George Nelson Bubble Lamps by Herman Miller

The George Nelson™ Bubble Lamps® by Herman Miller®

In the 1940s, Herman Miller was a well-established furniture company that designed and manufactured their products out of Michigan, USA. It was in 1945 when George Nelson was named the first design director of the company, marking a new era that would establish Herman Miller as the leader in modern home and office furniture in America. Given this time frame in the 1940s, it was the mid-century modern style that prevailed, solidifying the beloved image of Herman Miller that is still celebrated today.

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In 1952, Herman Miller branched in to the lighting industry with the introduction of the George Nelson Bubble Lamps, premiering a new material application that was predominantly used by the U.S. military at the time. The material was a soft, yet durable plastic that was spray-coated around a steel wire frame, changing the game of mid-century lighting for years to come. The Bubble Lamps are still produced according to Nelson’s original design, and are available in a range of pendants, floor, table and wall lamps.

Why We Love George Nelson Bubble Lamps by Herman Miller

When you see a George Nelson Bubble Lamp, the light is instantly recognizable as a special piece of mid-century modern design: they are collectible, timeless and adored by MCM followers worldwide. With that said, the Bubble Lamps are not restricted to mid-century interiors, making them an accessible design that is universally enjoyed with their characteristic modern shapes and comforting light.

Fun Facts About George Nelson Bubble Lamps by Herman Miller

The military inspiration of the Bubble Lamps’ material is constantly referenced, but the specifics of the original design process can get lost in the details. The Bubble Lamps were originally patterned after Swedish silk pendants, but George Nelson needed an alternative material that was less expensive. The inspiration came from a newspaper photograph of ships that were treated with a “self-webbing plastic”. He combined that with his initial idea, and the Bubble Lamp collection was born.

Noteworthy Lighting from George Nelson Bubble Lamps by Herman Miller

First introduced in 1952, the George Nelson Bubble Lamps by Herman Miller is an iconic family of lamps that currently reside in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The George Nelson Saucer Bubble Pendant follows the same production process of the original design, where a soft plastic is spray-coated around a steel wire frame to achieve the shape. The elliptical shape is trimmed with Brushed Nickel, and creates perfectly diffused light through its uniquely crafted material.

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George Nelson Bubble Lamps by Herman Miller