I was shocked when I saw the headline in today’s Wall Street Journal: “GE Exits Lightbulb Business It Pioneered”.
Here was the opening line from the story:
“General Electric Co. is getting out of the business of making lightbulbs, selling a unit that defined the company for nearly a century and was its last direct link to consumers.”
And here are a couple of other lines I found interesting:
GE had been looking to sell the business for several years. The conglomerate once made refrigerators and microwaves as well as bulbs but has exited those consumer businesses as part of a yearslong restructuring. It has shifted its focus to making heavy equipment, like power turbines, aircraft engines and hospital machines.
The unit traces its roots back to GE’s founding 130 years ago when Thomas Edison invented the first viable incandescent lamp. In 1935, the first Major League Baseball night game was played under GE lights. A GE engineer invented the LED light in 1962.
In an odd coincidence, in my class yesterday I showed a list of some major companies and who their founders were; one of the companies listed was GE along with Thomas Edison.
It’s sad to see something so iconic lose part of its identity.
But sad as it was, it didn’t stop from telling my students a joke related to this news. It’s a joke I’ve been telling for over 50 years and while I’ve always found it funny, I don’t think many other people have.
Here’s how it goes:
Ask someone to spell the word “image” and to then say the phrase “light bulb” when they are finished spelling the word.
So here’s how it should sound if the person knows how to spell and how to follow directions: “I-M-A-G-E light bulb”.
Like I said, I always get a kick out of it, for some reason most people do not.
But now I won’t be able to use that joke anymore; I don’t think “I-M-A-G-E turbine” has the same ring to it.
Plus, I really don’t know what a turbine is…
*image from GE Reports