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Sometimes you just need a superhero. The Giant 1227 Floor Lamp, a larger-than-life version of the Anglepoise original, started out as a series of one-offs. Created for the museum honoring Brit author Roald Dahl (the classic 1227 was a fixture of his writing desk), the second was appropriately acquired by fantastical filmmaker Tim Burton. After a third was shown at the 100% Design Exhibition in London to overwhelming interest, the triple-scale model was put into production, a true mega-hit.
Here’s the unlikely tale of how an iconic British design literally "sprung" from an amateur inventor’s workshop. More than 70 years ago, automotive engineer George Carwardine, tinkering with constant-tension metal springs developed by the French firm Terry’s, found they could be moved in any direction but then “stayed put.” He didn’t find an application for cars but envisioned a task lamp based on the mechanics of the human arm. Notably, he added a shade to focus the light which meant that it used less electricity than usual at the time.
With patent in hand in 1934, George debuted the first Anglepoise at the British Industries Fair. Since then, his original model 1227 and succeeding variations have proved timeless to generations of students, artists and professionals. Anglepoise lamps were produced for World War II bombers, celebrated in a Royal Mail stamp and have inspired tributes from musicians, artists and writers. With new energy-saving strides, the Anglepoise remains true to its defining minimalist design and efficiency.