A Light in the Darkness

Guesses for today’s What-in-the-WORLD?-Wednesday artifact ranged from ink blotter, to salt shaker, to wax seal. Logical responses but nowhere near the mark.

Part of our massive Central Maine Power Collection, this strange-looking object is a blackout light bulb, circa 1941-1945. Used to provide low-level directional light during WWII blackout periods, the shape of the radio-tube bulb was unique to maker Wabash Lamp Works of Indiana (later known as Wabash Appliance Co.).

Artificial lights such as this and many others throughout history are the subject of our first “Extraordinary Histories of Ordinary Things” book discussion program on February 28. Jane Brox’s critically-acclaimed Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light kicks off the four-session series. For more information, and to sign up, visit the MHS Programs page.

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