Hello everyone!

Today we visited a local man who is an international lighting historian. By trade, Chad Shapiro is a lighting designer, but his passion lies in the history of it all. And he assured me that his hobby and work are totally unrelated.

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His Baltimore County showroom doubles as a backdrop for part of his historic collection. But he brought out of his rather serious vault a couple of items that one could consider Holy Grail-like objects in the history of lighting. One is a letter from Thomas Edison to the gas industry, another is a vacuum tube inspired by Edison that basically let radio and TV happen.

The letter in particular blew me away not only because of its contents–telling the makers of gas lamps that electricity was coming and asking if they wanted to partner–but also his penmanship, which is perfect and has a few quirks. The lines in this letter are perfectly straight. There are zero smudges as this would have been written with a fountain pen.

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A while back, CBS News Sunday Morning visited Chad to feature his collection of lighting history. Below you’ll find an embedded video of that segment.

– Marty B!

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