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Bankers Lamps

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There are numerous ways that lighting can be used to furnish your home, adding depth and character to a room, as well as practical illumination for mood lighting and task lighting. This can include ceiling lights, wall bracket lights and more, but here were looking at the iconic bankers lamp, which has a long history and bags of character.

Why not add a little vintage chic to your home office, living room or bedroom with a traditional style bankers lamp from Franklite. We have a stunning collection that can be used throughout your home that will beautifully complement a more traditional interior design style.

Bankers lamp – The History

The bankers lamp, also known as an Emeralite, is an electric powered table lamp that was first patented by Harrison D. McFaddin back in 1909. The design features some distinct characteristics that make it very recognisable as a bankers lamp, such as the brass base stand, oblong domed glass lampshade with a white interior and emerald exterior, along with a pull-chain switch – although modern versions often feature different style switches.

The original design patented by McFaddin was manufactured by the J. Schreiber & Neffen factory in Moravia, where they produced the lamps for and impressive 50 years. The patented design of ornamental table lamps was sold under the brand Emeralite, whose name derived from combining emerald and light, although other brands later emerged in the marketplace selling similar style lamps, which included Greenalite, Verdelite and Amronlite.

Having been around for over 100 years, the bankers lamp has become synonymous as a desk lamp that was often used in busy financial offices or libraries and can be seen in old films, television series and modern remakes to convey the time period. But the uses of bankers lamps extended to other areas throughout their lifetime too, as typewriter desk lamps, bedside reading lamps, living room reading lamps and of course, home offices and studies, as their primary function is to give additional task light where it’s needed.

Why choose a bankers lamp

The obvious argument for choosing a bankers lamp for your home interior design is to emulate a vintage feel to your décor. If you’re a lover of all things old in your home, then a bankers lamp can help you recreate a traditional style and a lovely soft glow in your study, office, living room, bedroom or even your hallway table.

Primarily used for task lighting for desks, it can be a great addition to home offices or work areas, where you want extra light without a harsh glare. The white and green glass lampshade creates a soft diffusion of light that can be calming and more conducive to work, as green is well-known for being a soothing colour, which could be why it was chosen in the first place to be used in stressful working environments. 

Classic style with a modern twist

As you’d imagine there are various styles available in terms of decorative bases that even includes some older designs with inkwells, and amber glass lampshades instead of emerald green. But the design principles always remain the same – a brass base and a glass lampshade in the same shape and style.

While you can still find original Bankers lamps in antique shops, reclamation yards, car boots, auction houses and online, you can’t necessarily guarantee the condition of the lamp you’re buying. For some a little bit of aging is part of the charm, but you do also need to think about the safety aspects of an old lamp, as the wiring in original bankers lamps could be out of date, unsafe and in need of replacement.

However, at Franklite, you can have a modern bankers lamp with all the traditional characteristics, but with the peace of mind that it’s got modern wiring and handy modern features like a dimmer switch. Check out our beautiful selection of bankers lamps in classic designs with a modern twist, and a choice of finishes including brass and bronze bankers lamps.

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Franklite Ltd
Snowdon Drive, Winterhill, Milton Keynes MK6 1AP
Telephone: +44 (0)1908 691 818
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