Camden resident Lisa Tapken has a weird fascination with light bulbs. They intrigue her. She collects them. She is technically a bulb collector—and yes, there is such a thing. She does not put any of them over her head and say “I have an idea,” however. This is the story behind her obsession with light bulbs.
Light bulb Assembly [photo: 1]
It all started with this big one in the middle. I found it at an antique place in New Hampshire. I loved its shape and the filaments inside. It was so delicate. And they all just started happening after that. After I found the first one, every time I’d go somewhere I’d just started noticing light bulbs in a way I hadn’t noticed them before.
Bird In Bouquet [photo: 2]
I started looking at these Aerolux Tube Light Bulbs online. There were some that were hundreds of dollars and they had all different logos inside them. But there were a few of these featuring what’s called “bird in bouquet,” which are essentially birds surrounded by flowers. I was so surprised when I first plugged it in. I didn’t even know it would light up.
Rose [photo: 3]
I just became addicted to these Aerolux bulbs and this one I bought through an artist’s site. I just loved the metal within the bulb. And when it lit up, all these colors popped out. I started researching them and found out how they were made. I think this one might be from the 1950s. They’re starting to make reproductions now, but I can’t imagine they’d be as beautiful as these old ones.
Lightbulb Man [photo: 4]
As you can see, I have an addiction to lamps. I used to live in a converted sail loft and I designed a whole wall of shelves 30-feet long with outlets behind it for small lamps. I’d just flip a switch and the entire shelf would come on. Anyway, the whole thing with Lightbulb Man is that I saw him in some junk store and it made me laugh. I brought it home and rewired it. I added the screw cap (the threaded base of the bulb that secures it to a lamp) and I gave him his light bulb head. Eventually, I’m going to make little lamps like night lights that plug into his tummy.
The Killer Convo
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