Tensor lamp

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Tensor lamp
Tensor lamp.jpg
Tensor high intensity lamp prototype (ca 1959, Brass, steel, copper, plastic, glass). Kept at the Brooklyn Museum. Gift of Jay Monroe
Product typeSmall high-intensity low-voltage desk lamp
Produced byTensor Corporation
CountryUnited States
Introduced1960; 63 years ago (1960)
Discontinuedc. 1980; 43 years ago (1980)
MarketsUnited States

A Tensor lamp is a trademarked brand of small high-intensity low-voltage desk lamp invented by Jay Monroe.[1][2] The lamp was mainly popular during the 1960s and 1970s.[3][4] The lamp was originally used by doctors and dentists, and later became more widely used.[5] Although the first prototype was created in 1959, the lamp was not made available to public until 1960. The brand was manufactured by the Tensor Corporation.

History[edit]

The first Tensor lamp consisted of assembling together a 12-volt automobile parking light bulb and reflector made from an ordinary kitchen measuring cup. Monroe fixed the cup to a metal tube that was attached to a transformer, which reduced 115-volt house current to 12 volts. Because of the small bulb, the entire lamp could be made smaller with a light-directing shade.[5] Monroe was issued a patent for his invention.[6]

By 1963, the lamp was sold to the general public as a decorative desk lamp for home and office when several other manufacturers entering the field.[1] The main competitors to Tensor's high-intensity and low voltage lamp during the 1960s were the similarly looking Lampette brand of lamps manufactured by Koch Creations,[1][7] the Mobilette,[1] a series of Italian designed lamps sold by Stiffel,[1] and the Michael Lax's designed Lytegem lamp that was manufactured by Lightolier.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Reif, Rita (March 21, 1964). "Interest in Tiny Lamp Rises". The New York Times. p. 17. ProQuest 115722599. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Tensor lamp inventor dies". United Press International. July 5, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Ingersoll, John H. (January 1965). "Big Light in a Little Package". Popular Science. Vol. 151, no. 1. Bonnier Corporation. p. 151. ISSN 0161-7370 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Those little high-intensity lamps". Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Vol. 19, no. 6. Kiplinger Washington Editors. June 1965. pp. 35–36. ISSN 1528-9729 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (July 2, 2007). "Jay Monroe, 80, Engineer Who Invented Tensor Lamp, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  6. ^ US patent 3133703, Monroe, Jay, "Desk lamp structure", issued 1964 
  7. ^ "Lampette Reading Lamp (model E6)". Museum of Modern Art.
  8. ^ Hall, Peter Alec (July 29, 1999). "Michael Lax: His kettle, lamp and cookware were design icons of the 60s". The Guardian.