Incandescent Obsession

Hugh Hicks never met a lightbulb he didn't like, so he collected them all.

He was not above what might be termed stealing, and he proudly displayed stolen bulbs in a group he called 10 Hot Types. In the Paris Metro in 1964, he noticed a series of 1920's-era tungsten bulbs along the wall. He did not know that the bulbs were wired so that if one was removed, all would go out.

He surreptitiously removed a bulb, and the tunnel was suddenly pitch dark. With people screaming, he scrambled to replace the bulb.

"But I couldn't get it back," Dr. Hicks said in an interview in The Baltimore Sun. "So, you know me, I grabbed two more and took off."