Are you an antique lamp collector -- or would you like to be? Just looking for that special piece for your home or office? Whatever your needs and interests, we have all the facts you need, not sales promotions! Honest information, simply presented.
What do you think of when someone says antique lamps? You probably see the image of an ornate chandelier, or even a soft glow from a Victorian oil lamp, or even a candelabrum. And you would be at least partly correct in thinking this. However, there was electricity in the late 1800s, and a wide variety of electric lamps (also known as incandescent lamps) were made available to the public. Some of these lamps still exist today and are quite possibly still useful.
When most people think about Westinghouse, it’s a safe bet that they aren’t thinking about antique lamps; it is far more likely that they are thinking about their washing machines or refrigerators. Some of the most valuable antique lamps were actually produced by Westinghouse. And it’s also interesting to note that Georgia Westinghouse was a renowned inventor and long time before his name became a household word for lighting and electronics. While comments, but Edison was it the most prolific inventor, with over a thousand patents to his name, Mr. Westinghouse was no slouch with over 400 inventions to his credit! Many of his patents were original inventions that changed the way people worked or lived.
Probably the most lasting contribution made by George Westinghouse to modern life was his championing of alternating current (or AC). Edison favored direct current (DC), but Westinghouse proved that alternating current was much safer and the home user would benefit much more from a safer means of lighting. This led to the electrification of homes in America. The 1893 world’s fair brought the widespread use of electricity in its elaborate displays which demonstrated the advantages of alternating over direct current.
Among antique electric lamps still found today, one of the lovelier and truly functional is the antique bankers lamp. Made with a brass post, and generally featuring a green or blue lamp shade these provide warm, soft, yet bright direct lighting. Many replica pieces are found in green, but apparently blue was a more common shade 100 years ago. Antique bankers lamps were wired to work with the available current of the 1800s, but modern electricity has required many of these to be updated or restored.
Antique bankers lamps are still quite popular today and highly sought after by collectors, students, executives or anyone that works at a desk for any length of time. Because of their continued popularity, these lamps are somewhat high in price, which is something for potential collectors to bear in mind.
If you are looking for an antique bankers lamp you should decide whether you want functional or decorative. If you’re going to be working at your desk a great deal, and you want an antique bankers lamp that works, check it carefully to be sure where that the wiring switches and sockets are safe to use. A lamp with defective wiring can be deadly, as it can lead to an electrical fire. The land must have wiring that is UL listed.
Take your antique bankers lamp to a qualified electrician for repair, new wiring, or installation of new hardware. It should be noted that replacing the original wiring on an antique bankers lamp will lower the value but if you actually intend to use the lamp, there is no choice. However, if the antique bankers lamp will only be used for purely decorative purposes, the original wiring can be left intact, even if it is deteriorated and unsafe.
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