Recently Opened Time Capsule Contains 100 Year-Old Lightbulbs That Still Work

Engineers at GE's NELA Park facility recently discovered five intact lightbulbs inside a 100-year-old time capsule. And much to the delight of the dudes over in marketing, three of the century-old bulbs still work.

The tungsten filament bulbs needed a little cleaning after being removed from their temporary tomb, but once connected to a socket and slowly powered up to 60-volts, the majority of them slowly came to life. They're obviously not as bright as modern bulbs which use more efficient filaments, but claiming a 100 year shelf life would be impressive even today. [GE via BoingBoing]


    Those were made before the Lightbulb consortium told them to restrict the quality of light bulbs to less and less hours.

      How silly! Working after one hundred years in storage isn't really that amazing for such simple devices and if your conspiracy theory was correct it STILL wouldn't apply here because that's about working time. A long shelf life would only benefit such a "consortium"

        Check you facts 'Ozoneocean'... Nathan is 100% correct.

        Its one of the earliest examples of market fixed whereby the lightbuld quality was reduced in order to sell more replacements. Its actually a fine story on 'planned obselecence'

        'The Phoebus Cartel' - involving Philips, Osram and General Electic (and others) devised the idea that if a lightbulb would die more often - they would sell more light bulbs. Over the next 20 years lightbulb manufacturing was audited so that it would not last longer than 1000watt/hours.

        There is actually a very facinating documentry floating around showing a prgression over a 20 year time period of advertising claiming less and less time until they officially coined the term "1000 watt hour" which in fact they can last many many many! more hours.

        If this story was more public back then - and these truths were properly exposed these companies would have been resposible for holding back civilisation for many decades. Even now I find it discracful that such an amazing invention was suppressed for the sake for money making...

        I suggest before you shoot down a "conspiricy theory" you check your facts instead of shooting from the hip.

        and Nathan... good to know someone out there knows their history too ;)


        Why would it benefit any consortium at all????? planned obsolescence means that it would _hurt_ any consortium.

          You are kidding, right?

          If over a 20 year period the quality of a NESSASARY product is reduced.... it is virtually unnoticable.

          So by reducing the quality of ALL lightbulbs on the market, the bulb fails earlier - which means people are buying bulbs more regulaly?

          More regular buying = more money for the companies

          Its really quite simple....

          PS: A product line doesnt have to die for something to be 'obselete'

          Planned obselecence refers to a particular item being used until it stops working (or becomes obselete for that specific function)

          ie. Light Bulb - stops working/no light..... that lightbulb is now obselete in the world.

          Heres some more reading for you...


          The point is that a long shelf life would benefit a theoretical consortium because that allows them to produce a lot of stock and sit on it as long as they like. They can ramp up production when components are cheap, slow it down when it's not and still have the same output etc...

            You didnt read anything did you.... not even the links?

            You have a partial point but its not as benifical as you think what do you think they would rather - loose minimal on raw materials or make a %[email protected] load of money every day of the week?

            Besides the '1000 watt hour' means a buld will survive for a 1000 hours ON.... who cares how long its in a box for?

            We are talking about a lightbulb here... everyone has had one in on form or another since they were invented.

            Moeny and profit always win my freind.

    I really don't understand the excitement at all. It's a filament inside a piece of glass. Of course it's going to glow as long as the element isn't broken.

    You could literally leave it there for 1000 years and as long as the filament hadn't broken, it would still flow and still glow in the pissweak fashion that it did in the video.

    I really don't understand the excitement at all.

      This proves that 100 years ago they had working light bulbs! 100 years.. think about it. That's almost the middle ages. Those ancients were more advanced than we thought.

    checkout the clip on youtube
    type in the lightbulb conspiracy



      How is it a conspiracy if I just proved it?

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