Links (external links open in a new window)
Book: The First 100 Years, A History of Lightolier, Daniel L. Blitzer – 2004.
Factory Tour: Lightolier
Quadrille ceiling light in the Lightolier catalogue
Quadrille Ceiling Light
Materials: Bronze coloured brushed aluminium. Porcelain sockets. Black painted metal ceiling plate.
Height: 27,5 cm / 10.82”
Width: 26 cm / 10.23”
Electricity: 4 bulbs E27, 4 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred. For this setup clear 60 watt bulbs were used.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: C.L.I. and Lightolier Inc, New York City, NY, USA. Raak Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
This ceiling light is marked with a CLI label. No information to be found about the company. However the American company Lightolier imported these lights and sold them in the USA.
In The Netherlands it was Raak Amsterdam who sold these lights as “Viervoud” (fourfold, quadruple). Raak ‘Viervoud’ Flush Mount P-1273, P-1293, P-1294.
Lightolier was founded in 1904 by Bernhard Blitzer under the name of New York Gas and Appliance Company. A few years later electric lighting was more widely accepted and the name of the company was changed to Lightolier. A contraction of the words light and chandelier.
In the beginning Lightolier specialized in special decorative chandeliers. From the 1920s on they made a shift to high-end design and architectural lighting.
It was 1961 when Lightolier introduced the first track lighting system; the company’s most iconic product. It was invented and designed by Anthony C. Donato (19?? – 2014). Mr. Donato became Senior Product Designer at Lightolier. He obtained 32 United States patents and numerous professional accolades. Including being honored as a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society.
Another popular fixture is the Lytegem, designed by Michael Lax, which is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA).
In 2007, Lightolier became part of Koninklijke Philips. (Philips Royal Electronics from The Netherlands).
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.
1. A quadrille is a square dance performed typically by four couples and containing five figures, each of which is a complete dance in itself.
2. A trick-taking card game for four players using a deck of forty cards fashionable in the 18th century.
3. A ruled grid of small squares, especially on paper.
The Dutch company “Raak Amsterdam” was founded in 1954 by Carel O. Lockhorn (18 June 1923 – 6 October 2004). Lockhorn was a previous employee of Philips Lighting Eindhoven. Raak, which means “to hit” in Dutch, implies design which precisely “hits the nail on the head”.
Raak is best known for their organic modern design of the 1960s and 1970s. Which combined glass & metals for a sophisticated futuristic style.
The light company collaborated with several international designers and architects, including Bertrand Balas, Evert Jelle Jelles. Frank Ligtelijn, Ger Vos, Jan Jasper Fayer. Li Helo, Maija-Liisa Komulainen, Nan Platvoet. Nanny Still-Mackinney, Nico Kooi, Sergio Asti. Tapio Wirkala, Willem van Oyen and many others.
Raak Amsterdam also collaborated with other companies. They worked with the German Peill & Putzler for the Raak Globe lamps. Peill & Putzler produced the glass. They also sold lamps made by Peill & Putzler, such as a pendant light designed by Aloys Ferdinand Gangkofner. For the Raak Discus the glass was made by Bega, also a German company. For the Night Club and Stalactites lamps a cooperation with the Belgian Val Saint Lambert was undertaken in the late 1950s.
Carel Lockhorn sold the company in 1974 to ITT but remained a director until 1977. In 1980 Raak merged with BIS Lighting from Aalsmeer, also in The Netherlands. Raak was renamed into BisRaak. In 1986 the Raak company became independent again. The company got a business appearance and only the colors white, black and gray were still processed.
In 1999, Raak merged with Artilite B.V. and Indoor B.V. and became CLA: Centrum voor Lichtarchitectuur B.V. in Drachten (Center for Light Architecture). Lichtarchitectuur (light architecture) was the Raak tagline from the start in the 1950s. The Center for Lighting Architecture was founded by Egbert Keen. The company was declared bankrupt on 19-05-2011.
Many thanks to Ken for the beautiful lamp!
Raak ‘Viervoud’ Flush Mount P-1273, P-1293, P-1294
Raak Catalogue 9 – 1972