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Stemlite Lamp by Bill Curry & Design Line


See why Industrial Design magazine named Stemlite 1965's Most Influential Lamp of the Year

The Story 

Stemlite, the debut product of Bill Curry's Design Line, was introduced in 1962 as the first lamp “eliminating the base-plus-shade concept.” All the bases and glass globes in the Stemlite series were interchangeable, allowing for endless combinations. The style quickly gained popularity and was later emulated by others, such as the Laurel Lamp Manufacturing Company in Newark, New Jersey. 

This Stemlite is Model C-3 in a white baked enamel finish. The handcrafted tulip-shaped base is die-cast and machined with a discrete vertical switch knob and a three-way socket for optimal lighting. A glossy, handblown glass globe in bright white opal sits atop the base to complete the mushroom-lamp look.

The Particulars 

Creator/Attribution: Bill Curry & Design Line, Inc.
Style: Midcentury Modern
Origin: California, USA
Age: 1960s
Material: Aluminum, Enamel, Glass 
Color: White 
Dimensions: 16.75" x 13.00"
Weight: 4.5 lbs. 
Condition: Wear Consistent with Age and Use: Scratches, Paint Loss, Discoloration, Etc. 

Design Line Sales Catalog

The Creator/Attribution

William “Bill” Curry (1927-1971), graduate of the Los Angeles Art Center, was a midcentury modern (MCM) designer whose work was featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and House Beautiful, among others. He started his career as an art director for the company that would become aerospace firm, TRW, Inc. In 1962, he founded Design Line, Incorporated in El Segundo, California with his wife. By his early death at age 44, Curry had received more than 50 awards for his work, including top honors from the New York Art Directors Club and the Industrial Film Producers Association.

During it's relatively short existence from 1962 to 1977, Design Line, Inc. produced MCM design favorites such as the Stemlite, Jacks iron sculptures, the Cattail Lamp, and the multifunctional Honeycomb Module, which could be combined to create seating, tables, or shelving. Even the United States Department of Commerce and the United States Information Agency developed an affinity for Design Line creations, exhibiting them as exemplifications of American design in model homes and at industrial design shows around the world, including the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Iraq.

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