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re-usable incandescent lights

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17407
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
A friend of mine told me about how boats long ago used incandescent bulbs that were re-usable. The bulbs all had a way of opening them up and replacing the filament. And the boats carried a light bulb repair kit, complete with a bunch of filaments. Imagine: a light bulb that lasts forever. You just have to mend it with a bit of filament every couple of years. Maybe filaments come in 100 packs for $5.

Anybody know of anything like that existing today?  Anybody know of a web page that talks about the old stuff?

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Joined: Nov 13, 2010
Posts: 29
i would imagine the filament is the most expensive part

Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Posts: 25
i wonder how they pulled the vacuum needed ?
tel jetson

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3328
Location: woodland, washington
joan from zone 6 wrote:
i wonder how they pulled the vacuum needed ?

I think incandescent bulbs are filled with inert gas.  maybe there's a vacuum, too.  some high intensity discharge lamps involve vacuums.  maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
The earliest bulbs used a vacuum. Early in the 1900's someone discovered that using an inert gas made the lamp brighter and reduced darkening of the inside of the glass.

Because of the need for either a vacuum or insert gas or at least the absence of oxygen I have trouble understanding why a rebuildable light bulb would have ever been developed or made practical. If there really was such a thing it would be very interesting to see an example and the rebuild kit.
kent smith

Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Pennsylvania
just a wild guess, but were they carbon arc lights?


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
machinemaker wrote:
just a wild guess, but were they carbon arc lights?

There ya' go, but a totally different thing. Never thought of those, Thanks kent
subject: re-usable incandescent lights