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Where's Marty? Checking Out A Baltimore County Man's Electrifying Collection

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.

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.

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.

Antique light bulb collectors: A brilliant obsession by CBS Sunday Morning on YouTube

- Marty B!

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