Old Thomas – The Cultic Lamp of Soviet Estonia

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Old Thomas (Vana Toomas – in Estonian) is one of the symbols and guardian of the city Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

As the lamp Old Thomas belonged on the dresser both mine and my husband’s childhood home, so we made ​​a decision that it would be pretty nice to have it in our home. Meant-made ​​- this little nostalgic lamp arrived on our bedroom dresser from local vintage auction and gives us cozy light for several years now.

Old Thomas souvenir lamp is considered one of the best-known representative of the Soviet Estonian designs, it is sold in antique stores and auctions.

Old Thomas was designed on the 1960s by the artist of Estonian factory Estoplast, Bruno Vestenberg. His lamp became a hit of mass production.

Metal artist Lilian Lillaks (former worker of Estoplast) recalls:

“Old Thomas was once a low price lamp – costing three to four rubles and was quite easily to get from 60s to first half of the 80s on the Department Store of Tallinn and other shops selling everyday items. Today only a small number of homes are still remaining the lamp. One of Old Thomas lamp`s mistake was that it tended to overheat with bulbs over 40 watts and caused the melting of the plastic case. So, when stronger bulb was turned on, the lamp was likely to lose. The light of the lamp was not enough to read a book, it was just an ornament to create a cozy light.”

Well, that`s true – Old Thomas does not give enough light for reading though 🙂

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