a website collaboration between Science Service and the Smithsonian Institution

1947 - W.A. Pennow prepares the world's brightest light for a test


CD 1963069 E&MP 25.002

Electric Lamps

Tuesday, April 29, 1947

W.A. Pennow, Westinghouse aviation lighting engineer, prepares the world's brightest light for a test at the Cleveland Municipal Airport.

The tiny glass tube he is touching with his left hand is a Krypton lamp. When a surge of electricity passes through this lamp, its vivid flash magnified by the light's reflector and optical system can produce 3,300,000,000 candlepower of light -- equal to the light from 50 million 60-watt household bulbs.

The Krypton lamp was developed at the Westinghouse Lamp Division, Bloomfield, N.J. When 36 of these Krypton flash units and 36 new neon "blaze" units are placed in a line almost two-thirds of a mile long, their flash resembles a lightning stroke guiding the airplane pilot toward the airport runway.

Original Caption by Science Service

National Museum of American History


Search - Site Map - Subjects to Choose From - Numbering Format

Credits - Copyright - Comments