First let us define antique floor lamp. Needless to say a floor lamp normally rests upon the floor as opposed to resting upon a table, the wall or the ceiling. The overall definition of an old-fashioned means something from the bygone era. This places the word beyond your legal arena and into common usage. “era” is general perceived and means a long indefinite time frame which also works out 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 by means of circa 1905 which literally means “concerning the year 1905”. So I use the word antique floor lamp on this basis and often substitute it with the word vintage floor lamp. This discussion does not address modern reproductions of antique lamps that 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 people 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 lights for resale as well as for the customers’ own use.
From our 30 years of experience it really is clear that many of these antique floor lamps will last for hundreds of years. The electrical components, the fabric shades and the painted finishes often need restoration but most were made out of such fine quality, that they are a much better value than brand new high end lamps that sell for many hundreds of dollars. You will find various other surprises about these collectible artwork below.
High quality, beauty and function were powerful influences on the makers of antique floor lights. Many people are aware of their outstanding quality and beauty but completely surprised about the highly developed functional and technical characteristics. There are far too many examples to list here but I will mention a number of the more important ones.
The brightest lamp you can purchase today in any store was designed and made circa 1920. Additionally it is the most versatile lamp that you may buy anywhere. Further it will outlast most any modern lamp you can find at any price. This antique floor lamp is well known by a numerous names such as: 6 Way Floor Lamp, Reflector Floor Lamp, and “JUNIOR”. The look begins with much metal base sometimes highly decorated with an upright tubing leading up to a central electrical socket surrounded by 3 arm lights (4 lights total).
The central light takes a 3 way bulb (low-medium-high) that’s often a MOGUL size that is larger than a standard socket with higher wattage (100-200-300 watts). The three arm lights are controlled by a switch that can start separately just 1, 2 or all 3 of the arm lights. Further, several JUNIORS had a little light beneath 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 big 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 known as 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 could light up an entire room. There is absolutely no brighter lamp or more versatile lamp available anywhere today also it was designed and made nearly 100 years ago!
Among the finest reading lamps on earth was also designed circa 1920. It’s been highly imitated but 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 various types of decorated tubing, twisted iron rods, etc. At the top of the standard is a decorative cast metal arm with a graceful arc or curvature which ends having an electrical socket pointing downward and included in a fabric or glass shade.
This has the result of offsetting the light by about 14-18″ from the upright standard at the same time lowering it so that it is nearer to the reading material or work project. The effect is an excellent reading lamp or work lamp which places the light bulb very near the task accessible. Many of these Bridge Arm FLOOR LIGHTS have convenient pull chains which hang below underneath of the lamp shade for ease of operation.