Do you know for how long a light bulb can last? 1000 hours, 1500 hours, 3000 hours? What if I say there is an light bulb lasted for more than 120 year and still counting, you will definitely say are you kidding me?, mine doesn’t last for more than 1000 hours. Or you may ask which machine has manufactured it? But what if I say it is hand made. Read on full article to know why life span of light bulbs are made to decrease by some giant light bulb manufacturers…
In Livermore Fire station 6 there is a light bulb active from more than 120 years hand made. The light doesn’t have a switch but it has battery back an a power generator. The bulb is never switched off as by cooling and heating up again there act stress on filament which decreases the life span of bulb.
When everyone is trying to make a filament they failed the filament burned with contact of oxygen, so in 1840s Warren De La Rue told to put the filament in vacuum so if there is no contact of oxygen and no burn. In 1879 Thomas Edison invented a perfect light bulb by making filament of carbon, from then onwards everyone tried different filament to increase the life span and then come up with tungsten. And in 1920s the life of bulbs were at peak lasting from 2000 hours to 2500 hours normally.
But at these time the sales were at least for the bulb manufacturers for example OSRAM sold 63 million bulbs in 1923, and in 1924 only 28 million. So the giant manufacturers of that come with a meeting. In 1924 at Geneva, Switzerland before christmas the giants Philips, International General Electric, Tokyo Electric, OSRAM from Germany, UK Associated Electric(AEI) formed a cartel named Phoebus Cartel after the name of Greek God of light.
They agreed to decrease the life of bulbs to 1000 hours, the same way engineer discovered to increase, they told their engineers to decrease the life of bulbs. But, due to lack of trust they agreed to send bulbs from every factory to a lab for test. If the bulb lasts for 1000 hours is fine, but if it lasts more than 3000 hours then there is a fine of 200 Swiss Francs for every 1000 bulbs sold.
There again one question of will every manufacturer will follow or not? So they divided the area of sales. They were successful in there plan. The life of light bulbs decreased and there increased tremendously. They sold with same price to increase the profit.
The cartel was made to last till 1955 but it ended in 1930s. However there were allegations on cartel, but they said that cartel in established for improvements in the bulb. The screw thread in bulbs are introduced by them.
The light bulb of Livermore is made before the formation of cartel that’s why it is there.
These is not the end of this case as there is still this type of work is going on.
In 2003 the video of Casey Neistat was gone viral as he tried to protest against apple. Apple launched IPod having non removable memory which lasts only for 18 months, and after that you have to give 250$ to refurbish it. So there was a case in court against this which Apple settled outside court.