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Tag Archives: san francisco moss company 1940 – 1950 lamps

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.

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