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Jacob Jacobsen

Norway (1901 - 1996)

Engineer in the textile industry, Jacob Jacobsen (future creator of Norwegian lamps) firstly works in England and Switzerland. In 1937 he bought the Scandinavian manufacturing license of the Anglepoise lamp (1934), designed by George Carwardine (1887-1948) and produced by Terry Hebert & Sons in Great Britain.

The same year he designed a variant of this lamp, Luxo L-1, with a similar system of auto-balancing springs. Talented industrial, Jacobsen successfully markets its redesigned lamp, the ratio between the shade and the base was more refined and softer aesthetic than Cawardine's lamp. This first creation of a functionalist mind (like the Norwegian Design 1930), also announced a smoother appearance of the Scandinavian postwar modernism.

A few years later, Jacobsen bought the manufacturing license for the United States of constant tension springs of Anglepoise and in 1940, he would virtually hold the desk lamps market monopoly in Europe and the United States. His company, Luxo, continues to produce classical L-1, remarkable for the ease with which it can direct the lampshade and bras. There are several variants of this model, including the Panoramic with a wider shade.

The Luxo L-1 has won numerous awards, and entered in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. If Jacobsen lamps were very imitated, their technical performance has rarely been achieved. The most notable contributions from Norway to our material culture are a clip and a humble and helpful  cheese slicer, their forms entirely derived from their fonction. The Luxo L-1 by Jacobsen uses the same vocabulary of forms and functionality. To date, it has been sold over 25 million copies, and the "success story" is not over.

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