Vintage Info – All About Vintage Lighting

The original lamp from the 1950s designed by Louis Kalff

Louis Kalff Desk Light

The 1970s-1980s box of the Timor 69 with the grounded wire

Philips Timor 69 Desk Light - Box

The Philips logos trough the years

The Philips Major in the catalogue

Philips Major Desk Light - catalogue

The 1970s-1980s box of the Timor 69

Philips Timor 69 Desk Light - Box

Used as a prop in the 2017 TV-series La Fôret (The Forrest). La Forêt is a French/Belgium crime series that was shown on La Une and Canvas (Belgium) and on France 3 (France). The story goes about a sixteen-year-old girl that disappears from her village in the Ardennes and the investigation about it.

La Fôret TV Series (2017) - Louis Kalff Timor Lamp, Philips

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Philips Major Desk Light

 

Materials: brass, dark green painted aluminium. Cast iron counterweight in the base. Bakelite socket.

Height: 64,5 cm / 25.39”

Width: 33,5 cm / 13.18”

Base: ∅ 11,5 cm /4.52”

Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. But a big silver cup/crown/bowl bulb is preferred.

Period: 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer:  Louis Christiaan Kalff – attributed.

Manufacturer: Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Major/Timor: This lamp has two names. The first name in the 1960s was Major. During the 1970s it became Timor (69). This light was produced until the 1980s. It is based on a design by Louis Kalff as you can see on the left of this page.

The difference between the two lights is that the Timor is earthed, the Major is not.

In all probability this lamp was re-designed by the internal design-team of Philips. It is possible that it was approved by mister Kalff, since he has an advisory function for the company after his retirement. Louis Kalff started to work for Philips in 1925.

Koninklijke Philips N.V.

Inspired by the fast-growing electricity industry and the promising results of Gerard Philips own experiments to make reliable carbon filaments, Frederik Philips (his father) financed the purchase of a modest factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1891.  Frederik Philips was a Jewish banker based in Zaltbommel.

In 1895, after difficult first four years and near bankruptcy, Anton Philips joined the company. He was Gerard’s younger brother. With Anton’s arrival, the family business began to expand rapidly. The brothers changed their family business by founding the Philips corporation. They laid the foundations for the later electronics multinational.

In 1930 the first shaver of the Philips company was introduced and was simply called “The Philishave”.

A day before the German invasion in the Netherlands on 9 Mai 1940, the Philips family fled to the United States of America, taking a large amount of the company capital with them.

Operating from the US as the North American Philips Company, they managed to run the company throughout the war. After World War II the company was moved back to the Netherlands, with their headquarters in Eindhoven.

 

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)

L’instinct de mort (2008) on IMDB, the Internet Movie DataBase

L’Instinct de Mort – Mesrine (2008) on Wikipedia

La Fôret on IMDB, the Internet Movie DataBase

La Fôret on Wikipedia

Other Philips lights on Vintageinfo

Louis Kalff lamps on Vintageinfo

La Une TV station

Canvas TV station

France 3 TV station

Other lights in the movies 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.

Used as a prop in the 2008 movie L’Instinct de Mort – Public Enemy Number One (Part 1). The story of french gangster Jacques Mesrine, before he was called Public Enemy N°1.

L'Instinct De Mort (2008) Public Enemy Number One (Part 1).avi