An Art Deco Lamp With an Unusual Backstory

This handsome lamp has a crappy secret.

In the 1930s the Chase Brass and Copper Company, which made plumbing materials, wanted to branch out into consumer products. Among the industrial designers they hired to help them achieve this was Ruth Gerth, a pioneering female ID’er. In 1931 Gerth designed this elegant Glow Table Lamp:

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Image: Cooper-Hewitt. “Glow Table Lamp, 1931. Designed by Ruth Gerth (American, 1897-1952). Chrome-plated metal, molded Bakelite [knob].”

As design historian Rachel Hunnicutt reports:

“The entire object is chrome plated save for its black, Bakelite rotary switch. Although this design boasts an optimistic shine and clean, modern aesthetic, Gerth actually adapted the lamp’s base from a copper toilet float.”

Gerth went on to design at least 68 objects for the Chase Brass & Copper Company, “[helping] situate Chase as one of the preeminent producers of American art deco metal objects, many of which were crafted from recycled plumbing materials also produced by the firm.”

It’s quite the collection, and you can check it out here.

Source: core77

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