Antique FLOOR LIGHTS – World’s Best Reading Lamps

First let us define antique floor lamp. Of course 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 the bygone era. This places the word outside the legal arena and into common usage. “era” is general perceived and is defined as a long indefinite time frame which also works out perfectly because of this general definition.

This general definition works perfectly since any identification of an “antique floor lamp” is rather useless without a while period designation normally in the form of circa 1905 which literally means “concerning the year 1905”. So I will use the word antique floor lamp on this basis and frequently substitute it with the word vintage floor lamp. This discussion does not address modern reproductions of antique lamps which is another subject to itself.

Increasing numbers of people are learning to appreciate the quality and styling of antique floor lamps especially as most of the people being produced today are molded plastic and literally made to be disposed of. Most all floor lamp makers from the turn of the century made their lamps from heavy metals such as cast iron, brass, steel and cast zinc sometimes combined with marble, onyx, glass and stone. Our lamp shop regularly restores these antique floor lamps for resale as well as 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 out of such fine quality, they are a much better value than brand new top quality lamps that sell for many hundreds of dollars. You will find some other surprises about these collectible works of art below.

Top 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. You can find too many examples to list here but I will mention a few the more important ones.

The brightest lamp that you could purchase today in virtually any store was designed and made circa 1920. Additionally it is the most versatile lamp that you may buy anywhere. Further it’ll outlast most any modern lamp you could 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 a heavy 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 requires a 3 way bulb (low-medium-high) that’s often a MOGUL size which is larger than a standard 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. Further, a number of these JUNIORS had a small light beneath the base which provided a very subtle night time 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 called JUNIOR shade) rests upon the glass reflector bowl to reflect light downward for reading. A single 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 even more versatile lamp available anywhere today also it was designed and made nearly 100 years ago!

One of the greatest reading lamps in the world was also designed circa 1920. It has been highly imitated nonetheless it still remains unchallenged. The Bridge Arm Floor Lamp or Bridge Lamp includes 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 really 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 concurrently lowering it so that it is closer to the reading material or work project. The result is an excellent reading lamp or work lamp which places the lamp very near the task accessible. Several Bridge Arm Floor Lamps have convenient pull chains which hang below the bottom of the lamp shade for ease of operation.