Where Did Lava Lamps Come From?

by : Mike Yeager

Lava lamps have charmed people for decades. Edward Craven-Walker, a citizen of Great Britain, showed the world lava lamps in 1963. Two Americans bought the rights to this first lava lamp and called it the Lava Brand Motion Lamp, which was popularly dubbed the lava lamp. Lava lamp sales have been on a roller coaster ride ever since Craven-Walker introduced the hypnotic accessory.

Lava lamp sales peaked in the late 1960’s but popularity died off in the early 1970’s. Since the late 1980’s, lava lamp sales have been steadily increasing. There have been many brands of lava lamps, with Kmx lamp lava brand leading the way. There are also many different types of lava lamp, including Silver Streak, Glitter, Plasma, and many others.

Initially local retail merchants thought his lamps were ugly and disgusting. Luckily, for Craven Walker the 'Psychedelic Movement' and the 'Love Generation' came to dominate 60's merchandising in Great Britain and sales of the lava lamp soared. It was the perfect light for modern times, Walker declared. 'If you buy my lamp, you won't need to buy drugs.'

Ever wonder how a Lava Lamp works?

Many look at the lava lamps mesmerizing glowing goop and wonder: How does it work? Two elements fill the Lava Brand Motion Lamp: a specially developed wax type compound, and a liquid that is partly water. A metal coil and a light bulb sit at the bottom of the globe. When the lamp is turned on, the metal coil is warmed by the light bulb heating the wax. The heated wax becomes much less dense than the liquid so it flows toward the top of the lamp. The wax then cools when it is away from the heated coil at the bottom. As it cools, the wax density becomes higher than the liquid causing it to fall back to the bottom. This cycle repeats making for a mesmerizing and hypnotic exhibit. A lava lamp may not have lamp shades or lamp bulbs, but nevertheless, it is undoubtedly the most unique lamp available.