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Philips 1950s Desk Light


Condition: In fair condition.

Materials: Green painted aluminium, brass, iron.

Total height: 31 cm – 12.20” – adjustable

Width: 25 cm – 9.84”

Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum- 110/220 volt.
Any type of lamp can be used, not a specific one preferred.

Period: 1950s – 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: The desgin team of Philips led by Louis Christiaan Kalff.

Manufacturer: Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. 

Other versions: These lights were made in several colours.

Philips Lighting: Inspired by the fast-growing electricity industry and the promising results of son Gerard’s own experiments to make reliable carbon filaments, in 1891 Frederik Philips financed the purchase of a modest factory in Eindhoven. Their plan? To bring cost-effective, reliable electric incandescent light bulbs to everyone who needed them.

Links (external links open in a new window)

The complete history of the company on the Philips website 

Philips on Wikipedia

The Evoluon building on Wikipedia

Website of the Philips Museum in Eindhoven

Louis Kalff on Wikipedia (only in Dutch)

Other Philips lights on Vintageinfo

Louis Christiaan Kalff (Amsterdam, November 14th 1897 – Waalre, September 16th, 1976)

Louis Kalff was a pioneering industrial designer in the Netherlands during the first half of the 20th century. With a solid background including studies in sculpture, ceramics, furniture design and architecture, he began to work for the Philips company in 1924,  department consumer electronics company marketing.

In 1929 he started a department for design of lighting products (LIBU – Lichtadviesbureau (Dutch for light consultancy). Louis Kalff was responsible for the lighting sections of the World Exhibitions in Barcelona, Antwerp and Paris.

 As freelancer he also designed posters and advertising for the Holland America Line, Calvé, Zeebad Scheveningen, Holland Radio and others. Louis Kalff also designed book covers.

After World War II Kalff kept himself active in industrial design for Philips. After his retirement in 1960, Louis Kalff stayed with Philips as a consultant and architect. In 1961 he was given the direction and execution of the Evoluon building in Eindhoven. It was the last work of the light architect who almost worked for forty years at the Philips group.