Back in the day, different types of lamps were a practical household necessity. In 1910 and through to the 1940s, a very popular lamp that was very popular was the antique “bridge" lamp. This lamp is a floor lamp that is unique with its arm that sticks out from the top of the body and base. This arm is referred to as the “bridge" of the lamp. The shade is then attached at the end of the bridge over the light bulb.
The bridge lamp was made specifically for the purpose of being able to direct light EXACTLY where it is supposed to go and not necessarily to light an entire room. Back when these lamps were created, the homes of many of the people were built to have very high ceilings which caused a great light in the room from the ceiling light, but the light was distributed throughout the whole room which created shadows below it. If you were to sit in a chair to read or sit at a desk in order to do some work, the shadow of the person or anything else near the subject, would make the light very dim and not at all bright enough to help with what task was being performed.
The light of the bridge lamp could be put by a chair or a desk and positioned so that the light would aim directly on the actual work or book that was being used. It was a very popular lamp for this purpose but also the antique bridge lamp became a favorite lamp to decorate the shade. With the shade hanging down, you were able to have a lot more freedom when it came to decorating.
The lamp shades of these lamps took a life of their own and there are so many different designs that have made their mark on this lamp. The most popular design is the tassels and beaded material that the show girls used to wear in the 1940s. They found that these tassels and the beaded fabric made the lamp stand out among anything else in a room. The way the tassels dangled below the shade with the light shining through them created a rather happy feeling to the people who were near them. The people could not help but touch the lamp and play with the hanging tassels on it!
This type of lamp design also allowed its owner to adjust the height of the stand and adjust the brightness of the light by having a three or four turn knob instead of the regular on and off switch. The antique bridge lamp is still a very popular lamp in today's world as well.
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