On a trip to Hungary we visited the Museum of Electrical Engineering. If you are genuinely interested in vintage lighting, you should visit such a place. Seeing the historic lights, switches, and cables in person, not only on photos makes you able to assess the quality of reproduction lights and parts better.
Quality of the photos is not the best, but still hope you can see some details.
The first switches at the turn of the XIXth century took the shape of furniture and were often made of wood and brass.
Historic light switches, early XXth century. Some of them are totally hand-carved.
Brass / Porcelain light switch, early XXth century.
This switch is made of "Bakelite". Bakelite was the first synthetic plastic, invented by Leo Baekeland in 1907.
Polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride ;) is the scientific name. Bakelite is actually a brand name. Bakelite is a phenolic thermoset resin, that means it gets harder when heated. This makes it an ideal material for electrical applications, because it doesn't melt if it gets hot.
This Art-Deco light switch is a thing of beauty - we would be happy to sell it! Or buy it!
As this photo proves, naked bulb lights are not a new thing. This decorative wall mounted porcelain lamp base holds nothing but a plain bulb.
Many variations of the ceramic bulb holder. Have to love all of them.
Various lamp sockets in these photos. Some are Edison-screw, some bayonet ones - used throughout the British Empire.
You can see the black Bakelite lampholders as well. Bakelite was used for a hundred years in making lamp sockets, and while it is still used today, it is getting harder and harder to find them. There are only a few manufacturers left in Europe. As the LED bulbs don't get as hot, there is no need for high heat tolerance, so the cheaper thermoplastic material takes over the market.
Luckily we still have the bakelite ones! We think materials are important, especially if you are looking for reproduction vintage lighting and bakelite has a special shine that thermoplastics don't have.
A poster with various vintage light sockets and lamps. The lampshade is reminiscent of our own EW lampshade. Or it would be fair to say, our lampshade is reminiscent of the one on the poster.
A collection of industrial lights, early to mid XXTh century.
Some original "Edison-style" light bulbs. Of course they weren't called Edison bulbs then - or who knows? Actually all E-27 bulbs are Edison bulbs in the sense that they are inserted in the socket by the "Edison - screw" and 27 is the diameter of the thread in millimeters.
These bulbs had carbon filament. The middle one probably works as new.
Even more vintage bulbs! The photo is bad but you get the idea. Lots of different sizes and shapes. The ones with the "T" shaped logo are "Tungsram'' ones. Tungsram was the Hungarian company that invented tungsten filament bulbs - the ones we all used everywhere (and still use a lot) for a hundred years. Before the nationalization of the Communist Government in 1945, the company was the world's third largest manufacturer of light bulbs and radiotubes, after the American General Electric and RCA companies.
Although not in this museum, but from Helsinki, an old ad of Tungsram bulbs.
Here you see some vintage home appliances with twisted electric cables. Note the fuse board and the cables going in there.