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Novelty rustic lamps of the 40s & 50s

2012-12-18   Views:6

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In the 1940s and 1950s in America, novelty lamps became a fad, and a very fashionable motif for these lamps was rustic or Western. One kind of novelty lamp had a lamp base made of wood, leather or other materials and a printed lampshade depicting the

In the 1940s and 1950s in America, novelty lamps became a fad, and a very fashionable motif for these lamps was rustic or Western. One kind of novelty lamp had a lamp base made of wood, leather or other materials and a printed lampshade depicting the rustic scene. Another type of novelty lamp of the era was the motion lamp, which was used as a TV lamp or night light because it was not as bright as a table lamp.

Table Lamps

Rustic table lamp bases were made of wood, leather or other material in keeping with the rustic theme. The lampshades were usually made of paper and printed with natural scenes or depictions of Old West stories. One of the largest manufacturers of this type of novelty lamp was Cactus Craft of Tuscon, Arizona. Founded by Carlos Velasco and his wife in the late 1940s, Cactus Craft made table lamp bases from cholla wood, which is the dried skeleton of a cactus. The lampshades were stitched around a wire frame and made of paper. They ostensibly displayed scenes of the Old West, which were actually photographs of Velasco and his family dressed in cowboy and other costumes posed to illustrate Daniel Boone and other popular themes of the day. Cactus Craft lamps sold nationwide, but the availability was concentrated at souvenir shops, truck stops and motels in the western United States, especially around the famous Route 66 highway. Many of these lamps were available in kit form.

Early Motion Lamps

Motion lamps were small, cylindrical lamps with a stationary outer shade and a movable inner shade. The inner shade was supported only at the centre point of the flat top by a metal pin, and it was free-moving. Angled vents in the top of the inner shade looked like fan blades; hence, the heat of the light bulb caused the inner shade to rotate, setting the scene in motion. Many of the scenes featured nature, the Old West and other rustic subjects. The Ignition Company of Omaha, Nebraska, which was in business from 1928 to 1948, made some of the earliest versions of this type of lamp. The company had only three designs: Niagara Falls, a forest fire, and a Native American forest fire. All three lamps had metal base components with a printed outer shade and a patterned inner shade. When the patterned inner shade rotated, the water in Niagara Falls looked to be falling, and the forest fire flames appeared to lick toward the sky. These lamps are rare and highly collectable today.

Later Motion Lamps

Econolite Corporation, which later became Lacolite Industries, was a major manufacturer of motion lamps. Another main producer was L.A. Goodman, based in Los Angele, California. The motion lamps produced by these companies were popular in the 1950s. They were mostly plastic and had a transparent outer lampshade with a pictorial inner, floating lampshade. When the light bulb heated the vented inner shade, the scene simply rotated around the lamp. These were very popular for children's rooms, with scenes of television shows such as the Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy. This type of motion lamp is also highly collectable today and is hard to find in mint condition because the light bulbs tended to melt the plastic. Still, they fetch upwards of £65 on online auction sites.

Novelty rustic lamps of the 40s & 50s

Category:HomeRelease time:2012-12-18Views:130

In the 1940s and 1950s in America, novelty lamps became a fad, and a very fashionable motif for these lamps was rustic or Western. One kind of novelty lamp had a lamp base made of wood, leather or other materials and a printed lampshade depicting the[More]

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