Quirky, playful, and elegant, we're always delighted to come across a rocket lamp when sourcing vintage lighting. Rocket-style lamps, also called space-age lamps, were inspired by space exploration during the 1950s and 1960s and reflected the open possibility of the time.
Illustration of Sputnik in orbit, Time Magazine 1957
The midcentury era witnessed a surge of interest in space exploration following the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik in 1957, which sparked the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The public imagination was captured by the idea of space travel, and this excitement filtered into various aspects of design.
Rocket lamps were characterized by their conical or cylindrical shapes in materials like metal, plastic, and fiberglass. Designers like Gerald Thurston, Greta Von Nessen, and Robert Sonneman played significant roles in popularizing the style; their designs showcased the era's embrace of new materials and manufacturing techniques.
Greta von Nessen's Anywhere Lamp, c1951. Image via Artsy
These lamps continue to evoke a sense of optimism and innovation, making them sought-after pieces. Our own collection has been sourced in Europe and North America, rewired in Los Angeles, and paired with one of our handwoven shades - our take on quirky optimism.