Bo Sullivan identifies my vintage pull-down kitchen light

Kitchen photo: Copyright Kit Latham.

1959-vintage-imperialite-kitchen-light1One of the highlights of my recent visit to Rejuvenation Lighting in Portland was when historian Bo Sullivan was able to – immediately – identify the vintage pulldown light over my kitchen table. I don’t think I’ve told this story before: One Friday afternoon after a hard day’s work — when I was driving home – I got the idea that I needed a vintage light NOW. This was when I was putting the final details of my kitchen together before contractor Kevin started. So as soon as I got home, I jumped on ebay and with 12 minutes to go spotted the light shown here above the tulip table. Of course, I snapped it up – for $12. Bo knows lighting – he knew exactly who made the light and showed it to me in a catalog —>


Ta da!: It’s a 1959 Imperialite, made by Emerson-Imperial.


The date on this catalog is Sept. 15, 1959. Hey, my light is 50 years old this year: Like Barbie, and me!


This light – which I spotted on ebay last year – was on the same page with my light, in the catalog:


Aren’t these all swoon-able?


Here’s Bo with another catalog. Over the past 15 years, Bo has been collecting vintage marketing material from 20th century lighting companies. The collection is AMAZING. Rejuvenation is in the process of moving the collection from the factory… over to the store. There, it will be accessible to customers as a research and inspiration resource. And guess what – there’s a latte bar at the store, too. Now, that’s all I need to be happy: Good coffee… and a million vintage lighting catalogs. Bo, are you sure I’m invited back? I’ll never leave! Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. More Rejuvenation posts to come…



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  1. Chuck McLaughlin says

    I need to know how the pull-down lamps that were the rage in the ’50’s worked? The pendant-like fixture on my lamp slides up and down but doesn’t do anything else. Obviously something is wrong.l Is the cord supposed to coil up in the aforementioned pendant or what?

    • pam kueber says

      Chuck, get with a properly licensed professional to assess this issue; old lighting and other old products like this may not be up to current codes; I have been told that pull-downs are no longer to code — get with your own pro.

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