OMI Chrome Desk Lamp
First of all, the Koch & Lowy OMI story is a HOAX! Someone with a lot of imagination has ever made this up… The same story with DMI.
Materials: Round chromed metal (iron) base. Cast iron counterweight inside the base. Chrome rod. Aluminium chromed lampshade, painted white inside. Bakelite socket.
Height: 70,5 cm / 27.75”
Lampshade: ∅ 14 cm / 5.51”
Base: ∅ 16,7 cm / 6.57”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Sölken-Leuchten, Arnsberg, Germany – Walter Hustadt GmbH & Co. KG Leuchten, Am Schindellehm 7-9, 59755 Arnsberg, Germany. .
Other versions: This OMI chrome desk lamp also exists as a double light floor lamp. The lampshade can be found on several other lamps, such as with this wall lamp.
These series of lamps were also sold by Fase from Spain and Hustadt-Leuchten, also from Arnsberg, Germany. On this page a picture from a 1974-1975 catalogue. Fase sold many lamps made by other companies. More information over here. In all probability these lamps ware produced in Arnsberg, but by which company?
The two other lamps in the catalogue picture, the two white ones with the chrome ring, were also sold by all these companies. Also Massive from Belgium sold them. They exist in multiple colours.
Koch & Lowy
By searching the internet for the OMI mark on the chrome knee joint, you always find lamps that are described as lights designed by Koch & Lowy for OMI. Koch & Lowy is not a design team, but an American light company and it has got nothing to do with this lamp. Koch & Lowy used OMI joints for their lamps, hence the confusion. Today Koch & Lowy is owned by Chapman Manufacturing Company, Inc. from Avon, Massachusetts.
Some say OMI Switserland, but there is nothing to be found about a Swiss company with that name. Others say OMI DBGM, because sometimes it is pressed in the knee joint.
DBGM is not some type of company, but it is German for utility model, “gebrauchsmuster” in German. Only used in Germany and Austria: Deutsches Bundes-Gebrauchsmuster. To say it simple, the knee joint is made by a company named OMI and the system is licensed for some period, most of the time 10 years: the small brother of a patent.
Josef Sölken GmbH & Co. KG Leuchtenfabrik was founded in january 1950 as a family business. Over the years they produced and sold many lamps. Many of them were also sold by Massive from Belgium. The company Sölken was declared bankrupt in 2001, it had been in trouble for some time. Sölken-Leuchten was a client of OMI and used OMI parts for most of their lamps with joints.
The Briloner lighting company owned by the Hustadt family has taken over the high-voltage system and in the low-cost Soelken systems compatible systems. The rest of the company was acquired by S-Leuchten Verwaltungs GmbH, also from Arnsberg. Today Sölken-Leuchten is owned by Stefan Schrader from Lichtservice Schrader in Hamburg.
Hustadt-Leuchten was founded in September 1962 as Walter Hustadt GmbH & Co. KG Leuchten. Not much is know about it. The company officially ended business in may 2014. It went bankrupt some 5 years before.
Hustadt-Leuchten always produced lights in a good quality. You can find a few lamps on this website. The company received several design awards. One of the most well known designers for Hustadt-Leuchten was Klaus Hempel, who also designed lamps for the famous Gebr. Kaiser & Co. Leuchten, company, also from Germany.
The OMI company is Otto Meinzer GmbH & Co Metallwarenfabrik from Iserlohn in Germany (Otto Meinzer Iserlohn). It is a manufacturer of chromed brass joints for the lighting industry. The joints are marked with the OMI mark. The company was founded more than 50 years ago. They never produced lighting.
The switch of this lamp has stamps that say that the switch is approved for use in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany.
Companies that use OMI parts are among others: Atelje Lyktan, Sweden, Massive, Belgium, Fase, Spain, Hustadt Leuchten, Germany, Abo Randers, Denmark, Steinhauer, The Netherlands and many more.
Another joint maker that is often linked on the Koch & Lowy story is DMI.