Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Everyone kept talking about mathmos so I decided to go look. They are only available in the UK and not the USA. How come?

Couple of questions - I never heard of them until I found this site. I always thought Lava International was the creator. Is mathmos a distributor or a new company all together? Confused.. :\

Lastly, is the mathmos clear/white large globe the same size as the 52oz here? Where would one pick it up here in the states?

Thanks
Kris

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Hi Kris, Mathmos do not ship to the USA. It is probably down to the high shipping costs to send a lamp all the way to the USA. They are by far the best Lava Lamp producers in my opinion. Mathmos was originaly called the Crestworth Trading Company back in the 1960's and they were the original inventors of the lava lamp. They went on to sell the rights to a company in the USA. The only way you can get hold of a Mathmos Lamp in the USA is to find an E-bay seller in the UK that is prepared to ship to the USA like myself. I have a number of lamps for sale at the moment and I will be happy to ship to the USA.
Sounds interested. I did read on wiki (not sure how accurate it is), that Mathmos was the ORIGINAL company that made them then sold it off to the states. Or something to that extent.

Lavaman-UK - I am looking for the BIG clear/white mathmos lava lamp. Any way to get one here? If so, what would the cost be? Is there a private messaging system here? Not familiar with the layout - mostly familiar with vBulletin boards.

Thanks Lavaman!

Kris
Thanks very much! I checked out electric planet and I am willing to put an order in - this will be my most expensive lava lamp ever! It's showing up as ...

Shipping £34.99
Total £79.98

Thats about $160.00 USD. Shocked, but not too shocked. Our dollar is poor and shipping is costly.

So my question is before I bite the bullet on this - can anyone get it to me cheaper? Just wondering!

Thanks a bunch guys!

To add to what others have said, Mathmos (earlier known as Crestworth, Ltd.), founded by Edward Craven Walker, was the creator of what we now know as the lava lamp.  The units available in the USA are obviously, quite different. 

This situation traces to an agreement made in the early 1960s.  My understanding is that the Americans who bought rights to sell a 'lava lamp' exclusively in the USA first saw the Mathmos lamps in Germany.  Here is the story as summarized by an online webpage from the Lemelson-MIT program (Lemelson-MIT is dedicated to aiding entrepreneurs):

"Walker began marketing the lamp in Europe in 1963 with the name Astro Lamp. Its debut was perfectly timed to precede the “psychedelic craze” of the 1960s. He patented the design in England in 1964, and the lamps began selling first in London at Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason. Walker set up a manufacturing plant in Poole, England under the name of Crestworth, Ltd.

The following year, at a trade show in Hamburg, Germany, American executives bought rights to manufacture the lamps in North America. They began selling “Lava Lite” lamps via their Chicago-based Lava Brand Motion Lamp Company, which later became Lava Manufacturing Corp. Within just a few years, lava lamp had exceeded seven million units worldwide."

Sadly, those rights were, I believe, 'in perpetuity' (someone else might have more information on this than do I).
 
For some reason, I believe Mathmos decided that they could sell a version of their Telstar model in the USA at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s.  I  assume that is because the Telstar is the model least like those sold currently in the USA, which more closely resemble the Mathmos Astro model.  Mathmos did have an agreement to sell at least 100 USA models (wired for 120V) and they did so through a USA distributor. 

Those units, priced reasonably at something under $100, came with a 'certificate' indicating that they were some of the first Mathmos lamps to be available for sale in the USA.  As it happens, I own a small set of these lamps.  They are identical to the UK models except, of course, for the wiring and the bulbs.  However not long after these became available, they were - suddenly - no longer for sale from the single distributor.  My assumption is that lawyers representing the USA Lava Lite people quickly put an end to that marketing maneuver.  I have no idea whether fines or penalties were involved, or how this was resolved, but clearly Mathmos has not attempted to sell in the USA subsequently. 

It's sad really, because I am sure there would be good demand here in the USA if Mathmos could sell directly to USA consumers. 

If you want a Mathmos original lamp, my advance is to use a 3rd party to get it shipped to the States. Then just buy a small voltage converter; it is easier I believe, than rewiring it yourself and if you get tired of the lamp, it is probably worth more without a conversion.    

Hi,

Rewiring would probably not be necessary, get a plug adaptor (travel adaptor) for a couple of $$ or swap the plug to a US one and then change the bulb, the wiring should easily handle the current of even a 40W 110V bulb - unless you're going for a Neo which are 12V in which case you just need a 12V DC Power supply with correct plug and polarity and enough amps (about 2A as I recall), could probably be run off a car battery.

The Smart Astro would be the same (if you can ever find one) except opposite polarity so never use a Neo power supply on them as they didn't fit any sort of polarity protection on them (All it takes is 4 diodes arranged as a 'bridge' costing less than £/$1 [retail price, trade/manufacturing cost would be pennies] and taking very little space - sadly almost no manufacturers ever bother with them, not even on Laptops costing $$$$.$$)

Tim

(Hereford, UK)

James Thomas Decker said:

To add to what others have said, Mathmos (earlier known as Crestworth, Ltd.), founded by Edward Craven Walker, was the creator of what we now know as the lava lamp.  The units available in the USA are obviously, quite different. 

This situation traces to an agreement made in the early 1960s.  My understanding is that the Americans who bought rights to sell a 'lava lamp' exclusively in the USA first saw the Mathmos lamps in Germany.  Here is the story as summarized by an online webpage from the Lemelson-MIT program (Lemelson-MIT is dedicated to aiding entrepreneurs):

"Walker began marketing the lamp in Europe in 1963 with the name Astro Lamp. Its debut was perfectly timed to precede the “psychedelic craze” of the 1960s. He patented the design in England in 1964, and the lamps began selling first in London at Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason. Walker set up a manufacturing plant in Poole, England under the name of Crestworth, Ltd.

The following year, at a trade show in Hamburg, Germany, American executives bought rights to manufacture the lamps in North America. They began selling “Lava Lite” lamps via their Chicago-based Lava Brand Motion Lamp Company, which later became Lava Manufacturing Corp. Within just a few years, lava lamp had exceeded seven million units worldwide."

Sadly, those rights were, I believe, 'in perpetuity' (someone else might have more information on this than do I).
 
For some reason, I believe Mathmos decided that they could sell a version of their Telstar model in the USA at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s.  I  assume that is because the Telstar is the model least like those sold currently in the USA, which more closely resemble the Mathmos Astro model.  Mathmos did have an agreement to sell at least 100 USA models (wired for 120V) and they did so through a USA distributor. 

Those units, priced reasonably at something under $100, came with a 'certificate' indicating that they were some of the first Mathmos lamps to be available for sale in the USA.  As it happens, I own a small set of these lamps.  They are identical to the UK models except, of course, for the wiring and the bulbs.  However not long after these became available, they were - suddenly - no longer for sale from the single distributor.  My assumption is that lawyers representing the USA Lava Lite people quickly put an end to that marketing maneuver.  I have no idea whether fines or penalties were involved, or how this was resolved, but clearly Mathmos has not attempted to sell in the USA subsequently. 

It's sad really, because I am sure there would be good demand here in the USA if Mathmos could sell directly to USA consumers. 

If you want a Mathmos original lamp, my advance is to use a 3rd party to get it shipped to the States. Then just buy a small voltage converter; it is easier I believe, than rewiring it yourself and if you get tired of the lamp, it is probably worth more without a conversion.    

Use this company to dropship a mathmos to you from the UK
they even give you a UK address to enter into the Mathmos website when placing the order
https://www.forward2me.com/

Being the smartass that I am I have to add....: No Craven walker was NOT the inventor, it was someone else (forgot the name) who made the first lava lamps and walker bought the rights from him and developed it further so it can hit the shelves for sale.

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