Motion lamps have a long history, with variations on the design made even today. These ingenious devices used the lightbulb-generated heat to rotate one cylinder behind another, making flames leap, clouds float, boats sail etc. The heyday of motion lamps was the 1950s, with Econolite Corporation and L.A. Goodman Manufacturing (which later became Lacolite Industries) being the predominant makers, although brands like National and Scene-In-Action pioneered the format back in the ’30s. Hard to find in good condition, vintage motion lamps have become highly collectible.
I’ll gladly respond to any questions regarding motion lamps, but if you want to confer with the real motion lamp experts, visit SMS Noveltiques.
Econolite motion lamp This Econolite motion lamp #768 features a 1912 Model T Ford and a 1914 Stutz Bearcat, and is dated 1957. This image shows the Model T. Photos courtesy of an eBayer from Manahawkin, NJ.
Econolite motion lamp Here’s Stutz Bearcat side.
Econolite motion lamp Why have I included this photo? Because it’s a photo from “back in the day” that has an Econolite vintage auto motion lamp in the background! This photo is from 1959, and provided through the generosity of Wes Clark. His website, Wes Clark’s Avocado Memories, is not to be missed!
Ignition motion lamp Ignition Company was active in the ’40s, and produced only two styles of motion lamps, this one and a Niagra Falls scene. Photos courtesy of Mike Addy from Minneapolis, Minnesota.