Photo: Flickr / Jones Photography
This week’s 100th anniversary celebration of the world headquarters of GE Lighting was an illuminating one. Literally.
On March, 25th, 1912, two decades after General Thomson-Houston merged with the Edison General Electric Company to form General Electric (GE), the cornerstone of the company’s lighting division was being laid at Nela Park industrial park in East Cleveland, Ohio. To commemorate the event, GE buried a time capsule.
This past Monday, exactly a century later, a new generation of company workers dug it up.
While the artifacts inside — a copy of The Plain Dealer dated Thursday, March 21, 1912, a photo of the GE board of directors, pins, a book of technical specifications, and a journal entitled “Developing An Industry” — were certainly historically exciting, what was packed in sand above the lead box is the real newsmaker. But not until it was actually screwed in.
Used as a representation of the new incandescent technologies coming from GE at the time were five, 40-watt tungsten-filament light bulbs. After a good dusting off, one of them was tested in a special socket on-site and was successfully brought to life.
“It’s fitting that this time capsule was meant to be unearthed when significant changes in the incandescent light bulb occurred,” said GE Lighting’s President & CEO Maryrose Sylvester. “We’re celebrating innovation at a time when GE scientists and engineers at Nela Park and around the world are developing advanced lighting solutions that are transforming not only the application of lighting, but also the business of lighting.”
The energy efficient light bulbs of our time will surely be the symbols of a bygone era when they too are dredged up from the dirt in another hundred years. In keeping with tradition, Nela Park employees will bury a new time capsule in April 2013 containing a GE Energy Smart 60-watt LED bulb that has a shelf life of 22 years when operated for three hours a day.
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