Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Everything Is Illuminated Part II

This issue of E.I.I. is dedicated to one special little lamp. I spent a whopping $15.00 on it at the Mission Thrift Store .  I of course thought that it was too expensive but there was just something about it.  It reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, simple and stylish.  That's not usually my style (re: the last installment of lamps)  but I liked it none the less.  The shade is hard molded plastic, a lot like plexi-glass.  The round bowl part and the upper shade are all one piece. 
There are some cracks in the shade that were there when I bought it.  A few times I made the cracks worse because I had put the lamp on my desk next to the phone.  Every time the phone rang I would pick up the receiver and swing it up to my ear with too much gusto and bang the shade!  Finally I moved the dang phone after too many displays of my Incredible Hulk-like secretarial skills.
The top has a removable metal piece that diffuses the light quite nicely (and goes flying when you hit it with the phone).  On the turn-switch there is a teeny tiny marking Lightolier.  I did some research a.k.a Googling, and discovered that the company still exists.  They seem to have been bought by Phillips and are cranking out industrial stuff now.  But that isn't where the story ends.  About a year after I bought the lamp I was flipping through some old Better Homes & Gardens magazines and lo-an-behold, look what I found! 
This ad is from 1958!  Whoah, much older than I expected!  Check out the price, $14.95 and what did I pay for it about 50 years later, thats right, $15.00.   Down in the bottom left corner of the ad it reads *Slightly higher in the west . So if the lamp was originally purchased in California ,where I live they would have paid a bit more. I did an inflation conversion for that dollar amount in 1958 to 2010 dollars at and here is the verdict:  "$14.95 in 1958 had about the same buying power as $113.68 in 2010" Dang!  Now that's  an expensive lamp!  I display the ad above the lamp, pretty cool huh?


  1. Great story! I love that little lamp. It is so sweet in a very swanky sort of way.


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