If you think that Schoolhouse Electric's light fixtures look familiar, you're probably right. For the first half of the 20th century, schoolhouse-style shades and light fixtures were very popular. They were used in settings such as schools, libraries, and galleries, as well as in homes...
While researching period lighting, the founder of Schoolhouse Electric, Portland realtor-renovator Brian Faherty discovered a treasure trove of forgotten cast iron molds for the glass shades. He salvaged and restored them, and they're now used for replicating more than 100 light shades. The simple shapes, classic lines, and milky glass of the handcrafted light fixtures and shades work well in many settings, both traditional and modern.
AT readers Keith and Brent used Schoolhouse Electric's lighting when they renovated their New Jersey apartment (see their Inside Out tour here).
When AT:NY covered the Best of the Guide 2005: Lighting Stores, AT reader Diana wrote, "May I recommend Schoolhouse Electric...They revive deco and turn-of-the-century lighting fixtures with a modern sensibility and real attention to detail...My co-op just got great hallway lights from them - we picked the handpainted green and white diamond-shaped ones to go with our new diamond-patterned green and pale-yellow carpet. Everyone was impressed: "You found lights that match the carpet." And the handpainted detail really shows up if you're ever close (which they are in my building as the stairs go right by the ceiling fixtures)...They have about a bezillion shades and fixtures, all for overhead or sconce lights...Also service was prompt and courteous. The only thing is that if you want the handpainted ones, you've got to wait for the painting, which can take up to eight weeks."
Shades range from $15 to $100; fixtures from $65 to $469.
Schoolhouse Electric also sells push-button switches (and brass coverplates for them).
Although Schoolhouse Electric is based in Portland, the company also has a showroom in Tribeca, sends out a catalog, and sells online.
*Tribeca, New York Showroom: 27 Vestry Street New York, New York 10013 212-226-6113