In the latter half of the 19th century, new and innovative technologies began to change the ways we were able to do things. Railroads, canals and steamships made long-distance travel and shipping affordable for many more people. Photography was invented, then the telegraph and the telephone and then radio, cars and airplanes. Medicine acquired a practical basis for the first time. It was an amazing time.
In the home, the ice box replaced the root cellar and springhouse. Piped water and drains... supplanted privies and hand-cranked wells. And lighting went from candles and oil lamps, all portable and needing constant attention, first to piped-in gas lighting and then to electric power, which could power appliances as well as lights.
Many of us own and live in homes today that were constructed before 1950, and we enjoy doing what we can to make our homes look and feel as close as possible to the way they did when they were first built. Others of us just like adding that feel to our homes, even when they were built later.
If you're one of those people, this is a list of some of the fixtures and devices available today that replicate the ones that were in use then, but meet the safety standards that we have developed through experience.
01 of 04This is a pendant light that can be lowered to bring the light closer or raised and get the fixture out of the way. It's one of dozens, if not hundreds, of products available from The Bright Spot that replicate the look, quality and function of the ones that were being installed then.
02 of 04
Stella Gas ChandelierThis beauty is from King's Chandelier Co. aka chandelier.com. The name says it all. If you're in the market for a chandelier of any kind you will probably find yourself rewarded by browsing this site. And if you've been looking for a replica of an all-gas chandelier for your front parlor, this is one to check out. The work on the glass bowls is very finely detailed, which gives this fixture the look and feel of the ancestor it is replicating.
03 of 04
Harris House Antique Lighting has hundreds of hanging fixtures, wall sconces, table lamps, desk lamps... you name it. I just picked this one because I was amazed that they're offering this level of craftsmanship for less than $200.00.
04 of 04
This is one of my favorite details in getting the feel of early electric lighting right. The push button switch. A lot of companies are starting to offer these now. I picked Classic Accents because they seem to have both a broad selection and reasonable prices. No fan motor control that I can see, but they do have 3-way 4-way switches available.