Vintage Info

Factory Tour: Lightolier


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Quadrille Ceiling Light


Materials: Copper coloured anodized and 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: 1960s – 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: To be appraised.

Manufacturer: C.L.I. and Lightolier Inc, New York City, NY, USA.

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.


Lightolier was founded in 1904 by Bernhard Blitzer under the name of New York Gas and Appliance CompanyA 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.

Quadrille ceiling light in the Lightolier catalogue

Lightolier Quadrille Ceiling Light - Catalogue

Many thanks to Ken for the beautiful lamp!