Ahh... If true, that would explain it then. Thanks. My current bulb is nowhere near bad.
And another data point to keep in mind here. When the Thomas Duplexes were discontinued everyone thought that was it. If you wanted a new unit you were out of luck. Just take your chances with used ones.
That's not necessarily the case...
Here's a pair of [Edits] of mine from an earlier post on the subject:
[Edit: For those who may wish to purchase a new low-pressure sodium safelight, but thought they missed the boat when the Thomas Instrument Company [discontinued the Duplex], check out this LPS-based OC-1012 Safelight from the Sebastian Darkroom Products division of California Stainless Manufacturing. California Stainless is the OEM manufacturer for many of the Arkay lines of stainless steel products. Email them and ask for a paper catalog. It's pretty cool.]
[Edit2: My current (January 2012) price list shows the OC-1012 Safelight (model #72882) at $370.00, and the LPS replacement tubes at $135.00.]
So if you're Jonesin' for a brand new unit, it's still possible to get a nearly identical one.