World’s oldest light bulb still shining bright after 110 yeras in California

World’s oldest light bulb still shining bright after 110 yeras in California

The world’s oldest lightbulb turns 110 Saturday in Livermore, Calif., a tiny 4-watt night light that has burned its way into the Guinness World Records.

The bulb first lit up in 1901 when it was donated to the fire department — before the Titanic sank and before San Francisco endured its disastrous quake.

On Saturday, the Livermore Firehouse, which has moved the bulb three or four times since 1901, is to celebrate the birthday with cakes, parades, speeches and a brass band.

What other lightbulb has its own profile on Facebook and is watched over by a webcam which offers round-the-clock proof of its continued activity?

“In our guestbook we have people from Germany, China, Japan, Russia, England, you name it,” beams Lynn Owens, 67, the former division chief for the Livermore Fire Department who has looked after the bulb for 30 years.

As “spokesperson” for the Centennial Lightbulb, Owens has an answer to all questions but one.

“Why does she burn longer than all the others? That is the mystery that nobody knows,” he says.

Lots of experts have tried to establish precisely why, but none of them came to a convincing conclusion.

“No one turns it on and off, maybe that’s why it lasts so long,” Owens guesses.

The bulb hangs well over five metres above the floor of the fire station, and the small switch at its base is out of reach.

The hand-blown bulb was made in the 1890s by Shelby Electrics Company in Ohio.

The owner of an energy company in Livermore gave it as a present to the local Fire Department, which was at the time still using kerosene lamps. So as not to not leave the station completely in the dark at night, the bulb was left burning ’round the clock.

“She was meant to be a little nightlight, it just gives the room a little warm glow,” Owens notes.

With a carbon filament and just 4 watts, it tirelessly gives off a gentle, amber-yellow light. Night or day, nobody turns it off.

The bulb first caught the public eye in 1972, when a newspaper reporter looked into its longevity and suggested it should be in the Guinness World Records.

The true test came in 1976, with the move to a new firehouse. Wrapped in foam, with a siren-wailing police guard, it was rushed to a new site where it was carefully hung from the ceiling.

“It was off maybe at the most seven, eight minutes,” Owens recalls.

A soft click on the old switch at the base, and it glowed on. It has not stopped since. Not even a power cut can get it, because it is plugged onto an emergency power appliance.

This bulb, which survived the 1906 San Francisco quake disaster 60 km distant from Livermore and numerous energy crises since, runs no risk of being replaced by a power-saving light bulb.

“Nobody will ever touch it again,” Owens says.

“And if she burns out one day, the bulb will never leave Livermore.”

Just in case, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum has already enquired about the possibility of taking it.

The bulb shows no signs of aging, not even a nervous flicker before its 110th birthday.

World’s oldest living man with good health set Guinness World Record – Walter Breuning

Guinness Records’ oldest living man still enjoys good health after 113 years

Guinness World Records calls Walter Breuning the world’s oldest living man.

A resident of the Rainbow Retirement Community in Great Falls, Mont., for 30 years, Breuning swears by a simple regimen: exercise, eat (but only two meals per day, plus one baby aspirin), work, repeat.

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World’s oldest living man with good health Mr.Walter Breuning photo

Of course, at 113, Breuning doesn’t work much these days. He performs light, upper-body calisthenics for 10 minutes each morning, listens to radio news (his deteriorating eyesight prevents him from reading), entertains a continuous stream of visitors and retires by 8 p.m. Despite some wear and tear, Breuning, who uses a walker, has a clean bill of health.

“The way I feel, I’ll be here a long time yet,” he says.

Walter Breuning maintains an unequivocally rosy outlook on life. While many adults dread old age, Breuning thinks people ages 19 to 25 are the most troubled; after that, each year marks an improvement.

He began his 50-year career with the Great Northern Railway as a teenager, in 1913. He enlisted for military service during World War I but was never called for duty. By the time World War II flared, he was too old to serve. His wife of 35 years died in 1957.

Last year, researchers from Boston University visited Breuning, extracting blood for a study on genetic markers of long life. Breuning told them they weren’t going to find anything revelatory.

His own prescription for healthy aging is following a daily routine. And death doesn’t require a second thought.

“You’re born to die,” he says. “Everybody should know that. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

World’s oldest living man with good health – Mr.Walter Breuning Video
 

Oldest man to climb the largest Kilimanjaro mountain set Guinness World Record

Mount Kilimanjaro began forming in Africa’s Great Rift Valley around a million years ago. George Solt, from Buckinghamshire, has not been around for quite as long as that, but at the age of 82, he has become the oldest man to climb the world’s largest free-standing mountain.

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    Oldest man to climb the largest Kilimanjaro mountain Photo

Mr Solt took on the challenge with his son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, one of whom is 12 years old, in memory of his wife, Jen, who died last year. The money he raised by doing the climb will go towards Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes, where his wife spent her final days. “It’s great, I can say I’m a world record holder and have done something no one else has ever done,” Mr Solt said.

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                           Kilimanjaro mountain Picture

It took the group six days to get up and two days to get down Kilimanjaro. Mr Solt had prepared for months, using weights, cycling hard and walking. The hardest part about the challenge, he said, were the “headaches, nausea and plain tiredness”. When he reached the top of the 5,895m peak, Mr Solt said, he was “totally blank and exhausted. I was just glad to be able to turn around and get down again”.

But it was then that he encountered the most difficulty. He said the descent was “absolutely awful, I was absolutely wrecked. The bottom half was the worst, in the wet rainforest, it was very slippery, the next day I couldn’t even walk down the hotel steps”.

His 52-year-old son didn’t make it to the summit: “He just suddenly went absolutely bananas and had to be taken down and was extremely ill on the way down but right as rain the minute he got to the bottom.”

Mrs Solt had been a keen climber too, mountaineering until she was 80, but suffered from altitude sickness, which meant the couple did most of their climbing in Europe, rather than on higher peaks such as Everest.

Mr Solt is five years younger than the Frenchman Valtée Daniel who, at 87, claims to be the oldest man to have climbed the mountain. But Mr Daniel’s climb has never been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, who insist on certain rules being followed in order for a climber’s claim to be accepted. In particular, the record attempt has to be verified by independent witnesses, must be filmed and photographed as well as meticulously documented in a logbook.

Mr Solt reached Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru peak on 14 July 2010, and is now resting at home, waiting for Guinness World Records to verify his climb.