Those Were The Days!
Lava lamps were all the rage in the 1960s, not so much for the light they gave (very dim), but for the mood they helped to create as they slowly bubbled and flowed inside the colorful liquid. On this page we will explore what a lava lamp is, how they began, and provide you an opportunity to buy your very own retro 1960s lava lamp.
Lava Lamps were created in 1963 by a British man, Edward Craven-Walker They were also once known as Astro Lamps, but that didn't last long because the motion of the material inside, as it ebbed and flowed made one think of volcanos and lava. Thus, the term "lava lamp" was born. Here's how they work:
Colored wax chunks are immersed in a glass container filled with clear or colored liquid. There is an incandescent light bulb underneath the lamp, which creates warmth and causes the wax to expand. The expansion makes the wax begin to "bubble" or "blob" and rise up in spheres. Then, as the spheres cool at the top, away from the heat source, they fall slowly back to the bottom, where they once again begin to warm and rise. This rising and falling action continues the entire time the lamp is on. When the power is switched off, the wax sinks to the bottom, dormant, until the next time the heat source is switched on. Watching the rise and fall of the colored wax, can become mesmerizing, like watching fish in an aquarium.
Since so many people loved them, they came to have a place in almost every household. But they were especially loved by the young crowd. A lava lamp in a darkened room gave the room ambiance and atmosphere, like a nightclub, only you had the comfort of being at home. The hippies loved them, the beat generation loved them, the anti-war crowd loved them, and even many adults who didn't fit any of the "in crowds" loved them.
You can find these retro, decorative lava lamps here in many colors and styles. Here are a few of the best available: