FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Deep inside of the Livestock Exchange building, you will find the Stockyards Museum.
“During the first World War, there were more horses and mules sold from the Fort Worth Stockyards than anyplace else in the world,” said Teresa Burleson with the Stockyards Museum. She gave us a tour and, while you will find all kinds of great pieces from long ago, you will also find one item that makes history every day.
It’s the second longest lasting light bulb in the world, and it has been burning for 107 years. “Well, on September 21, 1908, this light bulb was installed by the stage door at the Byers Opera House,” Burleson said. The opera house was turned into a movie theater that was torn down in the late 1970s. The bulb then went to a local man’s home.
“He was getting older and he needed someone to take care of the bulb, because it never did burn out,” Burleson said.
The longest lasting light bulb is at a firehouse in California. It even has its own live webcam. It’s seven years older than the one in Fort Worth, but they have something in common. Both were made by the Shelby Electric Company.
(It’s worth mentioning that the Fort Worth light bulb does have its own Facebook page.)
If light bulbs made more than a century ago are still in service today, why do the ones in our homes seem to burn out after just a couple of months? “We hear that comment all the time. It kind of makes you wonder,” Burleson said.
Burleson was not sure about the bulb’s wattage. But, when you see it, the light bulb is not as bright as you might think. That is on purpose. “We have it on a dimmer to preserve it. It could be brighter,” she said.
When the power goes out, people at the museum get a little nervous. “We always hold our breath,” Burleson said.
And should the bulb ever go out and not come back on, that is going to be really hard to take. When asked what she would do, Burleson said, “Cry. I’m not even going to think about that.” Let’s hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon.