Original 1227

Songs have been written about it, it has played a big role in films and novels, and it has illuminated the maps by which British bombers navigated during the Second World War. We are, of course, talking about none other than the original Anglepoise lamp.

When George Carwardine was working on a vehicle suspension system for cars in 1930s England, it was clear to him that he had invented a system that could revolutionise much more than just the chassis. His iconic 1227 Anglepoise was launched in 1935, and the classic architect lamp has gone on to revolutionise lighting to such a degree that it is still being copied to this day. That said, there is only one original, and the Anglepoise Original 1227 is still unparalleled in design, quality, and significance.
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The historic Anglepoise 1227

No other lamp could pose quite as beautifully without being attached to the table when the first Original 1227 Anglepoise hit the English market in 1935. The directional light made it perfect for desks and other work surfaces, and when the Second World War broke out, there were adverts about the lamp highlighting its potential as a blackout light.

The lamp was manufactured by Terry Spring Company, and like so many other English businesses, Anglepoise helped during the battles with the Rome-Berlin Axis throughout the war. English bombers were equipped with 1227 lamps, and you can almost imagine the British navigators studying German maps in the dark of the night to the droning sound of radial engines.

Since then, the Anglepoise lamps have lit up everything from the BBC HQ in London to pea gravel production, and it has its very own podium at MoMA in New York. In an exquisite combination of unmistakeably high construction quality and miraculously good design, George Carwardine has created a true classic in the most basic sense of the word. When a fallen Wellington bomber was fished out of Loch Ness in Scotland in 1985—four decades after the crash—the only thing in the navigator’s lamp that needed to be changed was the battery. An Anglepoise 1227 is a lamp for life.
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