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Retro Gift Ideas: Mathmos Lava Lamps and Lava Lites

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Looking for a retro gift to bring a bit of 1960’s glamour into the household, why not consider buying a lava lamp for the retro lover in your life?

What is a Lava Lamp?

A Lava lamp is simply a glass container of some description filled with a blob or wax and a clear or slightly coloured liquid.  The glass vassal is then mounted on a bulb which heats up the wax, when the wax reaches a certain temperature the molten wax rises and falls in the glass container with a “lava” like affect.

Lava lamps have been produced in a variety of styles and fashions over the years, common models include the straight cylinder shape as well as the perennially popular space rocket which is sure to add a retro space age touch to any living room.  While there are a wide range of colours available for both liquids and waxes, common varieties include red, blue and green waxes suspended in a clear or slightly tinted liquid.

As well as providing an element of soft lighting within a room and a focal point, many people also find staring into a lava lamp to be a relaxing and almost hypnotic experience.  As such, the lava lamp serves as both a soft lighting source and a novelty toy.

The History of the Lava Lamp

Edward Craven-Walker is credited with inventing the lava lamp back in 1960.  The first lava lamps were produced by Craven-Walker’s Poole based company “Crestworth” in 1963 in the UK.  Since then, the lava lamp has become a popular novelty item with a worldwide following.  Rights to production of the lava lamp in the US were sold to Adolph Wertheimere who marketed the product as the “lava lite” in the US. 

In the 1990’s rights to the production of the lava lamp in Europe were sold to Mathmos.  Those looking for an authentic lava lamp today can still buy Mathmos branded lamps, each of which is produced in the original Poole based factory set up by Edward Craven-Walker back in the 1960’s.

Today, lava lamps are available in a wide number of locations including online retailers such as Amazon, through Mathmos official website or in a range of high street gadget and electronics stores.  Depending upon the source, standard models should be available at the £50-90 mark making the lava lamp an ideal gift idea.

So if looking for a fun and interesting gift with a touch of the 1960’s retro about it, then consider an investment in a lava lamp.


Retro Gift Ideas: Mathmos Lava Lamps and Lava Lites
Credit: Saperaud
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