10 Amazing Old Stuff That Still Works
1World's Oldest Lightbulb – Working for 111 years
The longest time the Guinness World Record-holding bulb has ever been turned off for is just a week. Dangling above the fire engines, people come for hundreds and thousands of miles to see the diminutive symbol. The bulb was designed by Adolphe Chailet, who competed with the likes of the world-famous Thomas Edison to make the best bulb.
2World's Oldest Vacuum Cleaner – Working since 1904
Despite his enthusiasm for old machines, his wife Jacqueline ignores the noisy, heavy antique and prefers to clean their three-bed semi in Timperley, England, with a more modern model.
3Old Refrigerator – Working for 77 years
Mrs. Kinghorn, of Marchmont, Edinburgh, said the refrigerator was one of the last to be built without a light, but served as a reminder of an era in which things were built to last.
4Oldest Working Computer – Working since 1958
5Oldest Humanoid Robot – Built in 1950
Sadly, computers of the time were too crude and big to give George memory and intelligence so he was packed away in Mr. Sale's garage in Bedford and left to gather dust. But now after nearly five decades Mr. Sale has got the radio-controlled robot working simply by putting in two new batteries and oiling his joints.
6Britain's Oldest TV – Working for 75 years
But what the television lacks in modern technology, it makes up for in reliability. Only 30 per cent of its components have been replaced during its lifetime, all with identical parts.
The 75-year-old set has a 12-in. screen contained in a walnut and mahogany case, with the picture reflected on to a mirror for the viewer to look at. The TV has now a pre-sale estimate of £5,000, but experts at Bonhams expect it to fetch much more. It cost Mr. Davis £99 and 15 shillings – more than half the annual average wage at the time and equivalent to almost £4,000 today. Its serial number is H1007, and it is thought the sequence began at 1,000, making it number 7.
7World's Oldest Traffic Light – Working since 1932
The Light has never stopped working since 1932, which is when it was installed at the corner of Main and Long Streets. The light looks like a silver, Buck Rogers-era football, and operates like a radar screen, with green and red alternately wiping in a circle across its face. According to the museum, the light was retired from active duty in 1982 only because color-blind people couldn't tell if it was green or red.
For decades after it found a home in the museum, the traffic light was rehung outside during Ashville's annual 4th of July celebration. That ended in 2005 with fears that this priceless artifact might be stolen during the night. Now it directs foot traffic inside the Museum, permanently protected, and still always on.
8World's Oldest Running Hotel – Receiving guests for 1,300 years
The hotel is complete with restaurant, spa, guest rooms, a garden, a theater, a hall, a festival foyer, and a couple of other units whose functions are only familiar to the Japanese.
Many of the rooms still retain the traditional Japanese interiors, while others have been renovated to tout a modern ambience. It also features a Hoshi Museum that is intimately linked to the region's traditional arts and crafts and has several artists display their work.
NOTE: our reader Sean wrote to us that The Hoshi Ryokan is actually the second oldest hotel in operation. It was founded in 717. The actual oldest hotel still in operation (also in Japan) is the Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which was founded in 705.
9World's Oldest Running Car – Built in 1884
The four-wheeled De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux, nicknamed "La Marquise," was originally built for the French Count De Dion, one of the founders of the company that built it. Fueled by coal, wood and bits of paper, the car takes about a half hour to work up enough steam to drive. Top speed is 38 miles per hour. The car came close to that speed during what has been billed as "The World's First Automobile Race" in 1887, according to RM Auctions. The car had last been sold in 2007 for about $3.5 million at a Pebble Beach, Calif. auction.
10World's Oldest Still-Working Cinema – First opened in 1909
Two world wars did not stop performances from going ahead, and operations were only halted when the cinema underwent renovation. Indeed, the cinema was immortalized in the poem Little Cinema in 1947 by the poet Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski, with the description of “the best little cinema where one can forget everything.” The current owner Jerzy Miskiewicz took over the cinema in 1999 when it was in quite a rundown state, and invested time and money in 2002 to bring this former jewel back to its original glory by installing the latest technology and comfort.
In its 2005 edition, the Guinness Book of Records issued a certificate confirming that Kino Pionier is the oldest cinema in the world.
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