Currently Reading: Portland: Lighting the Way

Schoolhouse Electric Co. sold vintage fixtures, then a lightbulb went off

The early 20th Century had it going on for ornamental light fixtures. Art deco classics were found everywhere from courthouses to local libraries. Modernism did away with the excess details in the 1960s but Portland real estate agent Brian Faherty collected lighting brochures and built an archive of his own regardless. It was his thing.

In 2003 Schoolhouse Electric opened on MLK Way in Portland and sold fixtures to builders and homeowners looking for period pieces. Faherty specialized in period houses on the market, and his new venture got off the ground flying high. This year they entered the household products market and left the niche behind, but Restoration Hardware they are not. In Portland we stopped by the 100-year old warehouse showroom on NW Nicolai St. and peeked in.

There’s been a lot of progress since Faherty bought 60 molds from Gillinder & Sons Inc. when the company established in 1861 went in a new direction. The table lamps are some of our favorites, and the Edison bulbs can be left bare in an Ion lamp and that room won’t need any further decoration. Monocle Magazine recently propped them up for faithfully reproducing the 1960s IBM wall clock, and mass producing it. Order online, or make the trip, the gift you get will hit home.



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