Description of Eras

This category is a bit of a catchall, collecting a wide variety of fixtures that do not clearly fall into one distinct period or style. There were many fixtures manufactured in the teens and twenties that had a look all their own. They often had design and ornamentation that include elements of other periods, but softened up a bit to fit in the popular family homes of the times. We’d like to once again encourage you not to be too tightly bound to finding lights appropriate to your home. The original homeowners often exercised their personal tastes when choosing lighting. In addition, many early homes did not clearly fit into a specific style when built. So feel free to entertain these fixtures which embrace the spirit of vintageage lighting.

  • ART DECO –

    Beginning in the early 20’s and lasting through the 30’s this “modern” style was reflected not only in lighting, but art, architecture, and furniture as well. It gained great popularity not only here in the U.S. but in Europe as well. Deco design elements often included sharp clean lines and angular symmetry that was enhanced by uniquely cast glass shades of various colors. The most popular style was the slipper glass fixture. Hundreds of fixtures were designed which used the molded slipper glass shades and each shade fit only one type of fixture body. Thus vintageage slipper glass shaded fixtures typically did not have interchangeable glass. This made them rare and hard to reproductionroduce. If this style is appropriate to your home, contact us to see what originals we may have in stock.


    Fixtures in this collection are typical of those found in craftsman style bungalows of the early 20th century, and are also comfortable in many modern & rustic decors. The Arts and Crafts movement was a response by craftsmen to move away from the frilly ornamentation common in the Victorian Age. It emphasized simplicity and hand craftsmanship with a concern for the working conditions of the worker. Design elements of this style include clean, straight lines, square tubing and bodies, lanterns (often with stained glass panels) and hand hammering of copper and brass.


    This lighting periods reflects the design elements of the previous gas light period. Straight rods for up-tubes instead of chain are common elements. However there was a blossoming of design changes as manufacturers were released from some of the constraints that gas placed on construction methods. For example shades could now face downward, which was a very different look, not to mention better for task lighting. Some Early Electric designs are clean and simple, originally aimed at a rapidly expanding utilitarian market; and some retain the flowery ornamentation of the earlier Victorian influence.

  • GAS –

    Coal gas was widely available from the mid 19th Century until it was gradually supplanted by electricity at the turn of Century. Most gas fixtures became somewhat standardized with 4″ fitters facing up, to accommodate the existing technology.

    This allowed sufficient air for combustion, and adequate room for heat dissipation. All gas fixtures required solid piping (no chains) from ceilinging to the central body and out to the burner via the arms.


    The gas electric period was very brief, beginning in the late 1890’s and ending for the most part by 1905. Electricity was just being introduced into homes as a lighting and energy source; however, it was not yet reliable. Lighting manufacturer’s combined both gas and electric into one fixture. When the electric power failed the homeowner could turn on the gas portion of the light. Gas electric fixtures traditionally have a 4″ gas shade facing up and a paired matching 2 ΒΌ shade facing down.


    Strictly speaking, the late Victorian period encompasses the 1880’s to 1900, in which gas lighting was the only option for most locales. But what we have come to associate with this style is finely crafted, highly detailed ornamentation, often with floral motifs and graceful curves. Fixtures we’ve grouped here reflect these characteristics and provide beautiful accents to decors with a Victorian influence.