Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi all, 

I was just wondering if anybody knows of a thread/site where it tells you what dates/years the various models of crestworth lamps were in production. 

It's mainly because I have a gen 3 (I believe) and would be interested to know how old it is roughly, but I'm also just interested in the others generally too. 

The flow of lava site is good for identifying models but seems to omit this bit. I may just be missing it though! 

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unfortunately im unaware of a timeline / date of production of each lamp as in say astro mk 1, 2, 3 etc, back in the 90s i heard from the factory that most of the historic paper work had been skipped :-(  so the only way of ruff dating is down to old sales receipt founds with orig lamps etc, part from that other tell tale signs can be what colour coded flex wire is on the lamp being red/black/green combination or the later brown/blue/green-yellow,  other things can be the cable switch styles,

A mk3 astro would have 4 lump style feet under the green felt base , the 2 part base held by base plate under the felt covering, it should have the shorter copper cap and wide neck bottle, i have to confess been years since i owned mk3 so cant say for sure if its the first style flex red/black/green , its gonna be 60s what ever but mid to late 60s

I too would love to know. The only early Astro I and most others are certain of is the Mk 1 which, of course, must date from 1963 but how long was it a Mk 1? Did Mk 2 (metal base plate) come out in 65 or 66? Perhaps M3 came out in 67 or even 69. I can only surmise. Someone out there must know for sure. Also, counting back to all the standard Astro styles excluding limited edition models, what Mk Astro would we be now if you take into account the Chrome Crestworth Astro (Mk5 maybe), the not so shiny chrome Crestworth Mk 6 and then the later brushed Alu Mathmos Astros Mk 7, 8  and 9? and the more recent polished varieties. Are we on a Mk 10 or even higher now?

ive been currently last couple of days attempting a time line from imformation avalible i will post it once ive checked few bits but confess i dont know it all :-) 

Cool Johnny. I know you're the Crestworth man and hopefully you can include the Mathmos Astro timeline too. Would be great to know/ see pics.

well cant do the astro time line say 80s onwards as i never got into that stuff but my attempt at crestworth 60s to 70s will follow shortly and feel free to save and adjust etc :-)

some reason it keeps chucking the text all over the place, i had spaced between each model etc grrrr

Use the bullet point feature

  • ETC.

    Johnny said:

some reason it keeps chucking the text all over the place, i had spaced between each model etc grrrr


  • Astro proto late 1963 rare as hell, this used a special seal on the bottle, base is 2 part construction and looks like copper and enamel painted inside, bottle was crystal glass Astro lamp released late 1963

  • Astro MK1 64-65 this features the brass coloured bulb holder, flex wire color code red/black/green 2 part base , cable grip grey rubber, switch is small oval shape and slide operated base is 2 part construction

  • Astro Mk2 66-67 bakelite bulb holder, flex wire code red/black/green, silver aluminum base plate holding 2 part base together, earth fitted to silver base plate, cable grib grey rubber, base is 2 part construction, additional black rubber base trim fitted, switch is larger and features push in/out click action this style switch is used into the 70s,

  • Astro MK3 68-69 2 part base, new base plate featuring 4 indented feet covered by green felt, cable grip white plastic on back of base, features push in/out click switch, the flex wire code is the new combination of brown,blue, green-yellow, base featured 2 indentation lines around the upper cone

  • MK1-3 all featured wide bottle neck, MK1 used sliver bottle top, MK2-3 used black flexible plastic top

  • Astro MK4 early 70's, 2 part base same as MK3, now featuring 5 indentation feet under green felt base, cap is larger style as modern astro's, bottle features new slimmer neck design and bottle top is black bakelite still in use till the mid 90s, base is 2 part construction, flex and switch is sames as MK3 base and featured 2 indentation lines around the upper cone

  • Astro Mk4.1 pre 1975 this is the first base to be made in one complete part but for some reason still carried the 2 indentation lines around the upper cone , this version doesnt turn up that open so possible it was limited run the switch is the same as previous versions but now featured the bakelite base plate, flex and switch same type used from MK2 onwards

  • Astro MK5 mid 70s as above but with out the 2 indentation lines and same flex as previous versions, Note this design , Astro mini, Lantern were also released during the 70s with black flex and switches around the time Living Jewels were released.

  •  Astro Mini MK1 1964 open base featuring brass bulb holder, grey rubber cable grip, switch same as Astro MK1 same flex wire code Red, black, green,

  • Astro Mini MK2 1964-65 same base as MK 1 now features bakelite bulb holder same flex wire code as MK1 pre 1966/67 additional black rubber trim fitted to base. features push in/out click switch also seen with white plastic cable grip

  • Astro Mini MK3 earliest known date reference 1969 this featured the black bakelite base plate, the base's were taller than MK1-2 and featured a metal bulb puller inside to remove the bulb, the flex and switch same as Astro MK 5, later models can use black flex / switch Astro Illumination / Slimline 1970s most likey mid 70s this oddiety and thought to be proto type has rarely turned up, yet a box was manufactured in the bright red design, It uses the MIni bottle, flex is black and base plate bakelite.

  • Astro Princess poss 64-65 date unknown promotional photo shows the lamp with Astro, Mini, Nordic MK1 pre lantern, very rare lamp, base cone is Astro MK1 earth wire attached to side of the cone thus making it early, this then sits in a wire style holder like a typical 1960s plant pot holder, to date only 2 have been seen

  • Astro Lantern MK1 no known date when released possibly 1965-66, MK1 uses red/black/green flex colour combination, grey rubber cable grip as Astro MK1 bulb holder standard black bakelite , handle,cap and both lamp stays held via a screw ( with screw driver slot ) and loose nuts inside cap, both stays slide through the base of the lamp and a serious of silver large washers and nut attached to both, both stays move up and down and not fixed like later versions, Bottle is the wider neck type as used in Astro MK2-3

  • Astro Lantern MK 2 this version now features white plastic cable grip, flex is the brown/blue/green-yellow colour coding, handle and stays /cap now held via flat ended bolt, cap has a nut fixing attached thus making it easier to fix together, both stays now held via screw thread on the base these are domed shape, when stays are screw in they are fixed / none wobbly unlike MK1,Mid 70s versions fitted larger slide switch and blue felt on base also came with black flex and switch no other major changes noted

  • Astro Nordic MK1 ( known as cosmos ) possibly the 4th lamp released, most made for european market, thou uk models have turned up, uk features 3 part base, pedestal, stem, cylinder ( for bottle) features the red/black/green flex combination, rubber cable grip, switch is the push down click version as used on MK2 astros ,Due to the flex colour combination this makes it pre 1967, only seen in the silver anodised finish, european versions aka cosmos turn up more frequently in lava and glitterlite versions and use a white plastic cable grip, most also tend to have a 2 part base as in pedestal/stem as one part and cylinder as the 2nd part.

  • Astro Nordic MK2 ( the cone base ) 1967-68 avalible in copper and silver anodised finishes, wire flex colour code is brown/blue/green-yellow , bases have green felt or blue, blue being 70s, switches range from push down click as astros MK2 - 5, later models have used chunky slide switch, again these will be 70s no other alterations noticeable on later versions.
  • Patent for the glitterlite filed 29 feb 1968

  • Astro Nordic Ceramic pre1975 This ceramic base / cap similar style lamp seen abroad possibly exported brochure shows standard nordic, canon timer, traction lamp
  • Astro Nordic deluxe 1975ish this style would become the Jet, finished in both copper and silver early models carried the original size nordic cap, early versions used the click in/out switch as used on astro MK5 later versions featuring "the living jewel" the cap size was lengthed, flex tends to be black and the on/off switch also note some bases also featured a metal bulb reflector, lava / glitterlite used 40w Living jewels used 25w bulbs

  • Princess / Rocket, 1967-68 seen in Dr Who wheel in space 2 eps exist, patent filled 29 feb 1968 for glitterlite version for mammoth 5ft lamp, similar bottle seen in the prisoner tv series featuring 2 bottles on top of each other. it was said not many were made but approx 10-12 have surfaced over the years, princess holds approx 25 litres, wax versions useds liquid wax for quicker start up time.

  • Traction Lamp MK 1 ,1970s Mk 1 features a metal steam engine model, faster motor speed, identical lamp sold via u.s lava company possible manufactured by crestworth
  • Traction Lamp MK2 1970s Mk2 features a gleaming plastic model engine, slow motor speed.
  • Mistrolite pre 1975 seen at lighting exhibition 1975 2 models made, first featured a diablo copper base, flex same as MK5 astro and featured the click on/off switch as well, also seen with the larger white slide switch. bulb is a opal small bayonet candle shape, unconfirmed if it is 25w or 40w, each colour shade used on the inner spinner was hand painted so no to shades will be identical, so far only 3 have been seen to date, The giant mistrolite has yet to be confirmed / seen, only image is on a catalogue leaflet.

  • Canon Timer date unknown gleaming gold finish featured glass tube with red oil and water, halfway along the tube black rubber bung with a hole at the top to let the red oil slowly travel thru.

  • known date Argos 1976, featuring the MK3 version, original released in copper there were several alterations to the base prior 1976, the patent for the glitterlite 1968 shows a base very similar to telstar
  • Telstar MK1 base is in 2 parts bulb and bulb holder sits in a egg cup shape insert ( bottle sits in it as well ) and base is open
  • Telstar MK2 This 2 part base features a base plate but still has a insert where the bottle sits in but the bulb holder is now held via the base plate.
  • Telstar MK3 mid 70s, now in copper and silver finishes featuring one part base, as with MK1 versions these use a standard bayonet bulb, and released as a cheaper lamp, silver versions tend to have black flex and black rubbery trim around the base, copper used white flex most werent fitted with a switch, again to keep costs down. later versions using the "living jewel" glitter and used a larger designed top
  • Table Lamp MK1 1975 copper finish, base style as Telstar, shown at a exhibition , bakelite base plate like the MK5 astro, addition switch on upper lamp holder for top light.
  • Table Lamp MK2 1975-76 silver anodised finish, large pedestal base , if memory serves me right 2 push down switches at the back, one for the bottle, and one for the upper light. Nordic Wall lamp early 70s copper finish lava or glitterlite, 2 push in switches featured on front one for up lighter and other for the bottle, cap and cylinder standard nordic design, one of the rare items
  • Astro Giant ( unknown model ) 1970s  oddity jumbo diablo shape base, bottle holds a gallon of liquid , wax is soft but not fluid like the princess/rocket uses standard baynet bulb that sits on a ring, no base plate ,bottle is like a large pickle egg jar so far 2 have been seen, possible like the princess made for display purpose only.
  • Twiggy patent filled 4 march 1969 variable geometry lamp stand - non liquid lamp aka spot light finished in different flock effects and anodised, seen at 1975 exhibition

  • Galaxy patent filled 14 july 1971, seen at exhibition 1974
  • Crystalite fibre optic- patent filled 12 feb 1975, seen at exhibition 1975 two versions were made, one featured the "flick" action movement of the coloured wheel and used a standard small bayonet bulb and a reflector , the other version used the more expensive halogen bulb, this version had a inner light diffuser, unsure if the flick movement was used on this version
  • Aromalite mid 70s glass shade housing standard bayonet bulb with copper top with a well where the owner could place a scented pad, above that was another copper disc with a series of holes, the bulb warms the scented pad up and the exotic aroma's fill the room. Flex colour black
  • Flowerlite mid 70s, using the nordic cone and
  • Phantomlite base odd lamp, the flower shape is stuck onto a smokey coloured dish , the centre has sprays coming out, all covered in silver glitter, available in copper and silver anodised finishes Phantomlite patent filled 14 july 1971 seen at 1974 light show

Oh wow, I'm going to get reading. This looks interesting stuff. Well done Johnny.

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