Thread Number: 38271
Mogul Lamp Questions.
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Post# 568173   1/9/2012 at 21:57 (2,658 days old) by Volvoguy87 (Cincinnati, OH)        

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For those of you who don't know what a Mogul Lamp is, it's a type of floor lamp popular in the 1920s-the mid 20th century. Mine has 3 candelabra arms and a central lamp that points up. They're pretty common.

I'm trying to restore the lamp and have some questions. The original upward-pointing central lamp has a mogul base (bigger than standard) with a 3-way switch. This hasn't worked and is the reason why I took it apart. I've found a source for a new porcelain mogul base with a 3-way switch. The original type of bulb was a mogul-base 3-way 100, 200, and 300 watt bulb and that's what I'll likely use. If anyone knows a source for a 3-way mogul-base CFL, I'd gladly give it a try.

The hard part is going to be the switch for the candelabra arms. The current switch is a rotary switch which can operate 1, 2, or all 3 of the candelabra arms. The original switch has the wires integrated into the switch and they aren't in great shape. I'd like to replace the switch. My questions is what kind of switch should I get? I wouldn't mind a pull-chain switch, but I could go for either a chain or a rotary. Will a 3-speed ceiling fan switch work for this application or will I need something different?

It's an interesting lamp,


Post# 568177 , Reply# 1   1/9/2012 at 22:34 (2,658 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I have a single bulb antique mogul floor lamp. I looked for mogul base 3 way CFL's but could never find them. Next was looking for a mogul to standard 3 way adapter. Again, no such luck. As a result I just use a standard adapter and a single level CFL in the lamp. It actually works out ok.

At one point I did have to replace the mogul base - I found a lighting shop in a nearby city that carried such items.

I have thought of fabricating my own mogul 3-way to standard 3-way adapter. But that's as far as I've gotten ;-).

Post# 568181 , Reply# 2   1/9/2012 at 22:56 (2,658 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Dave, you may want to try Gable Electric on Harrison Ave. for the switch. They carry a lot of lamp parts. Their number is (513)661-6924.

The part you are looking for is called a canopy switch (two-circuit).

This post was last edited 01/10/2012 at 05:17
Post# 568194 , Reply# 3   1/10/2012 at 01:40 (2,658 days old) by coldspot ()        

You can get one of these adapters.

I seen these at walmart a lot cheaper then online a 3 way cfl lamp.

Post# 568197 , Reply# 4   1/10/2012 at 02:09 (2,658 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, search and ye shall find...

After some considerable searching, I found a 3 way mogul to 3 way standard reducer, on eBay. It's $24, though. Here's a link:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO sudsmaster's LINK on eBay

Post# 568223 , Reply# 5   1/10/2012 at 06:37 (2,658 days old) by wireman (Lansing, MI)        
COOL!! I'm NOT the only floor lamp geek!

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My fave type of lamp; glad to know somebody else appreciates them. As a teen had 5 of them! Now, just have one working, a combo of 2 different lamps(has the marble base with nightlight). Recently found one on the curb, so it is awaiting testing and restoration. Had no idea they were called that. Glad you were able to find adapters.

Haven't had to look for the 3-way candelabra switches for awhile, but they used to be commonly available at hardware stores. Wonder if any of the newer small dimmers could be substituted if you are using incandescent bulbs or dimmable LEDs?

I like to use the amber 25 watt a flame bulbs in the 3 candelabra sockets. Makes for nice mood lighting; if you need brighter light, you can always fire up that big ol' mogul bulb.

Good luck with your project; certain it will provide you with MANY years of illumination.


Post# 568224 , Reply# 6   1/10/2012 at 06:49 (2,658 days old) by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Have you tried your local big box store? These should be pretty common. A quick search shows that our midwest Menard's chain carries them for under 10 bucks...



Post# 568234 , Reply# 7   1/10/2012 at 07:54 (2,658 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        
Mogul to Standard Reducer

Hi, I have purchased a mogul-to-standard reducer on ebay and it works great... and it is only $8.49/free shipping. I don't know how to add a link, but look under ebay item number 380153881646. I love these lamps, especially those with the night light feature in the base, it makes a wonderful soft light!

Post# 568239 , Reply# 8   1/10/2012 at 08:49 (2,658 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Geeze I haven't seen any of those lamps in so long where once they were always in thrift/junk stores 20+ years ago. I remember we had one in our livingroom back when I was 5ish, my aunt had one in hers.. lots of people had them. I think ours got replaced by the then stylish pole lamp with the 3 cone lights pointing down.

Post# 568244 , Reply# 9   1/10/2012 at 09:36 (2,658 days old) by Volvoguy87 (Cincinnati, OH)        
Keep em coming!

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The mogul-to-standard base reducers are common the hard part is finding one that can handle the 3-way functionality. I'd love a CFL for the sake of energy efficiency, but I can't find one that has 3-way functionality with the equivelant of 100, 200, or 300 watt output. More simply put, if I could find a CFL with the same output and flexability of an old fashioned mogul bulb, I'd use it.

I went to Lowes last night and found their selection of switches to be pathetic. The only switch that even came close was a 3-speed ceiling fan pullchain switch. We have no Menard's in Cincinnati, so I'll keep looking. I'll have to look into Gable Electric.

My lamp is pretty basic. Its 3 arms use small-base candelabra bulbs and there is no light in the base. It looks to be a pretty nice lamp, but definately not TOL.

Keep up the good info,

Post# 568255 , Reply# 10   1/10/2012 at 11:12 (2,657 days old) by westingman123 ()        

I love these lamps--they're the best reading lamps, ever! Mogul bulbs, while not the least efficient, make a strong, warm light. Do you have a TruValu or similar "old-fashioned" hardware store nearby? I've found their selection and service to be far superior to the big-box stores.

Post# 568320 , Reply# 11   1/10/2012 at 16:40 (2,657 days old) by DaveAmKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
I remember a lamp like that!

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My grandparents had one--the center had the humongous 3-way bulb (100w, 200w, 300w, if I remember correctly & I think the three lamps around that center could go on one, two or all three at a time, too; separate from the middle bulb...) Think my aunt got it, if it didn't get thrown away when my grandma died... I got a no-frills, one shaded bulb deal; which after it shorted out got thrown away...

One in an antique store I saw was going for $190 and had the almost-square shaped Westinghouse EYE-SAVER bulbs around the middle 3-way, but I think they all went on/off at once, or maybe w/ the center lamp...

The closest I had was a more modern one; 3-way bulb in the center, though you wouldn't dare go more than 50w/100w/150w for the middle lamp! And the 3 bulbs around that center bulb all went on & off at once, too... (Though I took it apart in an attempt to put a 3-way switch in for those bulbs...)

I went through at least THREE shades w/ that lamp, too...!

-- Dave

Post# 568329 , Reply# 12   1/10/2012 at 17:13 (2,657 days old) by historyman (Pittsburgh, PA/Aiken, SC)        

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I recall my dad's parents having what must have been one of these, but theirs had a circle fluorescent light on the lower ring instead of the 3 separate bulbs. As a kid I always wondered why they had a lamp with "little half moons" as I don't think the lamp worked by the time I was around and was missing the bottom fluorescent bulb.

Wikipedia mentions these are still available to buy new. Any ideas?

Post# 568381 , Reply# 13   1/10/2012 at 20:47 (2,657 days old) by wireman (Lansing, MI)        

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The best mogul lamp I ever had all the standard features PLUS a nightlight base (though not marble, marbelized plastic) AND a 50's adjustable metal cone type reading light just below the candelabra! I was 11 when we moved to Phoenix, and my folks made me part with it as there was limited space in the U-haul. Have never seen one again; assume it was from the 50's OR somebody had cobbled it from a more than one lamp. Crazy, eh?

Anyone recall a similar one? Wish I had a pic!


Post# 569322 , Reply# 14   1/15/2012 at 17:14 (2,652 days old) by historyman (Pittsburgh, PA/Aiken, SC)        
Mogul restoration question

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I recently purchased a Mogul floor lamp, that I hoped was in working condition. Sadly, despite appearing cosmetically ok, it does not work. I got it at a price good for restoration, so I'm not heartbroken. This model has the standard 3-way Mogul socket in the middle and triple cluster, with a base plate mounted nightlight.

Now that I have it disassembled, (I'll worry about the electrical side later) the base appears to be cast iron and most other parts are metal of some sort. I'd like to use a Rustoleum-type product to repaint them, ideally of course gold/brass in color. Have any of you gentlemen done this before?

Suggestions, advice would be appreciated.

Post# 569354 , Reply# 15   1/15/2012 at 19:19 (2,652 days old) by Volvoguy87 (Cincinnati, OH)        

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I've never seen one with a night light before! I ordered some parts from Grand Brass for mine. As for painting, I am repainting a few pieces. I'm lightly sanding them, spray priming, and then using black lacquer as a top coat. I used this process on my Underwood #5 typewriter and the results were quite good.

I'll post pictures of my completed lamp (or at least mostly complete).

Also, I made an error, mine has regular sized bulb sockets on the arms, not candle-based ones.

Best of luck,

Post# 569358 , Reply# 16   1/15/2012 at 19:32 (2,652 days old) by historyman (Pittsburgh, PA/Aiken, SC)        
Good site too for lamp restoration

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The link below also appears to be quite good. I think I may just end up ordering the "new" kit cluster instead of attempting to re-wire the original as I'm basically an electrical novice. I was fortunate that the fundamentals of the lamp though, including the reflector bowl and onyx are in good shape.

Basically, the base has a full size socket in it with a hole in the ring for foot operation of the nightlight switch that should glow out up through the onyx. The socket's wiring may have been the cause of the fault, but we'll see.


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