The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Pleated Paper Lampshades
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of Pleated Paper Lampshades. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

Shades made of pleated paper would presumably have been used to shade electric lamps rather than gas lamps, oil lamps or candles, since the risk of fire would otherwise have been too great. Incandescent electric lamps seem to have been first developed commercially in 1879 by Thomas Edison (though he did not invent them).



There are instructions for making a basic Pleated Paper Lampshade in 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was first published in Bielefeld and Leipzig, and the foreword of which is dated October 1876.



A design for an 'Abat-jour' (Lampshade) made from a pleated filter appears in 'Petit Manuel de Travaux d'Amateurs' by H de Graffigny, which was published by Collection A L Guyot in Paris in 1909. The wording reads, roughly, 'By removing from a pleated filter part of its length between the dotted line ab and then turning its opening downwards we obtain a lampshade which simply needs to be fitted with a mount with claws to be fixed onto a lamp.'



This advert for Four Way Lampshades appeared in Vol 83 Issue 2855 of Harper's Bazaar for November 1949.