www.wikilava.com | Presents The Iconic Astro lava lamp | The World's first lava lamp design in the World | Introduction
If there is one lava lamp design that is the most iconic lava lamp in the world, it is the Mathmos Astro lamp. Seen in the opening graphic below, it is the iconic lava lamp and the world's very first lava lamp design. The Astro lamp was designed and invented in Great Britain by Edward Craven Walker, who manufactured it under his company named Crestworth. Now Crestworth is known as Mathmos, and they still manufacture the iconic Astro lava lamp in Great Britain.
A British inventor, Donald Dunnett believed that if time could be measured with sand in an egg timer, that the same could be achieved with liquid and set out to create an object that was patented as a display device. Today his invention is often invisible, but it was the seed of the idea that would inspire Edward Craven Walker to develop the Astro lamp. Edward Craven Walker imagined a new form of lighting that would present two interactive liquids that would capture the imagination of the people of the 1960s and the 1970s. The lamp became a worldwide success and is widely regarded as an icon that is a definition of the ethos of its time. This colourful flowing bubbling lamp has been presented in endless colour combinations over the decades such as Ruby-Rose, Violet-Orange and Blue-Blue over the years, to name just a few.
The secret of the success was the ability to make the base liquid to solidify upon cooling, and upon much experimentation, in 1965, Crestworth was able to create a product that could easily be able to be shipped. Before then, Crestworth experimented with different ways to keep the liquids separate such as providing the base liquid in a tube, which would emptied by the end user.
Whilst the construction of the Astro has changed over the years, and the finishes have changed, it remains in its iconic form and holds its timeless lines. Mathmos manufactures its Astro and Astro Baby lava lamps in the United Kingdom and every single Mathmos lava lamp contains Mathmos' specialist lava lamp formulations that is universally regarded as the very best in the world. Later Crestworth Astros use the same bottle design as current Mathmos Astros thus making bottles easy to replace. Earlier Astro lamps use a different bottle and thus require a manual refill. Please see the Electric Blue Astro lava lamp below followed by a mini Mathmos timeline and photos of Mathmos lava lamps through the years.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine Baehr for her kindness and donating such an amazing array of photography and material to the www.wikilava.com archive. I'd also like to thank a wonderful array of people who have kindly donated information or photography to us, with special thanks to: George Roussos, Bohdan & Patti Rudy, Craig French, Jeff in California, Planet 72 Auctions.