and put more cash in their pockets.

An alternate explanation is that you can't make a body panel out of hemp that is stronger and cheaper than the alternatives in other materials, and ditto for any other parts that would be made out of hemp *somewhere in the world* if there were an economic advantage to doing so.

The soybean car (1941)

What is it?
The "Soybean Car" was actually a plastic-bodied car unveiled by Henry Ford on August 13, 1941 at Dearborn Days, an annual community festival.

What was it made of?
The frame, made of tubular steel, had 14 plastic panels attached to it. The car weighed 2000 lbs., 1000 lbs. lighter than a steel car. The exact ingredients of the plastic panels are unknown because no record of the formula exists today. One article claims that they were made from a chemical formula that, among many other ingredients, included soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie; while the man who was instrumental in creating the car, Lowell E. Overly, claims it was "…soybean fiber in a phenolic resin with formaldehyde used in the impregnation" (Davis, 51).

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

This is the sort of conversation I enjoy starting...

lightbulbs lead to planned obsolescence leads to hemp leads to...

Well, it all leads to greater knowledge for all participants and an increased ability to be conversant in a wide range of topics which then leads to an ability to see different topics from different angles. And a dose of humbling. All of this is necessary for we the future leaders who will one day soon rebuild a greater nation from the ashes of the one burning now.

What does an old lightbulb in California have to do with the liberty movement? EVERYTHING.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

"Henry Ford's first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline...

and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, 'grown from the soil,' had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel..."

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

That is a good point to bring

That is a good point to bring up but the answer lies in 'innovation' of new features. Apple knows when it roles out its new version every lets say 6 months that people will flock to buy it even though there may be only a few new features. They have no incentive to make products that last longer than that if enough people line up for the new product every time around.

Most cell phones that are thrown away are completely functional, people just toss them to get the latest 'gadget'.

A good example for you is light bulbs, LED's are far more efficient and last for years but people would rather buy standard ones for cheap even if they last a couple of months.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

I see that as a different issue

You could build computers that would last longer than Apple products, but in that case the problem is that technology advances make old computers worth very little. I have an old low-end Apple computer, more than 10 years old, that the kids use to play DVDs but even though it hasn't broken down it's not useful for anything else. We have another high-end Apple computer that's more like 12 years old that gets used for email and word processing, and I almost wish it *would* break so I'd have an excuse to go buy a new one, but for now it serves a very limited purpose.

Actually other than a couple of disk drives that failed after 10+ years of heavy use, I don't think I've ever had an apple computer die on me, and I've owned a lot of Apple computers over the decades, tend to use them very, very heavily for school and/or work and personal use, and keep finding uses for the old ones so that the shortest time I've used any one of them is at least six years. Hardware quality isn't generally one of the complaints I'd have about Apple.

good example for you is light bulbs, LED's are far more efficient and last for years but people would rather buy standard ones for cheap even if they last a couple of months.

That's a case of a better product at a much higher price, although arguably (if they last as long as they're supposed to) a lower cost over the long run. I've already had a couple of them fail out of a dozen or so in the house, so I don't know if they're really going to pay off over the long run. Anyway, not really a straight-up comparison with incandescent even if they turn out to be the best new technology.

When you get it right, you get it right...

We always assume that technology will just progress and progress. So we always assume that new products will improve upon old products. But who knows? Sometimes you nail it on the first try!