I have been restoring vintage lights since I was a teenager in the mid-1970s. An Interstate highway was being rammed through the city where I lived, and I ran (steps ahead of the bulldozers, and with my shag haircut flying) from one incredible building to another, and from one incredible house to another, and salvaged everything I could.

My poor, bewildered parents. Their garage was soon chock-a-block with what I thought were treasures beyond compare. But which they thought was just useless flotsam. I did though once overhear my mom say: “Well, at least he’s not out doing drugs.”

However, when all their boring lights were systematically replaced with the most stunning lights they had ever seen – and all for free, rewired, and restored – they soon had second thoughts about the flotsam. (I paid for new parts by mowing lawns!)

Fast forward many decades.

One day I realized I had a pile of old lights rusting away in my basement. I hauled a few out, restored them (bringing back many old memories), and listed them on eBay.

At the time I had no idea, not a clue, that I had just radically changed my life.

Within months my life was unrecognizable, and I was working full time restoring vintage lighting and selling the fixtures across America.

My new e-commerce website is now online. Whoee! Please feel free to shop and purchase here:

The Old Above

My blog post are below.

Currently displaying blog entries in Chronological Order. Switch to Most Recent.

Currently displaying blog entries in Most Recent Order. Switch to Chronological Order.

The Three Great Lighting Companies

In the first half of the twentieth-century there were three great lighting companies: E. F. Caldwell Lion Electric Lightolier   CALDWELL Caldwell was by far the best. The company made truly exquisite lighting and they were the #1 choice for architects across the country. Indeed, when McKim, Mead & White redesigned the White House in… Continue Reading

A Lovely Spanish-Revival Pair

Because I sell vintage lighting for a living, obviously I buy a lot of vintage lighting. One criteria is that the lighting have something distinctive about it. Such as with this lovely pair of Spanish-Revival sconces from the late 1920s.       The fixtures are brass, but this has a highly distinctive silvery original… Continue Reading

A Sweet Pair Of Virden Fixtures.

I enjoy learning about my vintage light fixtures. What company made them? During what period? Is the company extant? If not, when did it close? Where was the company located? A very popular lighting company for decades was the John C. Virden Company. Virden was Canadian-based, at 19 Curity Avenue, Toronto. They also had a… Continue Reading

A Matching Set!

Matching sets are so cool. I collect matching sets, and finding enough fixtures to do a whole house can take years. The largest set I ever collected ended up with 27 companion fixtures! Today I listed a set with just three fixtures, a chandelier and two matching sconces. Such a set would have often been… Continue Reading

My Babies Find a New Home!

It thrills me when one of my buyers sends images of my babies in their new home. David and Angel purchased four matching Colonial-Revival sconces from me, and recently sent images. They wrote: “Purchased these from you in the spring. They are perfect. Everyone thinks they are original to the house. Mission accomplished. Thank you!”  … Continue Reading

Resurrecting Glamour & Glitter

        Would you like to see the After? Please scroll away down.                                           I never get over the thrill of taking something which does not look like much, and by simply restoring… Continue Reading

From Grungy to Glittering

    With all my experience restoring vintage lighting, I am occasionally surprised, even stunned, by the AFTER. This chandelier looked SO bad that I hesitated purchasing it. What decided things for me? The cast brass rosettes curling up from each arm. Sweet. And these looked to be of high-quality, indicating that the whole fixture… Continue Reading

Some 1940s Glamour

Because I restore vintage lighting for a living, I naturally come across a lot of vintage lighting. And I pass on a lot of vintage lighting. I buy when something captures my special attention, such as fixtures which I have not seen previously (whoee!), or fixtures which look sad and abandoned, but which could be… Continue Reading

Ooooh! Poor baby!

Sometimes I buy a vintage light just because I feel sorry for it. Like this fixture. It is from the 1920s. It had been rewired not long ago. Badly. Very badly. If anybody had tried to use the fixture it would have instantly shorted out. Scary. There were also new white plastic candle covers. A… Continue Reading

A Moment with Moderne

While I am always buying vintage lighting to restore, some fixtures capture my special attention, like anything with a Moderne styling. Moderne is an aesthetic which developed after the Art Deco period. This aesthetic was relatively short-lived, and reached the height of its popularity in the late 1930s. Emerald City, in the movie Wizard of Oz,… Continue Reading

A Requiem for a Lost Twin

It makes me sad when something beautiful is lost. It makes me even sadder when something beautiful is lost…because of a casual effort. It makes me even sadder, still, when something beautiful is lost which managed to survive, until being treated casually, for almost eighty years. Hence, this terrible story of loss. You see, I found… Continue Reading

Recreating Loveliness

Normally, I never buy a vintage light unless it retains all its original components. I am a bit of a nut about having things be original. OK, I am a full-blown nut in this regard. A few weeks ago I came across an old fixture:           My online store. Continue Reading

A Rare Beauty by Porcelier

Once upon a time there was a lighting company called Porcelier. For many decades the company created extraordinary lighting fixtures made of porcelain and glass, and these fixtures were sold across the land. This magical company closed in 1954, and their fixtures are today greatly desired. I have a fondness for Porcelier, and delight in… Continue Reading

A Beauty Reborn

For years, years, I had a light fixture in storage. It had been repainted in many many many zippy colors. Just dreadful. I suspect hippies were the culprits. I knew that buried under all the color was a lovely 1920s pan-style fixture. I just had to strip it to reveal the hidden beauty. But every… Continue Reading

Oh baby, feeling MOD? Feeling GROOVY? Feeling COOL?

Do the 1980s have any aesthetic value? I am uncertain. However, the 1970s had some pretty cool stuff happening, visually. While I restore vintage lighting, my cut-off era is the mid-70s. This is because by the late 70s lighting design got really dull. I do not recall ever offering a fixture from the 1980s, even… Continue Reading

1920s Luscious by Moe-Bridges

Two brothers, Henrik and Ole Moe, helped to found the Milwaukee-based Moe-Bridges lighting company in 1919. Later friction among various shareholders resulted in the brothers leaving the company in the late 1920s, and founding Moe Brothers Manufacturing, or Moe Light. The Moe-Bridges Company continued, however. In 1943, the company was renamed The Lighthouse, and then… Continue Reading

Slip-Shade Beauties!

During the 1930s a new type of lighting fixture appeared on the scene using slip-shades. Slip shades are glass shades which “slip” into place. These were the very acme of modernity, and such fixtures became wildly popular. They still are. And are normally quite expensive. I rarely offer slip-shade fixtures. Partly, because they are so… Continue Reading

A Beauty by Gill Glass

Gill Glass & Fixture Company was located on Amber Street in Philadelphia, and occupied most of the block between East Tioga and East Venango Streets. The factory backed up against rail lines, as was common, and there would have been a rail spur leading directly to Gill loading docks. The Gill buildings are extant, although… Continue Reading

Nautical Influences

  I love fixtures like this. The fixture is late 1930s, and was created during an era when nautical-themed lighting became popular. I love the wood ship’s wheel, fabulous anchor finial, and gorgeous glass shades. It all just brings a smile to my lips.   My online vintage lighting store.   Continue Reading

A Glamorous circa-1960 Hollywood-Regency Crystal Pair!

  This past Saturday, I went to my very first voting caucus. And arrived thirteen minutes late. It was then that I learned: If a voter arrives late for a caucus, they cannot vote. Geez. Poo. Having driven 1.4 hours to the caucus destination, I was quite vexed with this discovery. But there was nothing… Continue Reading

Before. After.

        The fixtures are not large, and not particularly expensive, but nonetheless seem well worthy of being presented well! They will be lovely in the right home.   My online vintage lighting store. Continue Reading

A Rare Pair

Last year I purchased a bunch of lighting for the Cross House. Lighting which seemed correct for the house. But since then I have learned that all this lighting was NOT right for the house, which had gas/electric combination light fixtures. My purchases had included gas fixtures of the period, and electric fixtures of the period, but no gas/electric… Continue Reading

Why fixtures by Porcelier are so stunning!

Once upon a time there existed a company called Porcelier. The unusual name derived from the fact that the company made things largely out of porcelain. And glass. Today, one can buy Porcelier toasters (made, incredibly, out of porcelain) and Porcelier coffee makers and Porcelier tea sets and Porcelier waffle makers and…Porcelier lighting fixtures. I… Continue Reading

An Amazing 1940s Vintage Lightolier Chandelier

There are cars. And there are cars. You can buy a new Ford Taurus for about $25,000. Or, you could buy a new Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe for $400,000. Both vehicles have four wheels, are fully equipped, safe, and will get you very comfortably from A to B. But there’s still a world of difference between the… Continue Reading

A Frankenlight! EEEEEEEEK!

A Frankenlight is, like the famous monster, made of disparate parts. I never create or sell Frankenlights. But they are common. Few buyers will even realize that they have purchased a Frankenlight. And few sellers indicate as such.                                  … Continue Reading

Eighteen Moderne Sconces!

Moderne is an aesthetic which developed after the Art Deco period. This aesthetic was relatively short lived, and reached the height of its popularity in the late 1930s. Emerald City, in the movie Wizard of Oz, is Moderne gone Hollywood. Many lighting fixtures labeled Art Deco are more accurately Moderne, such as a matched set… Continue Reading

It is all Lacie’s Fault. Part 1.

Lacie Hamlin was the realtor who sold me the Cross House. She is smart, delightful, and gorgeous, and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know her. Last week, Lacie sent me a text image: a grouping of old lights which were for sale. Was I interested, she asked? If so, how much should she pay?… Continue Reading

It is all Lacie’s Fault. Part 2.

Recently, I did a post about a small pile of lights which Lacie, the realtor who sold me the Cross House, left on the back porch of the house. Was I interested, she had emailed. Oh, baby, yes.           My online vintage lighting store. Continue Reading

It is all Lacie’s Fault. Part 3.

Recently, I did a post about a small pile of lights which Lacie, the realtor who sold me the Cross House, left on the back porch of the house. She emailed: Was I interested? Oh, baby, yes.         My online vintage lighting store.     Continue Reading

Before. After.

  The fixture arrived. Undamaged thankfully. It was apparent that it once had crystals hanging around the stem above the shade. But what style crystals? There are like a zillion to choose from. And I wanted, damn it, the historically correct crystals! The finial on the bottom was also missing. Argh! And what did IT… Continue Reading

Before. After.

  For many decades, Porcelier made some of the finest lighting fixtures and house wares. There’s a book on their work. Porcelier became famous for the quality of their product, and its aesthetic. Most of what the company produced featured gorgeous floral designs. However, just before they closed in 1954, the company boldly broadened their line.… Continue Reading

Before. After.

    I purchase the chandelier. A week later it arrived. And I was HORRIFIED by the packing. HORRIFIED. I gingerly and with great trepidation pulled out the five glass shades…and none were broken. A miracle. Nothing else could explain it. Oh, but what about the delicate glass stem? Also unbroken! I then looked at… Continue Reading

A Damaged Beauty

        Normally, I do not buy damaged fixtures, but this one was just too stunning to pass up. Also, depending on how one positioned the pendant, the damaged side of the shade may not even be visible. For example, in the Cross House, if I hung this in the round Receiving Room… Continue Reading

Before. After.

    I had the chandelier on my Watch list over and over and over as it received no bids through numerous re-lists. Well, the opening bid was high. Normally, I am not so ambivalent. Usually I am like I MUST HAVE THAT! (OMG! You see what is coming up next week! I am salivating!)… Continue Reading

My Bouncing Heart.

              The seller, luckily, was gracious, and gave me a full refund ASAP. My hope is that in time, in time, in time, I will find a matching 16-1/2-inch wide shade, and the glory which once was will rise again. My heart is vaguely hopeful.       My… Continue Reading

Gobsmacked by Porcelier!

For many decades, Porcelier made some of the finest lighting fixtures and house wares. There’s a book on their work: Collector’s Guide to Porcelier China Around 1950, Porcelier updated their line of lighting. Some new fixtures were introduced but, mostly, existing fixtures received subtle updates. These latter fixtures were identical to what was produced a decade previously,… Continue Reading

Wanna Meet Duplexalites?

Last week I was quite excited to find SIX Duplexalite pendants. Six! I have never before found more than two. But what, you may ask, is a Duplexalite? The Miller Company created a fixture they dubbed Duplexalite. I sell a number of these wonderful fixtures each year (see link below). There is a wide variety… Continue Reading

An Exquisite 1930s Moe-Bridges Set

One of the great pleasures of working with vintage lighting is the quality. Fixtures from before WWII are just stunningly made in a way which is inconceivable in our modern made-in-China world. Like this set by Moe-Bridges, circa-1930. They are made mostly of cast brass. This retains its original polychrome finish which looks like a very… Continue Reading

A Long Search For A Missing Mate

  I purchased the sconce above. But single sconces are a hard sell, and it was put in storage. Year passed. Like eight years. Then, like a miracle, I came across another sconce! It was a perfect match, and even its polychrome finish matched! So, after a great much ado, the PAIR is now listed… Continue Reading

A Dazzling Deco Porcelier!

For many decades, Porcelier made some of the finest lighting fixtures and house wares (they closed in the 1950s). There’s a book on their work: Collector’s Guide to Porcelier China By Susan E. Grindberg   Porcelier lighting fixtures are beautifully made and always a pleasure to restore and rewire. Porcelier fixture are also…    … Continue Reading

A Better Pink!

WAY back a friend gave an old ceiling fixture to me. “Good luck if you can make it look good!” I held the 1930s Deco fixture in my hand, and understood what he meant. Somebody had overpainted its outer metal ring with BRIGHT pink and BRIGHT green. It just killed the fixture. The fixture went… Continue Reading

Saving A Glittering Beauty!

I was in a antique store and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a large crystal chandelier sitting casually on a  sofa. This is SO not a way to treat a crystal chandelier! Horrified, I walked quickly to the mistreated beauty and VERY carefully picked it up. It just had to be damaged,… Continue Reading

Unusual Beauties!

There is an antique store in Wichita that I enjoy stopping by every time I am in the city. Hanging high above were a really unusual pair of 1920s chandelier pendants. Quite $$$$ but just stunning. I yearned for them. I desired them. But I could not justify the cost because of my need to… Continue Reading

Another STUNNING Porcelier!

  The chandelier has so many outstanding qualities: The shade! Oh my! It is square! It is 14-inches from side-to-side, and 18-inches diagonally. It is also beautifully, stunningly molded out of thick frosted white glass, and with molded patterns. Wow! The finial is spectacular. It’s a glass sphere with a swirling design, like a miniature… Continue Reading

Before. After.

Whenever I do a day road trip I try to come home with at least one old light. Thus, when I restore the light and sell it through my e-commerce store, I can offset the cost of the day trip. Like this past Friday. I went to Kansas City to pick up some custom-milled lumber… Continue Reading

Before. After.

  The set looked sooooooooo pitiful. The fixtures were dirty and SO obviously unloved that…I had no choice…but to buy them. No choice! This was kinda crazy, because were the three fixtures even complete? Did they retain all their crystals? Were the crystals undamaged? But…the fixtures were dirty and SO obviously unloved that…I had no… Continue Reading

Bedazzling Results

A few months back I purchased an extraordinary 1920s crystal chandelier. But I had no idea of how it all went together. The whole was in pieces in a box. Even all the crystals were mostly separated. Ugh. After a great deal of ado, and eight hours of my time yesterday (eight hours!) I am… Continue Reading

An Italian Beauty!

When I went to pick Bo up at the airport in Kansas City I had time to stop and buy a dozen loaves of bread at my favorite bakery (I then freeze them until use). I could also stop by several antique stores in my eternal search for vintage lighting! In one store there was a… Continue Reading

A Virden WINTHROP!

The Virden Company produced a huge number of lighting fixtures during the 1930s and beyond. One of their most popular lines was their Winthrop Series, introduced about 1930. As a result, I am always coming across Winthrop fixtures, including the one shown here, as well as chandelier versions, 3-bulbs, 2-bulbs, and sconces. For me, the… Continue Reading

A Pan Beauty!

  Pan-style fixtures were wildly popular during the 1920s and 1930s. Such fixtures are defined by a pan-shaped body with protruding arms. The above chandelier was in an antique store. Its finish? A dull brown. Initially, I passed it by. A second look made me suspect that the dull brown was perhaps a century of… Continue Reading

Before. After.

      The chandelier is 1920s and ideal for a home in the Colonial-Revival style. And I feel pretty damn pleased.     My online vintage lighting store.       Continue Reading

An Amber Beauty

            The fixture is scaled for a foyer or hall. It could be used as a porch light as well. It is from the 1920s, and would have been produced through to the 1930s. The fixture would look well in an Arts & Crafts-style home, bungalow, or Spanish-Revival.    … Continue Reading

A Blue Beauty!

    Later however I realized that the house originally had gas/electric combination fixtures, so the blue beauty (all electric and about two decades later than the 1894 Cross House) was put in storage. And there it has sat, lonely and forgotten, until I hauled it out and restored it. It is now very happy!… Continue Reading

Before. After.

                                                        My online vintage lighting store.         Continue Reading

YOWSER!

A little over two years ago I came across a huge pair of chandeliers made by the well-known Rejuvenation Company. The chandeliers were styled after Victorian-era gas fixtures. And they were HUGE! A whopping 39-inches wide. The architectural salvage company selling them were people after my own heart. The chandeliers had been treated quite badly… Continue Reading

A Moderne Beauty

For years now I had a pendant fixture sitting in the dark recesses of my vast storage vaults. This week, I hauled it out.     Moderne is an aesthetic that developed after the Art Deco period. This aesthetic was relatively short-lived, and reached the height of its popularity in the late 1930s. Emerald City,… Continue Reading

A Lightolier Duo

I had a large matching set of 1930s fixtures by Lightolier listed for sale. The set included chandeliers and pendants and sconces; thirteen fixtures total. A buyer wanted the whole set save two fixtures. So, eleven fixtures were shipped to Pennsylvania, and I relisted the two remaining fixtures. Wanna see them?        … Continue Reading

Avenging a 1930s Lightolier Knock-Out

Like eight years ago I purchased a way cool 1930s light fixture by the fabulous Lightolier Company. It was in poor shape, so I took it apart to rewire, repaint, and refurbish. And there it sat. Year after year after year. On occasion I would pull out the box-o-parts from the storage shelf, look at… Continue Reading

Avenging Another 1930s Lightolier Knock-Out

Yesterday, I did a post about a Lightolier fixture I had in storage forever. Feeling quite guilty all of a sudden, I hauled it out and restored it. The results were a glory. Inspired, this morning I went back into the dark recesses of my storage vaults and hauled out another Lightolier which had been… Continue Reading

I LOVE MEGAN!

Last week two large boxes arrived. I had not been expecting them. Then I noticed the return address. Megan had sent me something!!!!!!!! I was breathless with anticipation! Megan is also restoring a great big old house, and she also blogs about the adventure. But what had she sent me????????       Porcelier became famous… Continue Reading

The Forever Light

I had a light in storage. I had a light in storage for a long time. I had a light in storage for a long time because I, a very long time ago, took it apart, stripped it of the caked-on paint covering all the metal components, and then…just let it sit in a box… Continue Reading

A Lovely Moe-Bridges!

The Moe-Bridges Company was established in 1915, in Milwaukee, WI. In 1943, the company was renamed The Lighthouse, and then Visa Lighting in 1963. Today, Visa Lighting is thriving, and still in Milwaukee!                 My online vintage lighting store.       Continue Reading

A UFO ALERT!

          The scale is impressive. The top width is 20-inches. The shade is almost 14-inches wide. The height is 10-inches. The shade sits in a metal ring, which is attached by two clips to the upper housing. The clips have short chains which prevent them from accidentally opening. Cool. The upper… Continue Reading

A Damn 1930s Pendant

I have had this fixture forever. Years ago I took it apart to restore it. And there it sat and sat and sat. At last, I could ignore it no longer. So, I am immensely pleased, and immensely relieved, to present…                 My online vintage lighting store.       Continue Reading

Astonishing Sconces

There was a lighting company during the 1920s and 1930s called Riddle. Of Toledo, Ohio. They sold a LOT of lighting. But I know almost nothing about them even though I have sold a lot of Riddle fixtures over the years. I thought I had seen all the fixtures Riddle produced over the decades so… Continue Reading

A DUPLEXALITE Before After!

Today, I listed an extraordinary brass Duplexalite! But what, you may ask, is a Duplexalite? The Duplexalite Company had a standard model (from top to bottom): Ceiling canopy. Chain. Socket housing. Three thin arms which hold a metal shade and a glass shade. Large metal shade. Bottom glass shade. This shade hangs below the metal… Continue Reading