Furniture & Lighting
Let General Secretary Stalin’s glowing head light your home

This is some lost technology we can keep there — Soviet light bulbs from 1935 with Joseph Stalin’s silhouette as the glower. Too bad it didn’t cast a Great and Powerful Oz-like ominous head on the walls.

First Soviet Bulb

16 thoughts on “Let General Secretary Stalin’s glowing head light your home

  1. The silhouettes are technically electrodes, not filaments. These are electric lamps that imitate candle light. They hardly produce enough light to read, but eerie projections are possible. Just google for “neon flicker flame candle lamp”.

  2. Oddly enough, I actually consider the fact that these don’t operate like Soviet Russia’s answer to the Bat Signal to be a massive failing in the product.

    Flickery, glowing bulbs just don’t have the same effect and that’s Russia’s loss and Gotham City’s gain.

    1. Yeah, I know. I had this vivid image in my head of poor Soviet citizens, cowering in terror in their tiny Moscow flats, giant flickering lights-heads of Comrade Stalin looming over them.

  3. Ah, yes, these are known as “Figural Neon” bulbs.

    I happen to have one that’s shaped like a rose, with some petals on the stem. The interesting part about these is that the Neon discharge produces a bit of ultraviolet light, which can excite phosphors. Thus, my rose glows “neon” orange, and the leaves have a phosphor coating which makes them glow green.


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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