June 30, 2010

It Came. I Saw. I'm Conquered.

They say good things happen in bunches. Finally. The mail truck stopped at the curb, the doorbell rang, and the postman cheerfully handed me a big cardboard box. Hooray! Today's Sputnik Light Day! Thankfully the light arrived all in one piece - no bent or broken arms or any unmentioned problems (unlike most of the vintage Sputniks I've seen on eBay in the recent past). Even the gold finish looks good like it appeared in the dealer photos. The wiring looks to be in good condition too, but as with any out-dated cloth wrapped wiring it ideally should be replaced by a licensed electrician.

Overall I think I got lucky, considering things with the dealer didn't work out so well. I can finally breath again. And I'm pinching myself. A longtime Sputnik light dream has become a reality!

Did you know, that the famous atomic (space age, Eames-era) Sputnik light (ceiling, pendant, lightolier) was originally designed by Paul de Haan in the late 50's, taking it's inspiration from the Brussles "Automium" and the world's first satellite "Sputnik?"

On October 4, 1957, the Russians launched the world's first space satellite. The satellite, named "Sputnik 1" was a metal sphere with a diameter of 58 cm, a weight of 83.6 kg and 4 protruding antennae. The news broke all around the world like a bombshell. It was "the beginning of the space age".

And also on April 17, 1958, the World Exhibition opened in Brussels with the "Atomium", an enormous 102m high structure, as its central feature. The 9 metal spheres, each with a diameter of 18m, were linked by means of connecting tunnels 23m in length. The "Atomiun" represents a metal crystal 165 billion times its normal size. Once inside this gigantic model, visitors can use the connecting tunnels to move from one sphere to another.

Thanks to Lamplust.com for the light's historical background.


1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Yes!! Wow, you got it! And all in one piece! Yea!!

Interesting info, and I'll add, that you can find awesome "Atomium" memorabilia from the Brussels Fair on eBay HERE

One day, I will get my own Sputnik lamp, ad one of those Atomium desktop models. =D

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

AND, not "ad" lol...

Typo at not extra charge =D

Space Commander said...

HA! I have to resist the urge to repost and correct all my typos :D btw... I see another one =X

And I hope you can find one of these, all in one piece too! Maybe if you increase the sacrifices made to the ebay gods in advance of any future transactions??? ...Couldn't hurt ;)

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

I've seen them made into table lamps, and considered once recently.

I'd be very curious if they produce a lot of light, or if they are mostly for "atmosphere"...

Love to get one for the living room, but I need a lot of light in there, and one of these may not cut it. =/

Could put it in the entrance way, if nothing else. =)

Let us know how yours works out, and as always, photos, lots of photos. =D

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Oh yeah, I'm full of typos, ain't I? *blush* geeez sorry about that!

Space Commander said...

I like dim lights at night so I usually only put one light on anyway.

My intentions are still to find a pull-down saucer-type light for the kitchen (it originally had a pulldown)... so I think this is going to replace the ceiling fan in the den/office/studio/whatever room.

I think the den will eventually display my space-related overflow from Junior's room, and the Sputnik may set a perfect space age atomosphere in there :) We'll see if it works out in there first.

Barbara said...

Guess the seller took all the bulbs, huh?

Amber Von Felts said...

OOH! I feel smarter now! Thanks for the history lesson & congrats on your new "baby" LOL!

Carole said...

I'm glad you got your fixture and that it's in good overall condition. Yay!!

The other day while looking through a book on vintage style, I saw a fixture similar to yours with the most fantastic bulbs in it. I hope you find something cool!

Space Commander said...

LoL Barbara... yes he did, and he even kept the burnt-out ones! ;P

YW and TY Amber, it was a difficult birth, but I think it'll be worth it!

Carole, I know just what ones you're talking about! They are THE bulbs to use in these fixtures too.

marufhosen said...

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