The Enchanted Lantern puts light into motion by an ancient concept called thermodynamics. The heat of the light bulb naturally rises to generate a colorful design insert to spin projecting its image onto the lamp's shade.
In ancient times, motion lanterns were, of course, generated by the heat of candles or oil, but with the discovery of the electric light bulb, motion lanterns became quite popular in the early 20th century. In the 1950s, when television was rising in popularity, motion lamps really became the rage. They were sometimes called T.V. lamps, as they served to entertain and fill the boredom of time lapsing between so few television shows at that time.
If you are lucky enough to find an old one or possibly have had one passed down through your family, consider yourself lucky as the old vintage ones are worth a considerable amount, based on their condition.
There are several excellent resources on motion lamp collecting. Here is small list to get you started
- www.motionlamp.com (Sam & Anna Samuelian)
"Collector's Guide to Motion Lamps" by Sam & Anna Samuelian
- "Animated Motion Lamps: a price guide - 1920 to present" by Bill and Linda Montgomery