The iconic British Anglepoise lamp has been gracing desks and side tables for eight decades, since automotive engineer George Cawardine contrived a system using springs, levers and cranks to create an innovative, articulated lamp.
It’s all about the angles – flexible yet firmly balanced the Anglepoise industrial lamp was conceived in 1931, using four springs. Reworked for a domestic market, and now down to three springs, the Original 1227 Anglepoise Lamp is born in 1935.
It just looks friendly and approachable – which is presumably why an ‘Anglepoisalike’ lamp was used as the basis of Pixar’s famous ‘Luxo’ animation.
It even went to war! Anglepoise® Navigator’s lamps were used in World War II bomber planes, from 1939 to 1944. In the Brooklands Museum, Surrey, UK you can see a Wellington bomber plane, complete with working Anglepoise lamp that was salvaged from Loch Ness, Scotland by an American team searching for ‘Nessie’ – the Loch Ness Monster. Yes, you read that right – the lamp was still working!
Punk rockers The Soft Boys, sing “(I want to be an) Anglepoise lamp” in 1979. Six years later in 1985, 360 Anglepoise lamps are used in the sculpture “The Giant Hand Sculpture named Knuckle Shuffle” by David Mach.
And talking of giants – move forward another twenty years to 2005, when the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Bucks, UK approaches Anglepoise and commissions them to produce a giant ‘Original 1227’ lamp. Author of ‘The Big Friendly Giant’, and many other children’s tales, Dahl used the classic lamp in his writing hut. Anthropomorphic yet sculptural, the giant lamp has an inquisitive, hulking appeal as it peers over you, shedding light. Fantasy film director Tim Burton, who directed the 2005 musical film version of Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ buys one of the three versions produced.
It took seventy years – but why wasn’t it thought of before? The Giant Anglepoise lamp created in 2005 causes a sensation, and goes into volume production for the domestic market.
The Original 1227™ Outdoor Giant wall mounted lamp is just fab! It can be flattened against the wall or come lurking out, to brighten the proceedings thanks to its strong, articulated arm. Weather proof, it comes ready packed with ‘wow’ factor.
Leading British industrial product designer Sir Kenneth Grance designed the Kodak Instamatic and the modern London taxi – and amongst many other iconic designs he produced the pared down, Anglepoise Type 75 lamp. It becomes the perfect canvas for English fashion designer Paul Smith. With his signature use of color he creates the Anglepoise Paul Smith Editions 1 and 2.
After the success of my first Anglepoise® lamp, I’m very happy to be working with them again on a fresh version. I hope everyone likes it!” – Paul Smith
Indoor and outdoor, floor standing, wall hung, desk clamped, pendant, giant or mini, the original British Anglepoise lamp just keeps on going, and long may it reign! Its dynamic action and clean lines combine functionality with graceful, everlasting style.
In 2011 Sir Kenneth Grange designed the streamlined Type C desk lamp. LED lights and touch sensitive dimming meet the perfect balance and poise of Anglepoise.
It’s even been on a stamp! This Royal Mail edition of stamps commemorating classic British design was issued in 2009, featuring the timeless Anglepoise lamp. It just keeps on getting cooler!