Lightolier Interplay 1 Table Lamp
Materials: Round black plastic base. Round orange painted metal (iron) tubular lampshade. Orange painted metal (iron) adjustable half round diffuser, painted white inside. Black plastic rotary knob on top. White painted Bakelite E14 socket.
Height: 18,5 cm / 7.28”
Base: ∅ 9,5 cm / 3.74”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: ABM, Milan, Italy.
Other versions: The Lightolier Interplay 1 table lamp was made in several colours over the years. Also a gold coloured and chrome versions exists. A gold coloured ABM Selene lamp can be found here.
This lamp was in production for several years, also after 1969 when the ABM company became Bilumen. The pressed ABM on the plastic bottom never changed on these lamps.
Lightolier sold it in the USA and named it Interplay 1. They were all made in Italy.
Selene: The goddess of the moon who fell in love with Endymion.
Sometimes said that this lamp is a design by Alfredo Bianchi, but it is very unlikely. He is the founder of the company in 1910.
Often said that this lamp is a design by Joe Colombo for the American company Lightolier, but it is not.
Colombo designed products for B-LINE, Cappellini, Kartell, Ditre Italia, Boffi, Longhi, Karakter, Bieffe, Olivari, Alessi, Oluce, Zanotta and Flexform.
This lamp was produced by ABM and was also sold by Lightolier in the USA.
ABM – Bilumen
ABM, Alfredo Bianchi Milano was founded in 1910 by Alfredo Bianchi and it is a family business.
In 1964 Ermanno Bianchi, his son, built the new factory in the Via Salomone 41, in Milan. Hans Von Klier designs its furnishings and offices. It will become the historical headquarters of the company until 2013.
In 1969 Antonio Bianchi, together with his sister Roberta, Ermanno’s children changed the name into Bilumen. Bilumen is a contraction of Bianchi and Lumen.
Lumen is the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a light source (symbol: lm).
Designers that worked for the company: Nuccio Bertone, Rodolfo Bonetto, Sergio Asti (the Paracarro lamp), Giugiaro Design, Yves Christin, Vittorio Gregotti, Isao Hosoe (Valenti Hebi lamp), Hans Von Klier, Richard Sapper, Marco Zanuso, De Pas d’Urbino Lomazzi, Giorgina Castiglioni and many others.
The Lightolier Inc. company was founded in 1904 by Bernhard Blitzer under the name of New York Gas and Appliance Company. Later the name changed into Lightolier Inc. when electric light became more widely accepted. The name Lightolier is a contraction of the words light and chandelier.
In the 1960s Lightolier introduced the first track lighting system, designed by Anthony Donato. Lightolier also produced a huge amount of lamps designed by Gaetano Sciolari in the sixties and seventies. His Cubic chandelier was a big success in the States thanks to it’s presence in the Dallas TV series and in the James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973). The Lytegem series was designed by Michael Lax. The most well known designer of the firm was Gerald Thurston. More information about the designer over here on Vintageinfo.
Lightolier was the first lighting company to introduce digital lighting systems in the early nineties. In 2007, Koninklijke Philips N.V. from the Netherlands (Philips Royal Electronics) announced that it would acquire the Genlyte Group which would make Lightolier a part of Philips.
All the electric parts were made by VLM Components. The company was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. The company became famous for the switches they produce since 1968, designed by Achille Castiglioni.
VLM is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM and Segno.
This Lightolier Interplay 1 table lamp is equipped with the Achille Castiglioni VLM switch model 450. They were produced with several other switches over the years, all made by VLM Components.
Links (external links open in a new window)
ABM Selene table lamp – Gold version
Other “Eclipse” lamps
Many thanks to Frank from nullviernull raum+kommunikation for the beautiful pictures and enthusiasm. You can find his shop over here on Ebay.