LED light bulbs are all the rage nowadays, but you can’t beat the timeless beauty of vintage filaments. Between the late 1930s and into the 1970s, the Aerolux Light Corporation produced novelty bulbs with tiny sculptures inside. These decorative filaments take the shapes of flowers and birds which are electrically illuminated in a variety of vibrant colors.
To construct these bulbs, Aerolux used low-pressure gas in their filaments—either neon, argon, or both. In addition, the designs were coated with phosphors, which glow when they’re “excited” by electricity. This phenomena occurs with 110-120 volts of power and was used in standard household lamps across the United States.
Aside from their unconventionality, the roses and sparrows added a bit of art to an everyday object—brightening both a room and someone’s spirits. So, it’s no surprise that the Aerolux lights are still sought after today. At the height of their production they were sold for just .20 cents, but the price has increased significantly since then. Those interested in owning the real thing can find them on eBay, where they’ll find all sorts of playful designs.