Dating stiffel lamps
Outfitted with the Stiffel switch, this Stiffel patented design was produced on his pole lamps from the 1940s until he lost the use of his patent after a Supreme Court case in 1964.
The switch works by allowing you to grasp and gently pull down on the pole's shaft to turn the light on or off.
Find online photos of Stiffel lamps to familiarize yourself with the look, feel and design of Stiffel lamps.
Examples of websites include Passion for the Past Antiques, Joseph Marc and e Bay (see Resources).
View reference books for detailed pictures and information about antique lamps, such as Stiffel lamps, at your local library or bookstore.
Examples of reference books include “Antique Lamp Buyer’s Guide: Identifying Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Lighting” by Nadja Maril and “Antique Trader Lamps & Lighting Price Guide” by Kyle Husfloen.
Once Stiffel introduced artistic qualities to lamp designs, many companies copied him to create similar, but cheaper, lamps.
Up until he formed his Chicago-based company in 1932, most lamps -- except those made by Tiffany -- lacked any attractive appeal.If it is original to the lamp, the Stiffel company often placed a small foil decal on the inside of the lampshade with the name "Stiffel" or "Stiffel Lamp Company.” If you can't find the foil decal on the shade or on the lamp's bottom, examine the light socket for the foil decal.Many original Stiffel shades are made of silk shantung from China, a material not commonly in use by other lamp makers of the time.is embedded in American History and Tradition and many people hand down Stiffel Lamps from generation to generation.So we asked ourselves, "What do the people want to know about the company in the present day, as well as its history and man that founded Stiffel all the way back in 1932?
The Stiffel Lamp Company, founded in Chicago in 1932 by Ted Stiffel, sought to use a variety of metals and creative designs in the lamps.