Pioneers of Lighting
Bernhard Blitzer founded Lightolier in 1904 as the New York Gas and Appliance Co. As acceptance of electric lighting grew the name was changed to Lightolier, a combination of the words light and chandelier. William Blitzer’s son Moses D Blitzer urged his father to get into manufacturing lighting in 1919. With the entry of Edward H. R. Blitzer and William F. Blitzer, a third generation of Blitzers took over the company after World War II until 1990. The company consolidated into the Genlyte Group in 1984, which was eventually purchased by Phillips.
Their early designs were fancy decorative chandelier, but shifted to more modern and architectural lights under the direction of William F Blitzer who favored clean modern design and technical innovation. In the 1960’s, Lightolier introduced the first track lighting system, designed by Anthony C Donata. Over the years Lightolier has continued to innovate in both technology and design. They are known for their advanced reflector designs, and was the first lighting company to introduce digital lighting systems in the early 1990s. The Lytegem series designed by Michael Lax sits in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
This lamp was designed by Gerald Thurston, a designer at Lightolier most well known for his 1950s and 60s postwar contemporary lighting design.
The sticker on the lamp reads “Lightolier, model No. 8603, 118 V, 60Hz, 0.5A, AC only, Tube 15 watts TB Japan”.