As a school girl, I had a lot of homework to do. I had my own desk at home with a table lamp on it so I could do my work in the evenings. It was a very “flexible lamp” enabling me to turn and twist it to illuminate the area needed. Little did I know that the lamp on my desk was an Anglepoise lamp, a lamp designed by George Cawardine in 1932. Cawardine has designed the aluminium lamp to have flexibility in positioning and that would stay in the required position in which it was put. The Anglepoise lamp directs light much as a human arm would position the source of lighting to illuminate its purpose. Cawardine (a car designer) has developed a system of jointed metal rods and springs attached at one end to a heavy base, (see our CRIMSON or BLANC table lamps), and at the other a shaded light bulb. First this lamp was used mainly in working environments like workshops, doctors surgeries etc .
Part of the charm of the Anglepoise is its anthropomorphic design, most famously celebrated in Pixar Animations, but not everyone has viewed the design so benignly. In 1949 BBC’s Michael Standing issued an edict banning its use in the belief that a man working with light from only an Anglepoise lamp would harbour(wait for it!) illicit thoughts and consequently produce degenerate material (pornography to you and me).
Thank goodness , now we know it is NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!
The simplicity of the lamp mechanism and balancing system and the development in engineering and production techniques has made the lamp extremely flexible. Modern design features have been added to it ensuring that the Anglepoise lamp whether a table lamp or giant floor lamp (see TURK or FLORA) available in bright colours, has become a “new classic” to be found in countless offices and now also in our homes.
(base on The Genius of Design by Penny Sparke, “Articulated Lamps”)