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Burn, Baby, Burn!

Livermore's Centennial Bulb is widely regarded--by the Guinness Book of World Records, by Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and certainly by the city of Livermore--as the world's longest-burning light bulb. Blazing at 60 watts when it was first installed at the city fire department in 1901, the hand-blown, carbon-filament Centennial Bulb's now a weak but steady 4 watts--and a world-famous firehouse fixture.

Many panicked in 2013 when the Centennial Bulb went dark, but it turned out to be a power-supply failure; after a nine-hour lapse, the light regained its aged glow. The bulb's faithful ward, the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, receives visitors who wish to clap eyes on this durable icon. (Delightfully, there's also a real-time "Bulbcam.")

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