Objects | Engineering


Cloisonné Vase Lamp, 1881

Cragside House, National Trust, Northumberland

Power, Inventions

1800 – 1899

This lamp, one of four, was the first in the world to use Joseph Swan’s incandescent light bulb.

It sits in the library at Cragside, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity and the home of Lord Armstrong. Following Joseph Swan’s invention of the incandescent light bulb, Lord Armstrong adapted four cloisonné vases into lamps for what Swan called ‘the first proper installation’ of his bulbs.

Using hydroelectric power, they were first lit in 1881 and Cragside’s youngest servant, the 11 year old page boy Andrew Crozier, was given the privilege of switching them on.

This lamp is testament to the innovative collaboration of two great Victorian inventors.

On display in the Library at Cragside House, National Trust

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