Iconic lamps that just scream of nostalgia and psychedelic times
Chiltern Open Air Museum
early 60s and 70s and were a must-have item on a Christmas list!
Legend has it that this iconic lamp was made popular by Edward Craven Walker, a British accountant, who saw a hand-made version created from a cocktail shaker and old tins in a traditional country pub in 1940s. He spent the next few years trying to create a glass version with his newly formed company, the Crestworth Company, in Dorset.
The Astro Lites, as they were first called, were not initially a success when they came onto the market in the 1960s, but eventually became extremely popular, especially in the American market.
So how does the magic of this mesmerising lamp work? Lava lamps have a glass vessel, a specially compounded wax, transparent or translucent liquid and a 25-45 watt bulb.
The lava lamp operates by heating up the wax via the bulb which changes its density. The wax that rises to the top of the glass vessel then cools, changing its density again and so the wax falls back down to the bottom of the glass vessel. This results in a continuous cycle of rising and falling wax.
And when you consider that currently over 400,000 are sold each year, it’s clear that there is still a sizeable market for them.
Artefact team volunteer, Aileen McSloy, from Gerrards Cross has donated her psychedelic lamp for our new 1970s bedroom recreation in Haddenham Croft Cottage due to open in 2015,(see above left).
Chalfont St Giles www.coam.org.uk 01494 871117