Mar 14, 2011

Glowing Testament

One of the Brightest Stars of British Blogland sent me this picture, with a link to the Daily Mail article where you can read the full story.  One might ask what a Nice Girl like the B.S. of B. Blogland was doing reading the Daily Mail, but let that pass . . .

Look at that!  It's a filament electric light bulb that's been lighting somebody's life almost continuously since 1901 . . . that's 110 years ago!  (Full story linked above)  
In the modern consumer society when lots and lots of folk change their cars because the screen needs  washed and their kitchens because the hobs need cleaned and buy a new sofa because DHS keeps telling them they need to buy a new sofa - I exaggerate of course but only slightly . . who wants a light bulb that lasts A HUNDRED YEARS! Particularly one as ugly as that.
That's not really the point, is it?  The point is, if light bulbs made a hundred years ago lasted . . er . . er . . a hundred years, why do modern light bulbs last for about as long as it takes you to jump down off the stool? Oh surely I don't need to spell it out for you? It's because Osram, Philips etc don't want them to. They want you to nip round to B&Q or Morrisons and fill your trolley with enough bulbs to last you till today week.  BTW . . see this guff they tell you about "average life 1000 hours" True, as long as the bulb is UNSHADED, HANGING VERTICALLY DOWN, and is NEVER switched off after it's first switched on. 
A thoroughgoing commitment to a low energy policy would see the Government requiring firms to make consumables and (so-called) durables that last a reasonable length of time. Another example that really annoys me . . fridge/freezer door seals. Unless you're unlucky enough to buy one with a "Friday afternoon" motor or compressor unit, the component that finally sees off your fridge/freezer will be the door seals, which gradually harden and crack until they no longer seal properly and then the unit ices up in no time. Solution. Buy and fit new seals. Ever tried to find a replacement seal for a unit more than about 6 months old?  No, bloggers, the solution that Hopoint, Ariston, Bosch etc want you to go for is a new £250 unit, not a new £25 set of door seals.  Something to do with GDP or something . .  growing the economy.
I could get REALLY ANGRY about the shocking deterioration in the impact resistance of McVitie's Digestive Biscuits, but I'm sure you've all got the point.


  1. Dear Doctor FTSE,
    you took the words out of my mouth! There was an old film about the inventor of a white suit - of course he got fired... Remember (but then: why should you?) the silk stockings that were fabricated to last very, very long? The thing is that the weakest part of the chain is what ruins your possessions: "Sorry, Love, don't have a replacement part for this...must buy a new one..."
    (Having written a well-selling book on household management, I have to tell you that it is worth while to give a drop of glycerine or some talcum powder on the seals of your fridge now and then :-)
    Strange things happen: man being a semiconductor, sometimes, when I get agitated, bulbs pop when I touch the light switch - but seeing that awful light from the energy saving bulbs we were ordered by law to use in Germany now, it is not such a big loss ...

  2. Of course that white suit was undestroyable - must have been Alec Guiness in 'The Man in the White Suit'

  3. Britta . . that's the one. Alec Guiness in The Man In The White Suit. I don't think I ever saw it. Thanks for the tip about the door seals. I will try that.
    I completely agree about the low energy bulbs. The very white light (6500ºK equivalent) is horrible. We can still BUY filament bulbs in the UK and legally use them, but can no longer import them. The low energy ones don't have the life that is claimed for them. The first one we installed popped the first time it was switched on. Another lasted about 2 hours.

  4. it's all about planned obsolesence....sp? Irritates me to no end! And let's not forget the new and improved? florescent bulbs that are supposed to use sooooo much less energy? Well sports fans- they might do that but when it comes to disposing of them good luck! They are considered a hazardous who thought that up? Grrrrrrrrrr

  5. Well now I'm stuck with an imagine of you on a stool after screwing in a new bulb, with a packet of cookies, throwing them one by one on the floor. Impact-resistant Digestives??
    You're wonderfully nutty, Dr.

    Women's stockings, same deal. Runs (ladders) are so un-necessary. Built-in obsolesence (gad I hate it when I have to rely on my own spelling) and all that. It's a Communist plot!

  6. oh dang. Just now saw Kathe W's remark. Guess I'm not special after all.

  7. McVities must have had complaints about the fragility of their Digestive So-Called Biscuits. Not long ago they hit back at criticism by running the following ad.
    can you believe it!! Digestive consumers are perhaps not as stupid as the digestive manufacturers like to think, because the ad. didn't run very long, and slogans began to appear on walls and the sides of railway wagons . .

  8. Rant over!
    Hi Deborah! Good to see you back! I'll change your light-bulbs any day.

  9. The stockings too, Doctor? For Very Silly Medicinal Reasons of course.


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