jump to navigation

Just for Fun: Light Bulbs in Ancient Egypt part III May 18, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Weird Bulb News.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments

ancient egyptian pillars of light

ancient egyptian pillars of light

Zowie! The continued interested in ancient Egyptian Lightbulbs has inspired me (Dr. Z) to post yet another fact filled article on this mysterious subject.

Dr Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

The Denderah “Lightbulb”

Beneath the Temple of Hathor at Dendera there are inscriptions depicting a bulb-like object which some have suggested is reminiscent of a “Crookes tube” (an early lightbulb). Inside the “bulbs” a snake forms a wavy line from a lotus flower (the socket of the bulb). A “wire” leads to a small box on which the air god is kneeling. Beside the bulb stands a two-armed djed pillar, which is connected to the snake, and a baboon bearing two knives. In “The Eyes of the Sphinx”, Erich Von Daniken suggested that the snake represented the filament, the djed pillar was an insulator, and the tube was in fact an ancient electric light bulb. The baboon was apparently a warning that the device could be dangerous if not used correctly.

 

 

The crypts are generally considered to be store-rooms, and only a few are decorated. At the southern end of the temple there are five subterranean crypts. They were thought to house the most valuable of the temple statues and objects including the “ba” of Hathor, used during ritual processions at New Year. A gold statuette of Hathor sat within a large kiosk formed by four gold posts, a gold base and roof. Fine linen hung from copper rails between the posts, so that the goddess remained hidden. According to the texts written on the walls, we know that the kiosk consisted of a gold base surmounted by a gold roof supported by four gold posts, covered on all four sides by linen curtains hung from copper rods. The strange inscriptions are in the easternmost of the small chambers.

The temple is constructed of sandstone, but a large block of limestone had been installed in the wall as the surface for the carving. This indicates that the architects went to some effort to allow the production of fine quality carving.

We do not know the exact origin of the Djed pillar, but its hieroglyphic meaning (“enduring” or “stability” and sometimes “column”) is not doubted. There is no apparent connection between the concept of “enduring” and the process of insulating, but even if there was, the Djed wouldn´t work as an insulator. In a light bulb, the glass bulb itself insulates the filament, and no extra component is required.

The “cable” is described in the text beside the depiction as a symbolic sun barge moving across the sky (in a form which is by no means unique to these carvings). It seems to be a bit of a stretch to describe this as a cable, although I suppose you could argue that the movement of the sun mirrored the movement of electricity. However, the “cable” is attached to what proponents describe as a “socket”, but is in fact a lotus flower. This flower appears in this form all over Egypt, and is always a lotus flower. Furthermore, the text beside the depiction confirms that it is a lotus flower.

Unfortunately, it seems that modern eyes have seen what they want to see in an ancient scene without considering the text provided by the ancient people to explain exactly what they were doing.

In the carvings, Harsamtawy (a form of Horus known as Horus who joins the two lands), son of Hathor, takes the form of a serpent (although he also appears as a hawk). According to one myth, Horus sprung into existence out of a lotus flower which blossomed in the watery abyss of Nun at dawn at the beginning of every year. The “light-bulbs” are in fact lotus flower bulbs, mythologically giving birth to the snake. Another panel shows the bulb opening into a lotus blossom and the snake standing erect in the centre as a representation of the god Horus. On the southern wall of the last room, a falcon, preceded by a snake emerges from a lotus blossom within a boat.

Daumas has suggested that the sacred procession which was held on the eve of the first day of the New Year, began in these rooms. Thus the inscriptions represented the myth which was being celebrated. Of course, the myths have nothing to say regarding lightbulbs, and there is no evidence to substantiate their use from Egyptian remains or text. This is fairly damning as the building of huge stone monuments required the maintenance of detailed and thorough accounts, yet there is no record of any electric devices or the movement of raw materials to create them.

Some are still unwilling to entirely give up on the idea. Instead of claiming that the Egyptians used light bulbs under normal conditions, they suggest that the priests performed a ritual which created a small amount of light during the New Year celebrations. Proponents claim that the reliefs describe a three stage process; first the “bulb” is supported by a kneeling figure making three “waves” emanate from the serpent, then the “bulb” is supported by a Djed pillar making four “waves” emanate from the serpent, finally the “bulb” is placed against a vertical Djed pillar causing five “waves” to emanate from the serpents body. The waves are thought to be evidence of a vibratory process increasing in frequency as the scenes progress.

This is certainly a more creative theory which neatly avoids the lack of any supporting evidence by claiming that the ceremony was ritual and secret. The problem remains that all of the elements are known to have specific meanings from numerous other sources, and the text confirms those meanings. However, it is still possible that the priests encoded a deeper meaning in the text and images.

Why CFLs are Zooper! February 26, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment
Zoinks!

Zoinks!

Gadzooks!

CFLS are Zooper because

1. They use 75% less energy than incandescents!

2. They last 3000 hours (at least) before burning out. Incandescents on average burn out in 1000 hours.

3. You will save $30 in energy costs over the lifetime of a CFL. This little guy pays you to use him!

4. CFLS cost a bit more than incandescents , but you save in the long run because you won’t spend as much on your utility bill each month or buy as many replacement bulbs! Zowie!

5. CFLs create 75% less heat, so they’re safer and don’t heat up your house.  (Incandescents are little heaters.. so maybe we should try cooking some hotdogs over them?)

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

Zoinks!The Livermore Lightbulb Makes the news! February 23, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Gadzooks! Its me, Dr Z! The pharoah of fluorescents and filaments! Exciting news ! The livermore lightbulb (See previous post) made the news on MSNBC!

Watch the above video and enjoy!

Dr Z

www.zbulbs.com

The World’s Oldest Working Lightbulb January 14, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Weird Bulb News.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment
The hardest working bulb in the business!

The hardest working bulb in the business!

 

ZOinkS! It Dr. Z ( www.zbulbs.com ) back again and coming to you from Zbulb labratories! I have come up with the perfect road trip for you bulb fanatics! Deep in the within a fire station in Livermore, California there is a incandescent light bulb that has been burning for over 100 years (most incandescents last at most 6 months to a year) This light bulb has even gained attention in Great Britain and the BBC even did a special article on it!
Check out what they had to say:

The Livermore Light

Less than 25 years after ‘the Wizard of Menlo Park’ secured his patent, the Shelby Electric Company made a carbon-filament lamp with a hand-blown bulb. To be more accurate, they made thousands, but one in particular found its way to the hose-cart house of the fire department of Livermore, California. It was first switched on in the summer of 1901. The same bulb is still working more than a hundred years later1. The claim of World’s Oldest Lightbulb has been verified by the Guinness Book of Records, and is said to be ratified by newspaper records and a technical audit by General Electric.

The ‘Livermore Light’ has burned continuously for most of its life, putting out a steady four watts or thereabouts. It originally served as a nightlight, illuminating the area where the fire-tenders were housed, but has long since progressed to the status of revered curiosity. It has been moved without mishap a couple of times over the years, most recently in 1976 to the current site of the station at 4550 East Avenue.

The bulb’s hundredth birthday was celebrated on 8 June, 2001 with a community barbecue. Three bands provided live music: one contemporary, another playing 1950s tunes and the third performing in the style of the first years of the 20th Century. The Livermore Light has its own website and is open to visits by the public.  http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm

The above link has a web cam where you can see the bulb burning up close and personal! Yowza! Its not the brightest bulb but its there for the long haul.

Zoinks! I’m over and out.

Dr. Z

Livermore, CA (turned on 1901-1905)

Livermore, CA (turned on 1901-1905)