June 30, 2010
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.