Anglepoise lamp, c 1935.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In the early 1930s George Carwardine, a motor car engineer, conceived the idea of balancing a weight (a lamp in this case, but the idea was also tried with telephones and typewriters) against a spring through a linkage which allowed the weight to remain stable in any position. He joined forces with Herbert Terry & Son of Redditch, who specialised in making springs. The idea was patented, and subsequently the name 'Anglepoise' was coined. The first lamps, of 1934, were an instant succes.