Since 1901, the Livermore Centennial Lightbulb has been shining a light on firefighters.
LIVERMORE, Calif. — Behind the garage doors of the Livermore Fire Station, there’s a highly visited and highly revered tourist attraction.
Inside the visitor’s book, you’ll find tourists have traveled from Germany, Japan and Canada to see the world’s oldest burning lightbulb.
Yes, it’s just a lightbulb and yes, it’s not much to look at, but to Tom Bramell, retired deputy fire chief of the Livermore Fire Department, this bulb represents 120 years of firefighter history.
“This thing has been on duty 24/7, all that time,” Bramell said.
Although we don’t know the exact day, historical records show the bulb was installed in 1901 so fire crew could find hoses and ladders in the dark. It was purchased by water company owner Dennis Bernal and manufactured by the Shelby Electric Company.
“The manufacturer is no longer there. The buildings are no longer there,” Bramell said.
We know the bulb was probably assembled by a team of…