Form Before Multi-function

Tacky Julie
Submitted by Tacky Julie October 22nd, 2009
Certifikitsch Winner
multipurposelamp_4975

This combination lamp/clock/cigarette lighter is multi-tasking its little heart out. From the Venetian blind shade down to the working cigarette lighter in the receiver, all its features still work (and I’ve got a burn in my palm to prove it). The only thing it doesn’t do is function as a telephone. This wonderful lamp is the antithesis of the major tenet of Bauhaus design: form follows function. This one’s got great form, but its function ran off into three different directions.

3 Responses to “Form Before Multi-function”

  1. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    This lamp/clock/cigarette lighter was very popular and very expensive when it hit the market in the 1950s. I’ve owned two of them, one pink like this and the other with a black phone and red Venetian shade. I’ve also found several phone handle/cigarette lighters separate from the phone base though they were probably attached at some point.

    Like you, many people burnt their hands on the lighter part. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with these, you push the little button sticking out from the listening end of the phone receiver and a heating coil almost instantly lights a metal screen covering the speaking end. It’s burning hot in seconds.)

    These table lamps really became popular because of the metal Venetian blind shades. Prior to the 1950s most blinds were made out of wood. The metal ones became a real earmark of the modern home.

    This one looks to be in perfect shape. It’s rare to find all the pieces intact so this is a fantastic find!

  2. Mark Blackwell

    Mark Blackwell

    this is just amazing…never seen one of these…now i want one… cigarette lighter?!?! haha…. i wonder if they every made any similar ones that actually functioned as telephones…?