Our Story

Characterised by a pioneering perfect balance mechanism developed in the 1930’s and an engaging kinetic form, iconic, quintessentially British brand, Anglepoise® produces an incomparable series of practical, energy-efficient task lamps, ideally suited for both domestic and commercial interiors.

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Its all about the Springs

Family company, Herbert Terry and Sons Ltd. is established in 1855, manufacturing springs and presswork for the trade. By the 1920’s Terry’s is also developing products using the springs - an eclectic product range that extends from multi-purpose spring clips and car valve springs to toast racks, pen holders, hockey stick carriers and bicycle saddles. 

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Invented by a car designer

1931: Automotive engineer, George Carwardine develops a theoretical concept for balancing weights using springs, cranks and levers. Using special springs with a ‘constant tension’ quality developed by Terry’s, Carwardine had chanced upon the means to create an articulated task lamp that could combine ultimate flexibility with perfect balance.  A patent is filed and, in 1933 the first four-spring Anglepoise® lamp is launched. Read more about George Carwardine.

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Reworked for a domestic market

The four-spring Anglepoise® is deemed too industrial for a domestic market so, in 1935, Carwardine, together with the designers at Terry’s, develops a three-spring version. This design, known as the Anglepoise® Original 1227™, has been refined over the years but is generally considered the archetypal Anglepoise® lamp.

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A Product salvaged from Loch Ness

Anglepoise® Navigator’s lamps are produced for the World War II bombers between 1939-1944. Four decades later, an American team searching for the Loch Ness Monster salvages a Wellington bomber submerged in the mud. Remarkably the lamp still works! Known as R for Robert, the plane, complete with working lamp, is exhibited at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey, UK.

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Capturing the Zeitgeist

The anthropomorphic quality of the Anglepoise® lamp design has inspired musicians, artists, designers and writers over the years. In 1979, the proto-punk pop band, The Soft Boys, release “(I want to be an) Anglepoise lamp”. Six years later in 1985, innovative sculptor, David Mach creates “The Giant Hand Sculpture named Knuckle Shuffle” from 360 black Anglepoise® lamps. 

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Among Britain’s most Distinguished Designers

Having previously identified the Anglepoise® as his favourite design and a ‘minor miracle of balance’, Sir Kenneth Grange, responsible for some of Britain’s most iconic and successful designs, including the Kenwood Mixer, the Kodak Instamatic, the Intercity 125 train and the updated London taxi, becomes Design Director of Anglepoise®.  His first Anglepoise® design, the Type3 desk lamp is launched in 2003. Read more about Sir Kenneth Grange.

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The Great Big Friendly Giant

Anglepoise® is approached by the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre to produce a giant version of the Anglepoise® Original 1227™ lamp that sat on the desk in Dahl’s writing hut. Three prototypes are produced; one for the Centre, a second is sold to film director, Tim Burton and a third was exhibited at the 100% Design Exhibition in London. The lamp generates so much interest that it is put into volume production. 

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An Iconic British Brand

To celebrate the 75th anniversary, in 2009 the Anglepoise® Original 1227™ is featured on a Royal Mail stamp, alongside other iconic British designs including the K2 Telephone Kiosk, the Routemaster Bus, the London Underground Map and the Mini.

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A Blueprint for future Generations

Anglepoise® is selected by the Design Museum as one of six design stories that illustrate the impact of contemporary design on our everyday lives. Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things will remain on permanent display until 2015. Early examples of Anglepoise® lamps can also be seen at the Victoria & Albert Science Museum in London and Anglepoise® is included in the Vitra Design Museum’s touring exhibition, Lightopia, which opened in Germany on 29th September. 

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Created for Anglepoise® by leading British industrial product designer, Sir Kenneth Grange, the timeless Type 75™ design provides the perfect canvas for Paul Smith known for his mastery of colour. Its streamlined, modernist form has become the designer’s palette and its no-frills, mechanical functionality is highlighted by his playful colour-by-component approach.

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“After the success of my first Anglepoise® lamp, I’m very happy to be working with them again on a fresh version. I hope everyone likes it!” - Paul Smith

Once again Paul Smith collaborated with Anglepoise® to create the Type 75™ Desk Lamp – Paul Smith – Edition Two, testament to this designer’s remarkable deftness in instilling modernity and new life into a well-loved design classic.

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Anglepoise® + Centre Point

To celebrate the revival of Centre Point, one of London’s most recognised landmarks, Anglepoise® worked with Eley Kishimoto to create a series of striking new editions of the Original 1227™ desk lamp. Embellished with exclusive Eley Kishimoto print designs inspired by the Centre Point façade, the ergonomic simplicity of the iconic Anglepoise® design reflects the building’s architectural majesty. See the full collection.