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GE Opens Edison Era Time Capsule, Turns On Century-Old Light Bulb

March 26, 2012
Employees at GE’s NELA Park in East Cleveland, Ohio, opened a century-old time capsule this afternoon. Among the items uncovered were five light bulbs. Three of them appeared to be in working condition.

GE Lighting engineers cleaned one of the bulbs, screwed it into a socket, and powered it up to 60 volts. It started emitting a soft glow, a distant incandescent echo of Thomas Edison’s ingenuity. “It’s a remarkable testament to the craftsmanship and quality of GE products that one of the tungsten filament lamps buried for 100 years showed signs of life,” said Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO of GE Lighting.

The capsule was hidden for 100 years inside a cornerstone of a NELA building. Other items in the container and an accompanying led box (see bottom image) included a daily newspaper, pamphlets, pins and photos.GE built NELA Park, which is celebrating a centenary this year, on the site of abandoned vineyard and opened it in 1912. It was the country’s first industrial campus and GE Lighting’s world headquarters. Aside from the incandescent light bulb, NELA Park engineers perfected other innovative light sources like halogens and LEDs. In 1975, the site was added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

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Images and video credit: GE Lighting