Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey all,

Early 70s models switch to a solid, but seamed, base and a brass color which often fades to silver. From the late 70s onward, a brass finish was used that did not fade. Starting in the mid 90s, black and satin silver versions were produced.

Considering purchasing a silver base Century 100 model and need some advice as this is a new hobby for me. The listing title is "Vintage Underwriters Laboratory, " with a silver base and top.

 In the Lava Library here it states that "Early 70s models switch to a solid, but seamed, base and a brass color which often fades to silver. From the late 70s onward, a brass finish was used that did not fade. Starting in the mid 90s, black and satin silver versions were produced."

So, my question is this: Is there any way to tell whether the lamp I am considering is an early 70s model whose brass base faded to silver or a mid 1990's one that is a satin silver version? Thanks!

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Thanks so much :)

Jim said:

There were 32 ounce screw tops as well, like the Carlisle, as well as earlier midnights, the Aztec, etc.

One thing to remember about these screw tops, is you're dealing with a lamp that's been sealed for at least 25 years. A wee bit of lube may be needed to loosen up 25 years of accumulated gunk in the threads.

M said:

Oh shit, I missed your previous message about the top on the Midnight being potentially glued/affixed, since in theory it should just sit on top. Yeah, it is very firmly on there. And haha, no, it wasn't me who glued it so I fully support the offender being forced to drink the contents of the globe lol!

My 1975 Carlisle top is also firmly affixed too. Unremovable. I know we're talking Centuries specifically so Carlisle is potentially different? Idk. I bought that one from a gentleman who had owned it since new and it had been in storage for years, so I'd be surprised if it was tampered with.

Are these early screw on tops only seen in Centuries or across the board for earlier ones?

Jim said:

Nope, shouldn't be affixed. That bottle cap seals up the globe tight as a drum, so the top cap really isn't functional, just decorative. I did offer one theory above; that someone may have applied adhesive to the decorative cap to seal it permanently to the bottle cap. Not the best thing to do as some collectors like to swap out bottles. 

M said:

Gotcha. I will be sure to study the Lava Lite ID document to limit all these questions I'm asking!

Bit off topic, but the top to my 1997 Midnight century will not come off at all. I'd assume it'd come off easily, revealing the bottle cap underneath. To your knowledge, do the tops to these much newer ones come off at all? Or are they glued or affixed somehow?

Yeah, that makes perfect sense about potentially needing a little lube to open them up. Good point! Thanks again for sharing all your insights

have someone hold the bottle after running the cap under hot water and use a cap snaffler by RONCO
(Item on the right of the photo)
 copies of the original are available at your local walmart


M, you shouldn't need to remove the Carlisle or Midnight Century caps unless those globes need a serious refill (that is, contents are all screwed up). If it has the bottlecap top, which began in '92 for the smaller 32oz. globes (the Carlisle size) and '95 or 6 for the 52oz. (Century size) the decorative cap will simply lift off. If it doesn't, it's a screw-on. The latter ARE removable but take a firm twist-- though I've encountered some that just won't budge, even those aren't glued on. But again, there's no need to remove them. Just leave them where they are.

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