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Design history -

Retro lighting: The retro lighting accross the XXth century


Retro lighting: the beginning

The first electric lightings appeared in 1835, thanks a Scottish inventor, that will not commercialise his product, nor protect his invention. The first retro lighting is designed in 1879 and put on the marlet by the founder of the American industrial General Electric so as a British chemist. At that time, we spoke of simple vintage light bulbs placed on its base, allowing people to read with suitable light for reading. The vintage lighting as we said, will only arrive in the 1920s, with the appearance, in parallel, of professions such as Draftsmen. Facing a high demand of lighting in factories and households, many designs appear, such as Face à une demande moderne d'installation lumineuse dans les foyers et les industries, de nombreuses formes de luminaires apparaissent: the standard lighting, the vintage table lamps... At the beginning, the most elaborate retro lightings are dedicated to factories and firms, but rapidly, in the 1920s, with the Art Deco movement, the creations designed for households find their new market.

Retro lighting across the XXth century

The design of these lamps is highly inspired by the industrial revolution and technological innovations. The retro lighting of this period is undeniably modern and designed with noble materials; bronze especially, as the Art Deco used at that time. This marks the Era of unique vintage retro furniture production, dedicated to aristocraty, and rich families. In the 1930s, a new material is founded, the bakelite, ancestor of the plastic. This invention will allow the retro lighting to get famous and more popular , at low costs, being more accessible. After the 1940s, metal ackowledged a significative technological step, and allowed designers to draw new lines and shapes for the furniture, including lightings. The curved metal, tube, functionality of the electric system; these elements give way to elegance, sophistication and more imagination for designers. Nowadays, the history of lightings allow us to acknowledge retro lighting. One can easily differentiate vintage and modern lightings.



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