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1950s brass/glass/walnut chandelier by Moe
1 in stock
I’m very pleased to offer this stunning Mid-Century chandelier by Moe Light!
Two brothers, Henrik and Ole Moe, helped to found the Milwaukee-based Moe-Bridges lighting company in 1919. Later friction among various shareholders resulted in the brothers leaving the company in the late 1920s, and founding Moe Brothers Manufacturing.
In 1938, the company relocated to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, after the city agreed to sell land – adjacent to an all-important railroad line – to the company for one dollar. Moreover, the city built a modern plant (at 700 Oak Street), with the understanding that the company would pay rent of $1,800 for twenty years. The company was able to hire one hundred employees (no small figure in the Depression), and this increased to one hundred fifty two years later. In 1946, the company was able to pay off the bonds used to finance the Moe plant.
However, as was common, the company struggled to survive after the war years (where they made grenades, bazooka and bullet shells, anti-tank mines, and other military equipment). In 1948, Lee B. Thomas stepped in to save the company. In 1953, the corporation name was changed to Thomas Industries, although the lighting fixtures still carried the Moe Light brand label, and were marketed as such.
By 1963, Thomas was the largest employer in Fort Atkinson with 540 employees and sales of $41,000,000.
The Fort Atkinson plant was closed in 1986. But it wasn’t that long ago that this factory – like countless such factories across America – was teeming with life, and supporting millions of families. This, back when America actually made stuff. And quality stuff at that.
The “ultra-smart” fixture is mostly brass, with a gorgeous walnut stem, and stunning “hand-blown opal glass chimneys”. In the catalog image the shades have a thin gold line. The shades listed here have no such line although they are unmistakably the same shade. Either the gold line wore off over time, or Moe offered a line-less shade. A historical curiosity!
In 1959 the fixture was priced at $60. I know, you laugh, but that was way expensive. Out of hundreds if fixtures, Moe had only one other priced higher, and the vast majority of their fixtures were under $30. Moe was proud of this chandelier and featured it prominently in their 1959 catalog.
It’s also nice that the fixture retains its original finials, chain, and ceiling canopy.
The chandelier is an impressive 21-inches wide.
Wholly restored, this fixture is ready to hang, and comes with all the mounting hardware needed!
DETAILS: The fixture accepts standard base 40W bulbs.
COLOR: Gold. White. Walnut.
SIZE: The fixture hangs down 35-1/2-inches and is n impressive 21-inches wide. I can remove up to 17-inches of chain; I can add chain.
- I love writing this: there’s no damage.
- The sockets and their wiring (always protected inside the arms) are original, and in fine condition. The vertical wire is new, and cloth-covered like the original.
- Much of the fixture is brass. The large ball on the bottom, and the ceiling canopy, are steel with a brass-like finish (this was common for the period). This finish has some small age spots; these cannot be polished out as this process will remove the finish. Also, the age spots are hard to discern from reflections. The top of the large ball (a separate component) lost its finish; I redid this in gold.
- The original chain had a brass-like coating. This had worn off. I did a burnished gold finish.
SHIPPING: Insured shipping in the Continental US will be…FREE!