Torchiere History

Torchiere lamp historyarticle by Jim Hoyle

To get to the true origin of the torchiere lamp, we have to go back a very long way in history, all the way back to when our ancestors discovered fire. Yes our beautiful torchiere lamps of today find their roots in an humble camp or cave thousands of years ago.
Darkness, the absence of light, it is feared by humans today as it was long ago. The absence of light is a very uneasy and vulnerable feeling for an animal whose keenest sense is sight. Mankind has always desired to light up this darkness and to do so as efficiently as possible. Sometime after our ancestors learned to build fire they learned that an elevated fire provided more light than one located on the ground, just as it does today. Organic materials were used on wooden sticks then later oils from animal fats were added for increased combustion. Vessels made of stone and clay were later created to hold the oils and these were raised upon standards of wood or stone to provided a better light source. With the discovery of metals, these were used in combination with stone and clay as upright standards as well as vessels for the burning oils. These were the true forerunners of torchiere lamps of today.
A torchiere lamp is any table or floor lamp whose light is directed upward by means of a glass, metal, stone, plastic or other type of reflector. These lamps take many forms and are made of many materials.
The word "Torchiere" is derived from the French word "Torche" torch.
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