A Short History of The Anglepoise Lamp
The Anglepoise lamp is a balanced-arm lamp designed in 1932 by British designer George Carwardine (1887-1947). Carwardine was a practicing design engineer whom was working on vehicle suspensions when he developed the design for his perfect balance mechanism.
Initially, Carwardine established a garden workshop at his home in Bath, UK, and manufactured the lamp himself. He called his company ‘Cardine Accessories’. However, the lamp proved so popular he soon expanded the company by entering into a licensing agreement with Herbert Terry & Sons Ltd, Redditch: known as the ‘Terry Spring Company’.
Terry manufactured and marketed the lamp, whilst Carwardine continued with development of the design for different applications for use in the home, industry, Doctor’s, Dentists, Hospitals, and the office.
The quintessential British three-spring 1227 design was invented in 1935 by the renowned engineer, George Carwardine, and the model is still going strong today! The 75th anniversary of the 1227 was commemorated in an issue of a UK Royal Mail Stamp. The innovation was recognised amongst other British Design classics such as the Mini car, Concorde, and Penguin books.
Outbreak of World War II in 1939 saw production of the lamp diverted to benefit applications for the war effort. This included a lamp developed for use by bomber navigators. This is a great story from the Anglepoise website: –
“Anglepoise® Navigator’s lamps are produced for the World War II bombers between 1939-1944. Four decades later, an American team searching for the Loch Ness Monster salvages a Wellington bomber submerged in the mud. Remarkably the lamp still works! Known as R for Robert, the plane, complete with working lamp, is exhibited at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey, UK.”
Since WWII, the balanced arm has been employed in other devices where it is necessary to hold an object stationary at a convenient point in space.
In 2014, a leading industrial product designer, Sir Kenneth Grange, continued in the design tradition of Carwardine with his new modernist design the type 75. The design is enhanced by the addition of a wonderful colour palette by Paul Smith.
There are lots of copies out there but you can’t beat the real thing!
Click on the following link for vintage Anglepoise lamps available in our online shop.