I was over at my cousins home one day back in the late ’60s and I noticed an interesting lamp sitting on his end table, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Well the lamp was no ordinary lamp and in fact, it wasn’t much use as a regular light source, but it was a great conversation piece. My cousin said the lamp was called a Lava Lamp.
A lava lamp (as shown in the photo) was called this because of the slow, bubbling mass of goo that floated up and slowly descended to the bottom, only to start the cycle all over again. This rise and fall process is explained in more detail at wikipedia.com: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lava_lamp
Back in 1963, when the lamps were first being produced, they were called Astro Lights, but in 1965, Lava Manufacturing Corporation was formed in the U.S. to sell the renamed Lava Lite. Lava lamps are still around today and they haven’t changed much from the original lamps. They still come in the original shape, but I’ve also seen online, rocket ship shaped lamps, straight tubes and there’s even a 4 foot tall version.
Lava Lamp Trivia:
* At their peak, more than seven million Lava Lamps were sold around the world each year
* Employees take an oath of secrecy upon being hired so that the mystery of the Lava Lamp’s inner workings are never revealed.
* Lava Lamps can be seen almost every night on prime time television.
* Haggerty Enterprises, Inc is the only official manufacturer of the Lava Brand Motion Lamp in the United States. Mathmos is the only official manufacturer of the Lava Lamp in the UK.
* More Lava Lamps were sold in the 1990s than in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s combined.
* The Lava Lamp has been hailed an American icon by everyone ranging from People magazine to the Smithsonian Institute.
* The Lava Brand Century Motion Lamp was the first US style created and the Astro Lamp was the first UK style. Both are still top sellers today.
* There are over 100 different style and colour combinations of Lava lamps, including glitter motion lamps.
* The largest Lava Lamp on the market towers over four feet tall and holds ten gallons of the ‘secret’ formula.
* No two Lava Lamps are the same. They all have their own personality.
* Today there is a lava lamp on a permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian museum, Washington, D.C., as well as a growing trade in vintage lamps
The above trivia was found at: http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/lavalamp.htm