First let us define antique floor lamp. Needless to say a floor lamp normally rests upon the ground as opposed to resting upon a table, the wall or the ceiling. The overall definition of an old-fashioned means something from a bygone era. This places the word beyond your legal arena and into common usage. “era” is general perceived and is defined as a long indefinite time frame which also computes perfectly for this general definition.
This general definition works perfectly since any identification of an “antique floor lamp” is fairly useless without time period designation normally in the form of circa 1905 which literally means “about the year 1905”. So I will use the word antique floor lamp with this basis and frequently substitute it with the word vintage floor lamp. This discussion will not address modern reproductions of antique lamps which is another subject to itself.
More and more people are learning to appreciate the product quality and styling of antique floor lights especially as most of the ones being produced today are molded plastic and literally made to be thrown away. Most all floor lamp makers from the turn of the century made their lamps from heavy metals such as for example cast iron, brass, steel and cast zinc sometimes coupled with marble, onyx, glass and stone. Our lamp shop regularly restores these antique floor lamps for resale in addition to for the customers’ own use.
From our 30 years of experience it is clear that many of the antique floor lamps can last for hundreds of years. The electrical components, the fabric shades and the painted finishes often need restoration but most were made with such fine quality, that they are a much better value than brand new top quality lamps that sell for many hundreds of dollars. You will find various other surprises about these collectible works of art below.
High quality, beauty and function were powerful influences on the makers of antique floor lamps. Many people are aware of their outstanding quality and beauty but completely surprised concerning the highly developed functional and technical characteristics. There are far too many examples to list here but I’ll mention a couple of the more important ones.
The brightest lamp that one could purchase today in any store was designed and made circa 1920. It is also the most versatile lamp that you could buy anywhere. Further it will outlast most any modern lamp that you can find at any price. This antique floor lamp is well known by a numerous names such as for example: 6 Way Floor Lamp, Reflector Floor Lamp, and “JUNIOR”. The look begins with a heavy metal base sometimes highly decorated having an upright tubing before a central electrical socket surrounded by 3 arm lights (4 lights total).
The central light requires a 3 way bulb (low-medium-high) that’s often a MOGUL size that is larger than a typical socket with higher wattage (100-200-300 watts). The three arm lights are controlled by way of a switch that can start separately just 1, 2 or all 3 of the arm lights. what size harp do i need for my lamp Further, a number of these JUNIORS had a small light under the base which provided an extremely subtle nighttime floor light operated by a foot switch mounted on the medial side of the base.
As if this were not enough, the central top socket is encased in a large metal cup which holds a white waffle patterned glass bowl that reflects light upward to bounce of the ceiling. A fabric or silk shade (also called JUNIOR shade) rests upon the glass reflector bowl to reflect light downward for reading. An individual arm light can provide a straightforward night light or at it brightest setting, it can light up a whole room. There is no brighter lamp or more versatile lamp available anywhere today also it was designed and made nearly a century ago!
One of the better reading lamps on earth was also designed circa 1920. It has been highly imitated nonetheless it still remains unchallenged. The Bridge Arm Floor Lamp or Bridge Lamp has a typical floor lamp design with metal base and upright standard that may take the form of varied forms of decorated tubing, twisted iron rods, etc. Near the top of the standard is a decorative cast metal arm with a graceful arc or curvature which ends with an electrical socket pointing downward and covered by a fabric or glass shade.
This has the result of offsetting the light by about 14-18″ from the upright standard as well lowering it in order that it is closer to the reading material or work project. The effect is a superb reading lamp or work lamp which places the lamp very near the task accessible. A number of these Bridge Arm Floor Lamps have convenient pull chains which hang below the bottom of the lamp shade for ease of operation.