Vintage Light Fixtures (Yeah!!)

There is a notable absence of sewing activity in my house at the moment. Cleaning up, redecorating, and swapping the kids’ rooms is in full swing. They all have beds made up in the living room, and have to send me into their rooms to get clothes for them when needed. (I don’t want them to be tempted to mess with my stuff while they would be searching for their own clothes.) New paint has made it onto the walls, but the trim isn’t done yet. The old trim colors look quite sad with the new wall paint and are liberally splashed over with dashes of new paint at the edges where they meet the wall. Guinevere’s new room in particular is a bit grotesque with a very bright new purple-pink contrasting with the old forest-green at the baseboards and around the window and doors. The work in progress is certainly not at a pretty point.

I was planning to paint up the trim last night, but got side-tracked when my current project just happened to coincide with my parents cleaning up and putting away some stuff at their house. They needed to find a home for 2 very special mid-century light fixtures.

About the time that my house was built (not that I moved in until many years later), my Grandparents on my Dad’s side were getting a new house built on their farm. These light fixtures are the ones that they had picked out and had put into their kids’ rooms. I’m not sure if they replaced them when the kids “outgrew them”, or if they just took them out (and replaced them with something generic) when they retired and moved off the farm. At any rate, my Aunt didn’t have a use for the one from her room, so my Dad ended up with them both. The rocket-ship one spent some time in the room that my youngest brothers shared for a while, but as my siblings have grown up and moved out, there’s been quite a shuffle in the the bedroom assignments at my parents house over the last few years, so it was taken down and replaced with something more “feminine” at some point. The cute girly one was never up at my parents house. Apparently by the time it was time to think light-fixtures in a girl-assigned room, all the girls were “beyond” jump-rope and hopscotch themes.
I was already looking at light fixtures as part of the re-do in my kids’ rooms. The fixture that had been in Guinevere’s room only had one bulb and an extremely thick frosted cover, so that room has always been too dark. The one in the boys’ room had more bulbs, but also had thick covers, so it didn’t have an efficient light output; the covers were also oddly spring-loaded, so changing out light-bulbs was scary. My dad not only generously offered up his vintage fixtures, but he also installed them for us yesterday. Obviously, I’m quite excited about them (insert high-pitched “girly” squeal about it here). 
I cannot have this post go up without saying something about the rocket-ship fixture. I had to laugh last night at how “modern” it would have been in 1966 (or thereabouts) to have a rocket-ship themed light. Looking at the details in the picture, it becomes clear that the space-race was in full swing. If you look closely, you will see that one of the rockets is labeled with “US” to one side. Also you might notice that the half-globe is oriented to show-off North America, and while it does have the word “Europe” printed toward the direction where one would find Europe on a map, anything acknowledging the presence of the Soviet Union is completely absent. It’s a subtle absence, but definitely seems like a product of it’s time.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *