Old photographic flash bulb.
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|Old photographic flash bulb.|
Back in the dark ages, cameras used one-time-only flash bulbs that ignited a fine wire inside a glass bulb. Some or all of them used zirconium for the wire, presumably because it burned with a particularly good light. There's a bulb similar to this one under rhenium too, because it contains an igniter wire made of that metal. I don't know if this one uses a rhenium igniter or not, but it's clearly labeled as containing zirconium wire.
The woolly stuff in GE flashbulbs is zirconium. (I.e. , the stuff that burns and makes the light. The bulbs are also filled with a few atmospheres of oxygen). The flashbulbs in the cubes that were used on some Kodak Instamatics were not triggered electrically (with rhenium wire), but with a percussive pyrotechnic mix inside a little metallic tube that stuck out of the bulb.
Source: eBay seller erinsplace
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 August, 2002
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009