Great retro pull down lights for your kitchen, from Progress vintage 1961

I am very excited about my latest vintage marketing material – a large catalog from Progress lighting dated December 1961.

The catalog is about equally split between retro groovy… southwestern style “Rancher”…colonial Americana… and viva Las Vegas, which is something that we have not dived into too much on this blog so far — but I feel an itch coming on!

Reading through I’ve learned that these lights were not called “retractable” — which is the term that I have been using. Rather, they were simply called “pull downs”.

And the copywriting from the Progress catalog is very fun:

Pull-downs in refreshing variety, with matching ceiling pieces and other coordinates… In this section, smartly sophisticated metal; nonchalance and warmth of wood in both walnut “slats” and “matchsticks”; “Ranchers”, large-scale and handsome as the Southwestrn originals; authentic charming and heart-warming are the “Early Americans”… Light moves from its age-old stationary position and becomes a faithful service of satisfying mobility, ease and luxury….

Today, I’ve featured two of the more modern lines: (1) The Sophisticates, and (2) Mardis Gras. I also have the price list, and it looks like the largest pull downs sold for $35-$40 at the end of 1961. Today, these can still be found on ebay, in many varieties. If you’re lucky, you can get a great price for a very mint fixture, but sometimes the bidding gets going on a desirable piece. In general – I predict these will continue to get hotter and hotter in the marketplace.

I have been told that pull-down lighting is no longer to code; please get with your own properly licensed professional to assess the situation and what you are working with so that you can make informed decisions. And, in any old fixture, also get with a pro to check the wiring and any other safety/environmental issues.

COMMENTS CLOSED – getting redundant