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Posting Number 3549 Date: 05/19/21 Return to Posting List
Calcite Lamp Shade
Location: National Museum of American History
Not on View
Elverta H. Foster
Frederick Carder was a multi-faceted man who had the vision to recognize new applications for glass. Electric lighting was one application for which he saw great possibilities. His work and the developments in glass for lighting eventually led him into the area of architectural glass.
Carder realized that glass, with its ability to transmit, reflect and refract light, was a natural of use in lighting products.
Steuben's beautiful shades sold well as decorative covers for the practical, but ugly and harsh electric light bulb. Carder produced over 600 different shade designs. Frederick Carder and Steuben Glass by Thomas P. Dimitroff, pp. 77-82
Like anything new( lightbulbs) created new demands. Light by itself is hardly a thing of beauty unless viewed through a spectroscope. The older means of shading a light intensity did not seem to fit this new-found brilliance. Quick to see the tremendous potential for shading this new glow, Fred Carder went into his laboratory and when he emerged, Calcite was born.
A soft cream color white of calcium derivation, he attributed the pleasant softness when in use as an electric light shade, to a deft touch of metal nickel which was added to the matrix. A guide to Colored Steuben Glass, 1903-1933 by Eric E. Ericson p. 11
Click to view image one: Calcite Lamp Shade.jpeg
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