Friday, May 11, 2012

A 1920's Lamp With Flourescent Lighting

  My wife isn't too keen on antiques, on the other hand I love them. It's an object of contention between us but since I am faced with buying all the furniture and accents for an apartment I have made the decision to buy vintage or antique wherever possible. I really dislike new manufacture items. Cheaply made imported from China crap that lacks the attention to detail that used to be put into items made 50 years ago. Also, in many cases you can find the antique stuff cheaper than new. That's being frugal in 2 ways, less cost for higher quality, how can you lose? In this case the lamp can be used with florescent lighting to save money on electricity.

I was in my usual pattern of combing the local Craigslist for deals when I found this lamp. It's an old floor lamp called a "6 way" or a "Junior". Amazingly the price was just $20 for a lamp that was working and all original. Refurbed they can be had on the internet... for $400. The lampshade is Shantung Silk and the reflector bowl, original milk glass. These lamps were manufactured from 1920-1950's and used in living rooms across America. Their versatility has never been matched in 90 years as the center lamp has a 3 way socket that takes a Mogul size bulb of 100-200-300 watts and each of the arms can be lit in 1-2-3 configuration. To put it simply the lamp has the versatility to act as an accent lamp all the way up to lighting a room. And since the center lamp reflects off the ceiling it provides indirect light as well and downward light.

         Since electricity is more expensive now than it was in 1925 when this lamp was made the option of having a 300 watt lightbulb in the center is out the window. Luckily they sell a converter that changes the mogul base to a standard E-14 base bulb although you lose the 3 way function doing so. I now have a 14 watt CFL in the center and the arms have 25 watt incandescent bulbs that will eventually be replaced by 7 watt torpedo CFL bulbs. An excellent value and a versatile item, what a difference from the throwaway world we are used to nowadays.

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