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The TV Lamp Collectors Blog » Manufacturer Profiles

Archive for the ‘Manufacturer Profiles’ Category

Leviton: The Light Behind TV Lamps

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

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Leviton AdvertisementI’ve been contacted by many collectors looking for help in identifying their TV lamp, often confused that the only marking they can find is on the switch, Leviton. While the name appears on most lamps, they were responsible for just the electrics, as Leviton was one of the largest producer of electric switches and lamp sockets in the world. Founded in 1906 by Isidor Leviton, the company remains a thriving family-owned enterprise. Initially focusing on gas lighting, Leviton was quick to shift their focus towards electrical fixtures, the arena in which the company was to excel. Isidor’s son Harold was an active part of Leviton beginning in the ’40s, becoming President and CEO in 1965. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at the time of his passing on September 8th, 2007. No, Leviton didn’t make lamps, they made them work.

Manufacturer Profile: Cactus Craft of Arizona

Monday, September 10th, 2007

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Cactus Craft Covered WagonEveryone’s familiar with ceramic TV lamps, and many have seen them made from plaster or cast iron, but a significant number used other materials all together. Anyone remember the TV lamps that used to populate tourist traps across the country, the ones made from seashells? Still others were made from wood or cactus. Yep, cactus. The company Cactus Craft of Arizona built a thriving business by making all sorts of novelty items with cholla wood, the dried skeleton of cactus. This might seem an odd choice of materials, but the cork-like cholla was surprisingly durable, and also imparted an interesting organic quality. (more…)

Manufacturer Profile: Tele-Vision Clock Corporation

Friday, September 7th, 2007

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Tele-Vision CalliopeNot many TV lamp collectors will be familiar with this company, but vintage clock enthusiasts are liable to know them for their association with the earliest digital clocks. Tele-Vision Clock Corp. of America and The Pennwood Numechron Co. were somehow tied, as both names appear on some items, but the nature of this association is unclear. So how do they figure into the TV lamp world? I’ll begin with a quote from a terrific website, Reverse Time:

“Many of the early TV’s did not have especially bright pictures, so viewing was done in a darkened room. To alleviate eyestrain, lamps were used to provide some dim, shadowy lighting around the TV. Most of these were cheap porcelain figural lamps and, for some unexplained reason, the most popular style consisted of a black panther prowling through a jungle scene. Grotesque planter/lamps, with their legacy of white rings and ruined veneer, were also popular. (more…)

Manufacturer Profile: Lane & Company

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

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Lane & Co. Mallard TV LampI suppose that the thing that excites me the most about researching the companies that produced TV lamps is the hunt itself, the detective-like sleuthing that is called for. Fifty-plus years have passed since any of the manufacturers were founded, and few resources exist to help learn their history. But determination often proves fruitful, and I’ve had surprising luck in gathering data on previously obscure companies…and enjoyed every minute of it. It must be said, however, that the total absence of progress on Lane & Company gets me a little miffed. Without a doubt, Lane was one of the largest potteries in the world, producing a staggering volume of ceramic wares of all types. So how is it that there’s no leads? (more…)