Back in 1947, George Nelson was refitting his office and spotted a beautiful silk-covered lamp from Sweden. Unfortunately he couldn’t justify the cost of the lamp for his office, which got him thinking about creating his own low cost lighting solutions. He remembered a photograph of Liberty ships being put into storage (mothballed), where plastic was sprayed over a metal framework, to provide a lightweight protective plastic barrier.
This inspired him to create a whole range of lamps where polymer was sprayed over a wire framework, to create a lightweight, diffused light. These lights are known as Bubble Lamps, with the Saucer lamp (pictured) being an iconic piece of American Mid-Century Modern design.
The lights were put into production from 1950 by the Howard Miller company (where George Nelson was the design director from 1945 – 1972). They continued to produce the range of bubble lamps until 1979.
Modernica re-issued the Bubble light range including the Saucer lamp, from 1989 using George Nelson’s original specifications.