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Repairing Moss Spun Fiberglass Lamp Shades

A couple days ago I shared our collection of Moss lamps. The reason why a lot of these didn’t survive is because of the delicate spun fiberglass shades. Often times the shades would unravel. So, what do you do if you find a Moss lamp but the shade resembles a messy birds nest and is not too far gone? There is a cheap and easy solution….Elmer’s glue and water.

  1. Clean the lamp shades of any debris
  2. Dilute the glue in some water. There isn’t a science to this. Just get it to a consistency that will allow you to paint the mixture.
  3. Paint the shade with the glue mixture
  4. Allow to fully dry before placing shades back on the lamp


  • My shades still had their original shape. If your shades are floppy you’ll want to do the same process but over a mold that has the shape you want. I had a shade that became floppy but originally had straight edges. I created a form out of wood for the shade to sit on before I started painting so I could get the straight edges.
  • If you have thin areas or small holes in your shades, before step 2 trim off some of stray fiberglass and use it to patch the areas during step 2.

Here are some before and after pictures.



Moss Lamps Everywhere!!!!!!!!!

Mel and I fell in love with Moss lamps through a chance meeting with a gentleman we met off of a Craigslist pick. He showed us their true splendor and what an icon they are. We also have a Moss plaque and clock. Please enjoy the pictures I have attached. Most of the lamp shades have been restored.

Here is the history of the Moss empire off of the internet…

Moss Manufacturing Co. in San Francisco created the “lamps that spin” during the 1940s and 1950s. The lamps integrated motorized spinning platforms into their designs along with figurines from any number of ceramics firms during that era. These unique lamps had quite a visual impact. Most often the shades were “spun glass” and enormous in size.

Since metal was being rationed during World War II, Moss Mfg. decided to use plexiglass as the base material. Nevertheless, plexiglass turned out to be easy to work with and predominantly fitting for the fanciful Moss creations.

Thelma Moss, company co-owner, was the guiding force and motivation for the lamp designs. Duke Smith and John Disney were the designers who followed through by creating her vision.

Moss Mfg. quickly became known for other, sometimes, bizarre novelty items they created such as: aquarium lamps, fountain lamps, intercom lamps and more. There were even motorized “double shade” lamps with shades rotating in opposite directions independently. Some of the lamps were designed to double as clocks, music boxes, tables and room dividers.

The final Moss Lamps were produced in 1968. The rarity of the spun glass shades and use of plexiglass, along with the unconventional lamp designs, make these vintage lamps great collectibles today.

Click Images to Enlarge

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