Century-Old GE Bulbs Light Up 100th Anniversary Celebration of Nela Park

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio – March 26, 2012 – (NYSE:GE) — One hundred years ago—March 25, 1912 to be exact—executives and employees gathered at GE Lighting’s newly forming Nela Park campus to bury a sealed time capsule packed with a daily newspaper, pamphlets, pins, photos and some GE light bulbs representing available and emerging incandescent technologies of the era.
The collection of treasures inside the capsule was placed inside a cornerstone of Marketing Building #307 where it was intended to speak to future generations about the state of lighting technology and the transformational growth that GE was experiencing in 1912.
GE Lighting employees reminisce, look to future at unearthing of time capsule
Hundreds of GE Lighting employees and retirees today gathered at the base of Building #307 for a real-time, once-in-a-lifetime history lesson. The time capsule was unearthed and its contents were carefully and lovingly removed and put on display before being moved to a secure temperature- and light-controlled space across the Nela Park campus, near GE’s current multi-million dollar LED reliability and testing labs and clean room.
In a remarkable testament to the craftsmanship and quality of GE products and solutions at work for customers then and now, one of the tungsten filament lamps buried for 100 years showed signs of life. It was cleaned, screwed into a socket near the time capsule site and slowly powered up to the point of emitting light.
“It’s fitting that this time capsule was meant to be unearthed when significant changes in the incandescent light bulb occurred,” commented GE Lighting’s President & CEO Maryrose Sylvester. “We’re celebrating innovation at a time when GE scientists and engineers at Nela Park and around the world are developing advanced lighting solutions that are transforming not only the application of lighting, but also the business of lighting.”
GE’s energy-efficient lighting solutions are enabling millions of dollars in energy and maintenance cost savings for some of the world’s biggest and best-known brands, and municipality roadway projects of every size.
“When GE customers such as Marriott, Walmart and cities big and small—from Sydney, Australia to Stamford, Connecticut—can save money with energy-efficient lighting that costs less to operate and lasts as long as a decade,” adds Sylvester, “they can put the savings toward new or expanded growth initiatives. We’ve always been a company that offers solutions that make the world work better. Just ask our customers.”
In April 2013, the company will bring Nela Park employees together for a ceremonial burying of a new time capsule, which is expected to include a GE Energy Smart® 60-watt LED bulb that lasts over 22 years when operated 3 hours a day, new more informative consumer light bulb packaging debuting in 2012, marketing materials and an employee photo.
Nela Park and the GE Lighting Institute
In addition to being the nation’s first industrial campus and GE Lighting’s world headquarters, the Nela Park property was once a vineyard known as “Panorama Heights.” Chosen for what was then a rural location, the 92-acre campus sits approximately 234 feet above—and three miles from—Lake Erie. The “Nela” in the park’s name stands for “National Electrical Lamp Association,” an organization that was eventually purchased by GE. On April 18, 1913, GE Lighting moved its headquarters from a downtown location at East 45th Street and Hough Avenue to Nela Park in a caravan of cars and horse-drawn carriages. At the time, the move was known as one of the biggest in Cleveland’s history. Not only was it completed in a day, but employees only missed three hours of work. Since its establishment, Nela Park has been home to a number of innovations including both halogen and LED technologies. In 1975 Nela Park was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.
Since the founding of the Nela School of Lighting in 1924—it became the GE Lighting Institute in 1933—over a quarter million customers from around the world have visited the Nela Park campus for training and education. Approximately 4,000 customers visit Nela Park and the GE Lighting Institute annually.
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs over 17,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination® and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.