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.

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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

The Importance of Presentation

Sometime, when I see a vintage light fixture listed for sale online, I am struck by how badly the fixture has been, well, presented.       My online store. 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