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This Econolite motion lamp #768 features a 1912 Model T Ford and a 1914 Stutz Bearcat, and is dated 1957.
Ignition Company was active in the '40s, and produced only two styles of motion lamps, this one and a Niagra Falls scene. Econolite's "Roto-Vue Junior" line had some of their most charming designs, including this great Hopalong Cassidy model from 1950. Flames were a popular theme with the motion lamp companies, as seen on this "Hearth" from Econolite. Notice the unusual design on the inner cylinder, diagonal lines that create the illusion of falling snow.
The two primary manufacturers of motion lamps tended to target each others products in a very direct way, and this is Econolite's version of the train theme. One of the more dramatic styles, Econolite model #761 depicts a roaring forest fire and animals in peril from the flames. The carousel top reveals the fins that allowed for the exit of heat and subsequent rotation. Econolite put the emphasis on scenery, and what better vantage point than from the cab of a big rig? The "On the Bayou" lamp contains a wealth of information, including the Canadian manufacturer (Gift Lines Limited) and light bulb recommendations. Not content to endlessly depict rustic vistas, Econolite made this motion lamp showing the latest jet aircraft!
Stylistically, the duck theme seems at odds with the "Sputnik" landing legs, but I like it! Because of their seasonal nature, many of these have survived remarkably well, usually packed away each year in the original box. I love to see the original box, but they're not particularly rare on lamps with a Christmas theme, as they were typically stored in it from year to year.
Same season, same format, but this "Noel" Econolite is found less often than the previous Santa design.
This Goodman fire fighter motion lamp is distinctive in that the outer cylinder is oval rather than the usual cylindrical design.


The butterfly design on this Econolite motion lamp isn't a mid-century theme, but it is definitely one of their more attractive models.
I don't know the maker of this carriage lamp, but they were certainly thinking outside the box!
The image on the opposite side, while very similar, is completely different from that on the front. Several Christmas-themed lamps were released by the motion lamp companies, including this seldom-seen example by L.A. While valuable and highly prized, the original boxes are frequently found with such seasonal lamps, as they were packed away each year. Children's themes were a natural subject for motion lamps, and this rare Econolite Mother Goose design is a great example.
This 1953 Night Before Christmas Econolite isn't one you're apt to come across often, and it's a beauty!
Supported by "Sputnik" legs, this Econolite doesn't use the typical inner rotating cylinder, but instead rotates the scene itself. Similar in style (but very different in subject!) to Goodman's "bathing beauty" lamp, this one illustrates four classic nursery rhymes.
As seen in this top view, there's no inner cylinder, and the images themselves slowly rotate.
Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Gritt produced several chalkware motion lamps in the 1920's, including this Boy Scout model. Handcrafted polyresin choo-choo train lamp features an old-fashioned steam locomotive engine base. Clicking the button below will take you to the manufacturer's website for more information about this product. These ingenious devices used the lightbulb-generated heat to rotate one cylinder behind another, making flames leap, clouds float, boats sail etc.
Because it's a photo from "back in the day" that has an Econolite vintage auto motion lamp in the background! Goodman motion lamp is marked 1957, and is adorned with scenes of vintage steam locomotives.


Both Econolite and Goodman appear to have made this type of child's lamp prior to creating the motion lamps for which they are better known. I don't believe many of these were made, and I suspect the Econolite abandoned this facet of the market to focus on the cylindrical motion lamps they are known for. The design is a bit more subtle on this one than most, with only minimal decoration on the exterior cylinder. The Santa motion lamp doesn't have the usual rotating inner-cylinder and the resulting dance of light. This design is found in two versions, one with the dog facing its master, the other, shown here, with the dog facing the fireplace.
Goodman took advantage of the motion lamp's propensity for simulating flames with this great fire fighting scene. This #754 Econolite bears (bares?) a 1955 copyright, and is adorned with numerous Gil Elvgren pinup images. Dressed gloriously with shades that are personally designed and constructed by hand, Yessica's designs catch the attention of everyone who sees them.
It is model #2003, and is a beautiful woodland scene with a deer, a cabin, and a raging forest fire.
Santa himself rotates, casting light outward through the same angled openings that facilitate the rotation. It isn't a motion lamp at all, but what they called a "column lamp", and has no inner rotating cylinder. Goodman Manufacturing (which later became Lacolite Industries) being the predominant makers, although brands like National and Scene-In-Action pioneered the format back in the '30s. Photos courtesy of Victoria Turner (E-Bay seller vic-ts) of Victoria's Antiques and Treasures, known for her swell Motion Lamps! Hard to find in good condition, vintage motion lamps have become highly collectible.I'll gladly respond to any questions regarding motion lamps, but if you want to confer with the real motion lamp experts, visit SMS Noveltiques.




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