www.lavalamptimeline.com | Vintage Historical "lava lamp" Showcase | Vintage "lava lamps" | The History of the lava lamp
www.lavalamptimeline.com has been dedicated since its very first day to the history of vintage "lava lamps" and the original vintage designs relating to the 1960s & 1970s. This website documents the legacy of vintage "lava lamps" from all over the world, the vintage designs and the designs that are loved by everyone still today, decades after their release. From Century, to Enchantress Planter, to Carlisle, to Continental, to Decorator, to Aristocrat, these vintage manufactured "lava lamps" are still loved by thousands today and a represented through photography and nostalgic memorabilia in collections and displayed on www.lavalamptimeline.com.
We document lava lamps from all over the world with designs from Crestworth which was founded by Edward Craven Walker and now known as Mathmos, the inventors of the lava lamp. We also follow the history with designs from the US, UK, Continental Europe and Japan.
How did the lava lamp arrive in the USA? In April 1965, Crestworth (now known as Mathmos), the inventors of the lava lamp, exhibited the Astro lamp at an International Trade Fair at the Atomium in Brussels.
There was a company named Mini Office Belgium, which had seen the lamps at another trade show event and they agreed that Crestworth could display their lamps to enhance their exhibits which were furniture units and were designed to close or fold up when not in use - e.g: Mini Offices. Edward Craven Walker attended the trade show with the two gentlemen who ran Mini Office. An American businessman named Frank G Ellerman visited the trade fair where the Astro lamp caught his attention. He expressed interest in selling the lava lamp in USA and Crestworth arranged to send out some samples as soon as possible. He also stated that he had a wealthy businessman friend Adolph Wertheimer would also be interested in promoting them in the USA with him.
Ellerman subsequently returned to the USA, firstly to New York and then to Chicago, writing in early May from his company named Ellerman Development Co., Ellerman faded out of the scene later.
After a problematic period with Wertheimer, Hy Spector would eventually take over the project with a completely different approach to the business. It is actually due to Hy Spector, that the lava lamp in the USA would reach such a success in the 1960s and the 1970s. Products such as: Century, Aristocrat, Consort, Imperial, Continental, Enchantress, Enchantress Planter are still regarded as some of the finest lava lamps of all time. Lava would pay Crestworth an annual license fee, with consultation fees, which involved Crestworth personnel visiting to verify the production procedures and also discuss new ideas for products. Hy Spector is widely recognised for his amazing work at Lava. Lava would go on to create a diverse array of other products such as cameras with their Simplex division and Timette with their array of timepieces.
www.lavalamptimeline.com | The Century Model: 100 | The Vintage Iconic Century "lava lamp"
The Century was the first lava lamp produced in the USA and started the legacy of the "lava lamp" in the United States of America. The original founders of Lava Corp., were inspired by the Crestworth Astro Lamp, that they saw at an exhibition and they acquired the rights to sell it in the USA. They opened in Chicago and brought the magic of the Astro lamp to the USA in 1965. What would become the Century first appears refered to purely as "Lava Lite" in 1965 printed material and was described as "America's Most exclusive new look in lighting ... Adds glamour and interest to any setting!"
The Century is the American version of the Astro with a few notable changes such as starlight holes in the base, which were very popular in lighting fixtures of the time. With its pinhole starlight base, it is a timeless design that will stand the test of time.
The Century was a classic that was core to the lava lamp that was manufactured in Chicago in the USA. Century and all the great vintage USA lava lamps are the vision of Hyman Spector, the co-founder of Lava Corp, in 1965. 1960s colour combinations for the Century include: Red/ Fluorescent Green, Orange/ Yellow, Green/ Blue, Yellow/ Green-Blue and Red/ Clear. The Century also featured a Champagne Mist colourway, that was refered to as "A cream base in a pale amber liquid - A truly enchanting combination" Century uses a 40 watt appliance bulb.
You can see the unboxing of a vintage Century below which this particular model features the original lava lamp hang tag, showing the bubbles around the name. A great USA manufactured piece. Century made in the USA was an unusual exotic decorator conversation piece. Use a 40w bulb inside your vintage Century for the correct flow.
Some of the very first colour combinations for the Century lava lamp would be: Red / Fluorescent Green, Orange / Yellow, Green / Blue, Yellow / Blue Green, Blue / Lavender and Red / Clear. Power yours with a 30 watt R-20 reflector bulb. The Century is one of the most enduring lava lamps of all time and at www.lavalamptimeline.com we love Model 105: "Champagne Mist - a cream base in a pale amber liquid, a truly enchanting combination!"
www.lavalamptimeline.com | Presents: Model 3000 Continental - Cordless, Beautiful, and dazzling ...
Merging candle light with the motion of the lava lamp, the Continental and the Savoy were the only vintage non-electric, candle powered lava lamps, with a special candle powered unit, that would power your light for 75 hours, for plenty of bubbling. Today these candle powered lava lamp units are no longer available so a raised tea-light often does the trick.
Perfect for patios, the Continental would be the only candle powered lava lamp till the introduction of the Mathmos Fireflow candle powered lava lamp in 2009 and the launch of Auras Glow. Continental features a Consort sized globe bottle that is seen in many models, the bottle sits on a metal funnel collar having a series of cut outs most notable diamond shaped cut outs which allow air to reach the candle base. The glass candle unit was a glass cup filled with a candle and it sits on a metal tray.
"Use it everywhere - indoors or out - it's non-electric - cordless and carefree. Excellent for commercial use. Metal base, collar and cap are metal and bottle is glass with lava formulation. Model 3312 has orange lava base, yellow liquid. 3315 is champagne and champagne mist. 3316 is red and clear.
There was also a version of Continental known as Savoy, which was offered to the restaurant and commercial trade. Savoy was also advertised as a Happy Occasion Pack which featured three Champagne Mist bottles printed with "Happy Birthday", "Happy Anniversary" and "Happy Holiday" ...
Enjoy the images below ...
Model 5000 | The Imperial | King-size Elegance The Imperial Vintage Lava Lamp...
Imperial was the flag-ship lava lamp from Lava launched in the 1960s. This stunning floor-standing model features a cylindrical globe with a shallow pointed hat cap. The base was a cone cylinder that sat on on a table with three tapered walnut legs. Imagine this in a night club, hotel or any public space. Giant, beautiful and often confused with Crestworth's Princess floor-standing model, this model was an actual production model and can be seen in Lava's lab in vintage photography.
Simply King Size. Simply Dazzling. Simply Stunning. Simply The Imperial. One vintage Lava Lamp rules supreme, simply the largest ever vintage USA lava lamp, The Imperial was amazing. King-size elegance and beauty. The Imperial featured a massive container supported on a beautiful metal and walnut stand. These lamps were individually carton packed and the 1966 wholesale brochure shows 3 colour ways for the product. This model was sold for $149.50 and has been seen featured in a 1966 brochure. Very few of these stunning pieces have been seen and they a tribute the liquids within. In the images below one can see a vintage candle powered lava lamp bubbling on the table. Imperial featured a list price of $129.50
Model: 5102: Orange Wax. Clear Fluid. Model: 5103: Green Wax. Clear Fluid. Model: 5106: Red Wax. Clear Fluid.
More colourways may have been produced in the following years. Imperial uses a 150 watt FL-R-40 flood bulb in the base.