Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Is it possible to buy a lava lamp from the 70s?

I found this retro lamp on ebay. The seller says its from the 60s. I think it looks better then the new one's we see on the market today. so did lava lamps from the 60s/70s have some kind of unique design that sets them apart from new one? also the water in the lamp below does not seem to be full, is that normal?

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I agree with analog. These lamps were made here in the USA, whereas the others are made in China.In case you were wondering, this lamp is from the early 1970s. There would be a ring of fake flowers in the tray. Take a look around the Lava Library tab on the website header if you wish to see some other designs from the 1960s and 1970s.

Those were made well into the later seventies. Nice lamps. By the way that fluid level could be topped off with distilled water and it would be fine.

This is model 8200-N, the Enchantress Planter. Never intended to hold real plants, it was sold with a ring of plastic ones. This is color number 06, red/clear.

Yes, there were some more varied designs in the past. In 1966, there were 14 models in production, many with wooden bases. There were wall sconces, models with printed religious symbols and clowns (for the child's bedroom) on the glass, cordless non-electric lamps, ones with fancy gold squiggly painted patterns on the bases, a lamp with two music boxes, and a giant model on a wooden tripod.

The planter-base lamps appeared in the 60s; the first model came empty, so that "the enterprising homemaker" (said the catalog) could change the contents to suit any occasion, however the first Enchantress models (slimmer than this one, and known by collectors as "Elegant" lamps) were sold with plastic plants.

The 1970s brought lamps for the Mediterranean decorating trend, one a cylindrical black lamp with faux wrought-iron scrolled legs, the other a brass Aladdins Lamp with a black scroll handle and spout. The copper Lava Coach Lantern, first imported from the US manufacturer, Crestworth, and sold in the US, was then copied here, before being simplified for easier manufacture. Lamps with square and oval cross-sections also came around then, sometimes called the "executive style" lamps and made using bottles manufactured for liquor.

No, your lamp is not low on liquid. When completely cool, the level should be anywhere between 1/2" to 1 1/2" below the cap. This is to allow for expansion room when warm. More than 2" low when cool means evaporation has happened.

If you want to know the exact date on your lamp, 1970s-and-newer lamps had date stickers. When the globe is cool, look up into the air space, and there should be a sticker on the inside wall of the cap. Square stickers were used until the early 1980s, when they were switched to round ones.

After 1993, the US manufacturer switched from screw-on caps to a crimped cap (like that on a beer bottle) which was covered with a decorative plastic cap. The larger-size globes were switched to the crimped cap around 1996. In 2003, all production moved to China and quality dropped steeply. A US-made Lava globe with the crimped bottle-cap can be identified by the swirly red "Lava" script logo printed on top; the black alphanumeric line printed on these is a serial number and carries the two-digit color number at the end (say, 06 for red/clear).

I'd say you bought an excellent first vintage lamp!

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