Centenary of adjustable lighting

100 years of Midgard

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Centenary of adjustable lighting
31/07/2019 - Midgard, founded 1919 by Curt Fischer, inventor of adjustable lighting, produces its lighting collections Midgard modular, K831 and the spring-balanced lamp until now on original tools completely in Germany. Midgard lamps are defined by their superior functionality, quality and design and found many admirer. Amongst them Walter Gropius who used Midgard lamps for his private use as well as the bauhaus. On the occasion of Midgards anniversary year the Lenklampe TYP 113, which the Bauhaus has been equipped with, will be manufactured again. 100 years of lighting history are continued as intended by Curt Fischer.
Midgard, TYP 113, Federzugleuchte (spring-balanced lamp), TYP 502

Midgard, TYP 113, Federzugleuchte (spring-balanced lamp), TYP 502


100 years of Midgard – a lighting company makes history
 
When Curt Fischer invented the first positionable electric lamp exactly 100 years ago, seeing things in the right light became more than just a figure of speech. His innovation lay in lamps with a light source that could be pulled towards the user and a head that could be twisted and turned so as to aim the beam at the task area or the place to be illuminated at the desired angle – a milestone in the rapidly evolving industrialisation process taking place at the time. 
 
The most famous Midgard designs are Model No. 113, which was also referred to as the “Peitschenleuchte” because of its curved rod, and Model No. 114. The creative avant garde of the 1920s at the Bauhaus was quick to discover the merits of Fischer’s lighting devices. Designers like Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, as well as Lyonel Feininger, Egon Eiermann, Sep Ruf and Jan Tschichold, were greatly impressed by their freely positionable light and the glare-free reflector that Curt Fischer was the first to use in his lamps starting from 1922. Architects, photographers, typographers and painters used the models in their studios and created interiors in which the Midgard lamps were given a permanent place as the epitome of modern lighting devices.
Midgard, lamps in architecture studio

Midgard, lamps in architecture studio

In 2015, David Einsiedler and Joke Rasch acquired not just the rights to the three classic series of Midgard lamps (the machine lamp, positionable lamps and spring-balanced lamp) but the tools and the remaining company archive as well, containing hundreds of original drawings by Curt Fischer, photos, letters, certificates and other documents. The two entrepreneurs moved production from its original location in Auma, Thuringia, to Hamburg, where the production line was set up again from scratch, modernised and put into operation using original tools and machines.
 
In January 2017, the two furniture and lighting experts began production of Curt Fischer’s machine lamp again, which is currently sold in two series named Midgard TYP 500 (with the historic base) and TYP 550 (with a swivelling machine base). Manufactured for the first time around 1930 as an evolutionary development of the positionable lamps that had been in production since 1919/20, it is one of the early articulated lamps of the classic modernist era. 
Midgard, Lenklampen

Midgard, Lenklampen

We make the lamps in their historical context,” explain David Einsiedler and Joke Rasch – and are shedding light on a forgotten part of design history in the process. 
 
The centenary year 2019
 
2019 will see the re-edition of the TYP 113 “Peitschenleuchte” to mark the firm’s centenary. 
 
We haven’t launched the No. 113 until now because it’s the most challenging to produce. It’s an extremely sophisticated piece and contains a lot of special parts that call for meticulous workmanship, as does the finishing (nickel, enamel, Bakelite, porcelain). We wanted to gain a bit of production experience before we attempted it,” says David Einsiedler. 
Midgard, Lenklampe TYP 113

Midgard, Lenklampe TYP 113

From September 2019 onwards, an exclusive limited edition (100 pieces) of the legendary “Peitschenleuchte” will go into production. Featuring original sockets (NOS – new old stock from the 1930s) and tubular steel bent by Thonet, in terms of the materials and manufacturing methods, the lamps will be made exactly the same way as they were in the 1920s. It’s this combination that gives the limited edition its outstanding technical and visual elegance. The TYP 113 design will become part of the Midgard portfolio that already includes the modular lamp, the spring-balanced lamp and the K831.
Midgard, Lenklampe TYP 113, Designpost Köln

Midgard, Lenklampe TYP 113, Designpost Köln

Coinciding with the launch of the exclusive TYP 113 Limited Edition and the firm’s centenary, the Midgard showroom in Hamburg Ottensen will present itself in a new design: from September 2019, the entire product portfolio and the production line for the TYP 113 will be shown on a display area of 450 square metres.
 
The TYP 113, also called ´steering lamp´ or ´Lenklampe´ by Curt Fischer, has been a true innovation during the early 1920s: designed by Fischer to reduce the shadows, the typical ceiling-mounted elektic lampshades left on work-desks.
 
This was also recognised by Walter Gropius. He equipped the Bauhaus in several situations with Midgard TYP 113.
Midgard, Lenklampe TYP 113, Bauhaus

Midgard, Lenklampe TYP 113, Bauhaus

Under the title “100 Years of Positionable Light – the origins and relevance of adjustable lighting”, based on the exhibition initiated by Midgard together with the design journalist Thomas Edelmann at the beginning of the year, a comprehensive publication with texts by Thomas Edelmann and illustrated with a wealth of images from the Midgard and Bauhaus archives will be published.

Midgard on Archiproducts
Midgard, K 831, at Deloitte digital Düsseldorf, designed by PLY atelier2, Foto ©Julia Maria Max

Midgard, K 831, at Deloitte digital Düsseldorf, designed by PLY atelier2, Foto ©Julia Maria Max

Midgard, Federzugleuchten (spring-balanced lamp)

Midgard, Federzugleuchten (spring-balanced lamp)

Midgard, Modular

Midgard, Modular

Midgard, TYP 551

Midgard, TYP 551

Midgard, TYP 553, at Otto collabor 8 Hamburg, designed by PLY atelier 2, Foto ©Julia Maria Max

Midgard, TYP 553, at Otto collabor 8 Hamburg, designed by PLY atelier 2, Foto ©Julia Maria Max

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