Just One More Post on the 1950s…(Maybe Two)

I keep saying that, don’t I?

Fact is, there was a lot of cool stuff going on in the 1950s. Turns out, many of the finest people I know were born in the 1950s.

I had lunch with one of them yesterday. Cynthia and I strode through the streets of greater downtown Phoebus (Hampton, Virginia) peeking in windows and visiting shops and pretending to be flatlander tourists.

Personally, I am highly allergic to shopping of any kind, but I must say, our adventure was great fun and most memorable.

One of our stops was Cody’s Lighting and Repair on E. Mellen Street. Inside, there were hundreds of vintage lighting fixtures spanning the whole of the 20th Century, but my heart stopped when I gazed upon a coppertone hanging light behind the old-fashioned glass counters.

Several months ago, I did a little work on my kitchen and bath, returning them to the 1950s. Even since then, my dining room (situated between the kitchen and bath) has been feeling a deep sense of shame with its anachronistic post-1970s light fixture. I could hardly bear to walk through the dining room for the lugubrious moans wafting from its walls.

It was troubling.

I knew – as soon as I gazed upon that coppertone light fixture at Cody’s – that my dining room could now re-join its merry 1950s compatriots.

I couldn’t whip out that VISA card fast enough.

For the rest of my visit with Cynthia, I was having a little trouble concentrating because I kept thinking about The World’s Most Beautiful Mid-Century Modern Coppertone Hanging Light Fixture. It was a happy distraction.

Whilst driving home from Hampton with the new (old) fixture in my back seat, I called my buddy Milton and asked him if he was busy.

Poor Milton has come to recognize that this is a very dangerous question when asked by moi, and one needs to be cautious with their response.

“What do you have in mind?” he gingerly asked.

“I’m going to surprise Wayne with a new light fixture I just bought!”

Milton started laughing, and not only did he agree to help with the install, but he went to my house at once and started unhooking the old fixture to make way for the new.

Less than 30 minutes later, The World’s Most Beautiful Mid-Century Modern Coppertone Hanging Light Fixture was suspended from my dining room ceiling.

The dining room emitted an audible sigh of relief.

To read more about the Atomic Powder Room, click here.

To see cool car ads from the 1950s, click here.

Ooh, click here to read an update!  😀


When the dining room was remodeled in 1979, this light fixture was installed. Now I realize that some peopel will say, OOOH, how pretty!

Blech. This fixture was installed in the late 70s (before my watch). I realize that some people will say, "Oh, how pretty!" but I'm not one of those people. It overpowered the small dining room, and it was not period appropriate. Plus, each of the ten sockets had a 60-watt bulb in it, so for brightness, it was the equivalent of 1,000 suns. When entering the room, one had to be careful to NOT gaze directly at it, lest they be blinded for several days. The good news is, when I put it on Craigs' List for FREE, I was inundated with responses.


In my eyes, this is a beautiful light fixture for my 1962-built ranch.

TA-DA!!! What a pretty fixture! Those fins on the side cast a lovely pattern on the walls.



It's a great old house and now it has a great old dining room light!


The soft glow of a satisfied room.

The soft glow of a satisfied light fixture.


And it has a cool pattern on the glass shade!

And it has a cool pattern on the glass shade!


And the pull-down feature works, too!

And the pull-down feature works, too!


After it was installed, Milton stepped back to admire it and said, You know what? It looks just like Jupiter Two.  Took me a minute and then I realized, he was right.

After it was installed, Milton stepped back to admire it and said, "You know what? It looks like 'Jupiter Two." Took me a minute and then I realized, he was right. It does!


It *does* look a bit like Jupiter Two! (And if youre from the 1950s, youll know what that means!)

It *does* look a bit like Jupiter Two! (If you're from the 1950s, you'll know what that means!)


To read about Sears Homes, click here.

What the heck is Jupiter Two?

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  1. Sue

    The feeling of dejavu never leaves. *smile*

    Thanks again Rosemary.

    What a fantastic light.

  2. bfish

    Oh wow, much better in scale and period-appropriateness — Colonial Williamsburg Jr. lamp needed to be banished (funny about CL too as we recently had a similar experience when advertising something for free)!

    Now pseudo-colonial wallpaper has got to go and the walls need your magic touch.

    To make your post even more fun, you brought up fabulous Phoebus which is one of the coolest places there is; I miss visiting there often when I used to travel to Fort Monroe frequently in the mid 1980s.

    Thanks for all the memories — Barb

  3. Sears Homes

    Thanks, Barb! I was just thinking that very thing!

    This morning, as we dined in the soft glow of the World Most Perfect Light, I was looking at that blue flocked wallpaper and thinking, “Time to go wallpaper shopping!”


    This time, I’m gonna go with commercial wallpaper – I think.

  4. Rachel Shoemaker

    I worked at Oklahoma Lighting Distributors for 10 years on my “off days” from the fire station.

    The family owned store has been in business since 1927. We had several fixtures spanning the years and so many were mid century modern.

    They are stored in the warehouse where they are unseen unfortunately but it’s a great place for those of us who have an extreme love of light fixtures.

    LOL (like me).

    I absolutely loved that place! I spent many hours inventorying those very fixtures and I even built the shelves that they were stored on. I became very familiar with them.

    Some of my favorites were the pull down fixtures like you purchased.

    And I absolutely detest polished brass fixtures and the only thing I detest even more is a polished brass Williamsburg chandelier!

    I think the ones here all end up at Habitat For Humanity Re-Store… from what I’ve seen on my adventures there.

  5. Shari D.

    So, you said you were going to surprise Wayne with the new light. Was he surprised?

    Did he spot it right away or did you have to point it out to him? What was his reaction?

    And when you go wallpaper shopping, keep that pattern of the glass shade in mind ~ it would make a stunning effect if you could work in a sort of coordinating theme there.

    Not “matchy-matchy” mind you, but something that would draw it out.

  6. Sears Homes

    @Shari D.

    Wayne was surprised, and he noticed it right away because I pointed it out to him! 😀

    I’m also happy to report that he was genuinely pleased. He’s pretty tickled with it. And that’s good news!

    Sometimes, he surprises me.

  7. Patricia

    Love the new/old style light.

    Huge improvement for your dinning room.

    I saw a use for the chandelier on another home blog (I have forgotten where).

    Remove all the electric, spray paint, cement on pots with saucers. Plant chandelier.

  8. alice boysen

    Remove the wallpaper and paint the room in the 1950s color scheme; Three walls of cocoa brown and one of chartreuse.