On our way back down to SoCal, I wanted to stop off in Livermore to visit the Centennial Light, the world's longest lasting light bulb. It's been burning continuously since 1901!
Lil' sis, used to my oddities, agreed to the slight detour, but since she was feeling poorly, decided to stay in the car.
The centennial light bulb has been burning continuously since 1901! It's in the Guinness Book of World Records. It even has a 24-hour webcam focused on it at all times. We're already here, does she really want to miss out on this chance to see it?
Evidently she did, so I proceeded to the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Station #6 by myself.
I didn't see anyone around and tried going around back to see if anyone was there.
Ooh! There it is! Can you see?
Hmm. Still no one around. I wanted a closer look, but didn't want to enter forbidden territory.
So I went back to the front again and knocked on the door again.
This time, a firefighter let me in and led me to the Centennial Light. See the webcam that's always trained on it?
The light bulb is a four-watt, hand-blown, carbon filament made in the late 1890s by the Shelby Electric Company in Shelby, Ohio. Dennis Bernal, who owned the Livermore Power and Water Company donated the light bulb to the fire department when he sold the company. Back then, having a steady source of light was a big deal when firefighters had to respond to calls in the middle of the night and needed to get ready in a hurry.
The light has been moved to a few locations and was turned off for 22 minutes when it was moved to this fire station in 1976. It has not been shut off since then and has a dedicated generator so it won't get affected by power outages.
I forgot what else the fire fighter told me. He said several people come each week to take a gander at the bulb and while he seemed a little exasperated with the attention it took away from his duties, he kept telling me stories about it!
And made sure that I signed the guest book before I left. I chuckled at the comment left right before mine, "To be honest, I came to see the cute fire fighters. The bulb is just an excuse."
A timeline of its history.
He showed me the children's books that had been written about the light bulb.
President George W. Bush sent a letter for its birthday.
As did a lot of other politicians.
Just a 10-minute detour. I had a sickly lil' sis waiting for me in the car and a long drive back home. Man, lil' sis totally missed out, huh?!
All Northern California posts can be found with the tag, Series: NorCal, but I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
Persian Dill Rice
Chai Thai Noodles - Oakland
Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe - Oakland
Fentons Creamery & Restaurant - Oakland
Chinatown - San Francisco
Eastern Bakery - San Francisco (Chinatown)
House of Nanking - San Francisco (Financial District)
Banana Leaf Restaurant - Milpitas
Jovino - San Francisco (Marina/Cow Hollow (Closed)
Miette Patisserie (Ferry Building) - San Francisco (Embarcadero)
Butterfly Restaurant (Pier 33) - San Francisco (Embarcadero)
Imperial Tea Court (Ferry Building) - San Francisco (Embarcadero)
Sura Korean Cuisine - Oakland
Centennial Light (World's Longest Lasting Light Bulb) - Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department Station 6 - Livermore
Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant - Coalinga
Chao Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge)
Chinese Scallion Cilantro Dipping Sauce
(World's Longest Lasting Light Bulb)
Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department Station 6
4550 East Ave.
Livermore, CA 94550
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