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Bulbs: 1925

Bulbs: 1925

March 12, 1925. "C.W. Mitman of Smithsonian Institution with giant and midget bulbs." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.


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I see a tiny man holding a normal size bulb.

40,000 watt bulb!

Washington Post, Mar 12, 1925

Giant Electric Lamp and Midget Bulb Here

The largest and smallest electric light bulbs ever seen in Washington were received at the Smithsonian institution yesterday by Carl W. Mitman, curator of the department of engineering.

The bulbs arrived by special messenger from the Edison Electric Light Company, of New Jersey. One came in a packing case, which was so large the messenger was forced to obtain a section on the train for its disposal. The tiny glass bulb was wrapped in tissue paper and carried in a sealed envelope in the messenger's pocket.

While the big bulb represents 40,000 watts of electricity, the small bulb is known as the "grain of wheat" on account of its size. It is extremely fragile and corresponds to a miniature incandescent lamp. When the proper electrical equipment has been installed the two bulbs will be placed on exhibition in the museum, special cases having been provided for them.

Happy Giant

The filaments in the giant bulb do sorta suggest a face, don't they?

Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America


It took me a minute to spot the midget bulb. The photographer helped Mr. Mitman by loaning him the dark slide out of the film holder from his camera to function as a backdrop for the tiny bulb.


It seems to me the photographer may have been having some fun with the shapes of the giant bulb and Mr. Mitman's head...

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