With all the love I have for the sleek lines and sharp edges of modern design, there is something to be said for the old fashioned look of the early 20th century.
Poul Hennigsan, an ifluential Danish designer born at the very end of the 19th century grew up in the midst of the change between petroleum lamps and the advent of elictricity and household electric lighting.
Wanting to lessen the glare of the bare bulbs, which were espeically harsh after the soft ambience of petroleum lighting, Hennigsan created a lamp with 3 shades which distributed the light in a manner that would soften the effect of the electric light.
These lamps gained instant popularity and became known simply as PH lamps. Available in a variety of forms, from chandeliers to table lamps, PH lamps could be found in many homes.
Today, old-fashioned has become instead “vintage” and original PH lamps are sold at auctions for thousands of dollars, especially the unique and stylish “artichoke lamp” whose quirky look still appears modern, over 50 years later.
So next time you’re looking for a new light fixture, try looking in attics, garage sales and online auctions — you might just find a PH original of your very own!