Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I was born in Soviet Union in 1980 and first saw a glitter lamp probably in 1984 or so..

During the Soviet era, nearly all stores (mostly state owned) which sold electrical (but not electronic) goods here in Moscow were given the same name - "Svet", which means "light". Electronic goods, such as radios, tape recorders, TV sets, calculators (including scientific and programmable ones), and, since 1985, 8- and 16-bit home computers (do the names such as "Mikrosha", "Radio-86RK", "Vektor-06C" or "Elektronika BK-0010" tell you anything?), were sold in other stores, called "Kulttovary" (meaning "culture goods") and "Dosug" (meaning "recreation"), which also had school and office supplies in another section.

Among other electrical goods, "Svet" stores, of course, carried a lot of light fixtures of all imaginable kinds - table and wall lamps, torchieres, ceiling fixtures, night lights, made of plastic, glass, wood, steel etc, belonging to all styles from industrial to artisitc and imitation of vintage. The Soviet "deficite" never even slightly touched such a category of goods as light fixtures - they were always available to the public in huge quantities and assortment, while remaining affordable for anyone. Btw, most of Soviet light fixtures are very well designed both in quality and appearance, and many survive to this day in excellent condition and even look surprisingly modern.

Being a four-year-old Soviet boy, i liked very much to visit "Svet" stores with my parents in order to do only one thing there: to press buttons on a "ceiling fixture keyboard". Btw, a ceiling fixture is called "lyustra" in Russian, which is derived from the French term "lustre" meaning a decorative ceiling fixture. In Russian langiage, however, any light fixture suspended from ceiling, being decorative or not, has this name. Each store of the "Svet" kind was equipped with such a "keyboard". Ceiling fixtures were hung from the store's ceiling and connected using ordinary plugs to ordinary sockets mounted on the same ceiling. But running them all simultaneously would require a lot of power! On the other hand, the customer who came to the store in order to choose a fixture from a plurality of them definitely wants to find out how they look like when running. So, each fixture was assigned a number. The "keyboard", consisting of doorbell buttons, had numbers on them too. To test a fixture, you just pressed a button with the same number as that on the fixture you wanted to see runnung.

One day i visited one of the "Svet" stores to press buttons on its "keyboard", and noticed a strange device being sold. It, of course, ran continuously, not through a doorbell button, and was a bright table lamp which had a bottle filled with liquid, in which light reflecting flakes floated chaotically and produced a spectacular, dazzling image. The device, of course, was not bought due to its relatively high cost compared to ordinary light fixtures.

Nowadays i do not even slightly remember the shape of the glitter lamp i saw when i was four years old. I also saw no other glitter lamps since then and until, maybe, early 1990s, when cheap Chinese lamps, both lava and glitter variations, started to appear in our city.

Well, during all the 1980s i also liked to visit grocery stores, because the weight scales in them used real cool-looking nixie tubes! Only in 1987 or so they started being slowly replaced with a newer model using VFDs. Such nixie scales are very hard to find nowadays, even though the IN-12 nixies used in them are not. Now collecting and restoration of vintage electronics and other technical devices, is one of my hobbies, along with creationism, bicycle riding and Linux. But that is another story. 

Maybe because i recall that glitter lamp of my childhood today, i still prefer glitter lamps over lava based ones.

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Thanks, i have already found that website about a week ago. It's fascinating!
But since i do not remember the details of the lamp i saw in 1984, i, unfortunately, cannot tell which of the three Soviet lamps depicted on your site is most similar to the one i saw.
Two of the three Soviet glitter lamps mentioned on your site are made of bakelite. This material was not used in Soviet light fixtures in the 1980s, so probably they are made much earlier, maybe in the 1960s.
Please send it to numlock2000 (at sign) mail (dot) ru.
Btw, what kind of lamp is depicted on your avatar? It's definitely not lava or glitter, looks like a shade from an ordinary table lamp. :)
I says the following:
Souvenir "Rocket".
Very nice story, would love to see pictures of nice soviet designs of weifgt scales and other cool stuff.
Well, here is the weight scale (not in my posession): http://itmages.ru/image/view/53813/8ceb988c
And here are various Soviet vintage devices of all kinds: http://clubs.ya.ru/4611686018427388682/
Do you own the lamp itself?
Sorry. Not rocket. Rainbow. Rocket is a name of another similar Soviet lamp. This one is called Rainbow.
Thanks!

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