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The story of Edison slaving away trying one kind of filament after another until he finally hit on one that would burn long enough to be practical is a classic story of cleverness and hard work. And this is an example of the kind of lamp he came up with, the carbon filament incandescent bulb. Compared to modern tungsten filament bulbs these were dim, inefficient, and short-lived bulbs that burned so hot they tended to set things on fire. Compared to candles, oil lanterns and gas lights, they were bright, efficient, clean bulbs that were much less likely to set anything on fire. It's all relative. And of course modern tungsten filament bulbs are horribly dingy and inefficient compared to fluorescent or LED bulbs.
The filament in this bulb looks shiny, almost like wire. The bulb expert it's from explains:
The large tipless carbon is a bulb made in the late teens [1910's] as the carbon was nearly at the end of its life cycle and having reached its greatest efficiency point before being replaced forever by tungsten. This was the "improved" carbon or "metalized" carbon which was a graphite paste baked over the carbon core.This bulb is displayed in my Bulb Stand.
Source: eBay seller nwy
Contributor: eBay seller nwy
Acquired: 20 November, 2003
Text Updated: 24 January, 2010
Sample Group: Light Bulbs