Ahem - you are not alone - I also was fascinated with the glowing glass bottles - before transistors.
Incidentally, have you noticed that hi fi buffs have gone back to valves (sorry, tubes)? On one project I worked on (yacht that is) the owner had his amplifiers hand built in Japan and the cost was something like $20,000 per power channel, with as much again for the pre-amp. I remember the day when people raved about the "transistor" sound being much cleaner and purer than valves/tubes. Sorry to our other members for the "techie talk". Very much given my age away now too.
One last thing - if you were impressed by the glowing bottles, you should see a large glass mercury arc rectifier bulb glowing at full load. That really is something.