Posted By: David Faust
In 1901, an unsuspecting worker climbed a ladder to screw a light bulb into a bare socket dangling in the Livermore Fire Department. At the time, no one in this small California town expected it to be glowing 113-years later.
Now dubbed the “Centennial Light,” this hand-blown glass orb was manufactured by the Shelby Electric Company in Ohio. It was donated to the fire department in 1901 by Dennis Bernal, the owner of the Livermore Power and Water Company. Originally a 60-watt device, nowadays its carbon filament glimmers at a mere 4-watts.
Dazzling the Media
Numerous articles have been written about this shining example of perseverance, including pieces in the Guiness Book of World Records andRipley’s Believe It or Not. Even Snopes.com has investigated and confirmed the legend of the Centennial Light.
Its longevity may be due to the fact that it has been turned off for only a few hours during its 113-year life…in spite of the findings of those luminaries at MythBusters who visited in 2006.
Some say its secret is maintaining a good vacuum. That’s why workers tasked with moving it in 1976 decided to cut its cord rather than risk damage from unscrewing it.
In 2013, fans viewing the bulb via web cam (yes, it has a webcam) were shocked to find darkness. Imagine their relief to learn the bulb was still in good working order…it was the “uninterruptible” power supply that had stopped working! After a seven-hour rest, an extension cord was brought to the rescue.
Just to show this “trideca-centenarian”* has kept up with the times, our tenacious friend even has its own Facebook page with over 8,000 likes.
* (Yes, “triskaideka-” is more familiar, but that would mix a Greek prefix with the Latin “centenarian”…it’s amazing what you can learn on the Internet!)
In the world of incandescent lights, this kind of sustained performance is rare. Not to steal the limelight, but FairCom customers have come to expect high availability for the log run: They report their c‑treeACE servers just keep on running with up-time measured in years. And when disaster strikes, FairCom offers numerous safeguards to ensure data integrity. In the end, reliability benefits your company.
We hope this issue of our eNewsletter has shed some light on “high-availability.”