You Gotta Fight For Your White: O.C. White Task Lamp, ca. 1930s

O.C. White Advertisement, 1936

Industrial lighting enthusiasts can identify a good task light at a thousand yards. Plenty of early 20th Century lighting manufactures created what are now highly sought after desk items but in this case, there is nothing more coveted to the avid collector.

With prices now clocking four figures, the desk light that sees more prospective buyers leaping flea market trestle tables to make a purchase is that of O.C. White.

Be sure, these articulating lamps were not meant to be pretty ornaments but rather, heavy-duty lighting tools that no factory work bench in the U.S. was complete without during the 1920s to 1950s.

O.C. White was established in 1883 when Massachusetts dental surgeon, Dr. Otis C. White patented his first adjustable joint. By the end of the 19th Century the company had become the pioneer in the area of task lighting. In 1939, with the advent of luminescent light technology, the company turned its hand to developing lighting for the stitching trade, hospital floor lamps and physicians examination units. Today, the company continues to manufacture a wide range of lighting out of their facility in Thorndike, Mass.

This example comes with an aged, green shade and original 8-Ball knuckle; the company’s trademark. Though darkened and worn down, the fittings are brass and stamped with the maker’s mark.

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