Watrous’s invention uses a small, strong magnet set within the cylinder at the center to create a stable yet adjustable setting for the chromed ball from which the lamp’s rod balances.
A counterweight at the tail end of the rod keeps the structure upright.
The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of Roy Poretsky, 2007.50.19.1
The floor version of this table lamp was featured in MoMA’s 1951 Good Design exhibition. Its functional, minimal design fit the mandate of these shows. The same year, the floor lamp was presented in MoMA’s exhibition of prize-winning lighting from a competition sponsored by the museum and the Heifetz Company, which subsequently put the lamps into production.
The competition and collaboration the manufacturer were inspired by Marcel Breuer’s comment that he could not find any good lamps on the market.