lava lamp timeline
    by Jonas Goo
 

1960s      1970s       1980s       1990s
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L   E   G   E   N   D   :
Years
General information
Model Names
Descriptions
Variations known/seen
Color Combinations - Lava color/ Liquid color
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e of these plus two of the standard 1960s line colors became the three standard 1970s line colors.
Early 1970s

Company changes hands; becomes Lava-Simplex Corp. Model lineup is changed completely. Unknown at what times models were started/discontinued, but here's a basic list:

Century

Aristocrat
Now with gold base with pinholes instead of white w/ gold squiggles.

Enchantress
Tall, slim cone-on-cone lamp, "hourglass" base, cone shape bottle, cap. Brass metal.
Known variations: Perhaps a prototype? A lamp cap which is, as usual, screw on gold-colored plastic, but instead of black under the gold pain, it is red which shows slightly when lamp is on; cap is approx. 1/8" taller than normal Enchantress size cap.

Enchantress Planter
Same as Enchantress, with added shallow tray at base's midpoint. Came with a ring of plastic flowers and greenery. Original flowers are six large white with six wide petals each, many small closed flowers, both yellow and sunset orange, large number of tiny white six-point flowers, and light green small-leaf foliage.
Known variations: May or may not be original - satin silver base/cap.

Elegant Vase
Slimmer version of Enchantress (sometimes called Enchantress by company). Bottle is gently tapered, base is gentle cone-on-cone made from one piece of smooth metal. Cap is plastic with glued-on metal overcap. If overcap is missing, plastic cap is vertically fluted (reeded) with fine lines. Metal finish, see "variations" section.
Known variations: Version with satin silver metal and very fine dust-like glitter that moves by convection currents in a heat-reactive thick liquid, instead of lava wax is a rare variation. This may be an early Gem Lite prototype. Box seen with one identifies this Elegant Vase as "Enchantress Lava Lite Model # 8100", the Enchantress model number.

Elegant Planter
Same, with planter dish at midpoint. Came with plastic flower ring, original style generally unknown.
Known variations that go for both Vase and Planter Elegant models: Metal colors seen include chrome, copper, satin brass, satin silver, etc. Very little catalog info gives no indication of standard metal colors, unusual color combinations sometimes matching UK-made Crestworth lamps sometimes show up. Company sometimes refers to Elegant Vase and Planter models using Enchantress names and model numbers.

Capri
A very simple model, this lamp used a Consort bottle and cap, and had a cylinder base with a very small rolled edge at the top, no wider "step" at the top (lamp had internal supports for bottle). Bottom of cylinder was attached to a short, narrow flared cone. Metal finish was satin brass or satin silver.

Mediterranean
Consort bottle/cap in cylinder base with wider upper edge. Base sits about 4" off table with cord coming out of bottom. Three sets of well-made wrought-iron-look scrollwork support the base cylinder. Base, cap and scrollwork are all a dull jet black, very mysterious.
Known variations: A Mediterranean has been found in a Gem Lite box, with an apparently original silver/clear Gem Lite bottle. Also, the scrollwork pieces are two sections, spot-welded together; a few catalogs show the center "S" scroll reversed, top of the "S" pointing outward rather than inward.

Lava Coach Lantern
A model well-known by collectors for the simple reason that everyone wants one! A Century/Aristocrat bottle sat in a flared cone, which sat on a wide short cylinder. A metal overcap, decorated with lots of pressed lines and curves like the base, was held in place by two metal rods. These rods clipped into the base, were bent outward then inward mirroring the shape of the lamp with its wider center, were screwed to two posts one on either side of the cap, and formed an arched "handle" over the top. 1970s versions had a false, decorative "cap" on the top of the base near where the rods clipped in, made to imitate a fill cap for kerosene. All metal parts were finished in a gleaming copper. A wonderfully designed lamp with an Olde World oil lamp look!
It is unclear as to the exact style of this lamp. Some say the Lava-Simplex lamp was polished brass finish, while the UK-made Crestworth style Astro Lantern was the copper style. Copper lamps of the Astro Lantern type are shown in Lava-Simplex catalogs, yet no evidence yet supports that they were made this way in the US. Crestworth lamps' bail (metal rods and handle) were threee pieces: Two sides and top. Top could fold aside like handle, as posts on cap had threaded ends, to which sides and top were held by small screw-on bolts - lamp COULD be carried by handle. Metal rods were affixed into base. Lava-Simplex lamp had single rod, held in posts on cap by two thumbscrews. It was NOT sturdy enough to support the lamp. Metal rods clipped into holes in base.

Carlisle
A simple, elegant style; the lamp most likely seen "on grandma's TV set". An Enchantress bottle/cap sat in a brass base shaped like a simple cone, following the bottle's form, widest at its base. The cone was decorated with "starlight" holes.
Known variations: These may or may not be original; One with a "Day-Glo" orange base and cap, and one with a polished chrome base and cap.

Saturna
Again, an Enchantress bottle/cap, this time on a short, wide-waisted cone-on-cone base, reversing the usual shape with a narrow center. The brass base was made to look like a stylized flying saucer, and sat on a Century-type black plastic tray with three "feet".

Aladdins Lamp
Another marvel of design and another "I want one" lamp! The Enchantress bottle/cap set in an Aladdin's Lamp type base. The base sits on a short inverted "bowl", and has jet-black pointed spout at one side and curled "wrought iron" handle at the other.

Continental
A 1970s Executive style. Looking from above, its cross-section is an oval. The base and top are made from brushed steel. The top and bottom ends have black plastic plates set in them. Facing the lamp's wider side, the edges of the metal that cover the upper and lower ends of the bottle are cut on a shallow diagonal, forming a narrow view of the bottle. Had a slight tendency to tip over.

Mystique
A companion to the Continental, this Executive style lamp had only two differences: From above, its cross section was square; and the edges of the metal were straight horizontal all the way around, with a taller bottle view. Again, tended to be slightly unstable, especially with age and use.

Astro Lava Lite
Another model with the Consort bottle/cap. Its base, a smooth brushed chrome cylinder set on a very short, wide round pedestal in the same finish, was very space-age. Two posts screwed into the side, one about 4" above the other, extended about 1/4". Attached was a thin brass "band" that circled the base 2 1/2 times in a spiral, which advertising called "three shiny brass astral bands". The lamp's cap was also brass.

All models of 1970s Lava Lite available in:
Orange/ Yellow
Red/ Clear
Green/ Blue.
Enchantress Vase and Enchantress Planter also available in:
Lime/ Green
 
 
 

for additions and questions, contact Jonas Goo
 
 
 

1960s      1970s       1980s       1990s