"Light up .. for cheerfulness"
|Blotter number 923; image number: LAR_B923.
Text on blotter reads:
"Light up .. for cheerfulness. A door flung wide;
warm light from within to bid cheerful welcomenothing so adds to a home's
hospitality at do little cost as proper lighting."
... and at bottom:
People attached great symbolic meaning to light long before
the invention of electric lamps. This has been especially true in
portraying domestic scenes: the romance of a candlelight dinner, the
shared closeness of family and friends gathered around a fireplace
hearth. Or, as seen in this blotter, the "cheerful welcome" conveyed
by a "warm light from within." Whether used in art or advertising,
lighting can evoke strong feelings of home.
"Agents for Edison Mazda Lamps, General Electric"
This blotter dates from the late 1920s or very
early 1930s. The modern shape of the bulb shown (known in the industry
as the "A-shape") came into use around 1925, and GE phased out the
use of Edison's name after the inventor's death in 1931. A push
to raise light levels is
seen in most companies' ads in this era. This push, combined with
the effects of the Great Depression, culminated in an industry-wide
sales campaign called "Better Light - Better Sight" beginning in
For additional information about the
symbolism of light see:
Bernard S. Finn, "The Incandescent Electric
Light," in Margaret Latimer, Brooke Hindle and Melvin Kranzberg, eds.,
"Bridge to the Future", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,
vol. 424, 1984.
Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Disenchanted
Night: The Industrialization of Light in the
trans., Angela Davies (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1988).