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Vintage Warehouse Shades for Industrial Task Lighting


Some of America’s early industrial history is found within towns like Akron, Ohio and others all throughout the Midwest. For decades, these blue collar cities were the lifeblood that propelled America’s economy forward, even in the midst of a world war. Browse through any collection of photos from this era and you’re sure to see vintage barn lights used in factories, mills and industrial establishments.

Barn Light Electric’s extensive collection of vintage warehouse shades include cord hung and stem mounted pendant lights with the same early design as the lights pictured above. The collection comes from a variety of leading manufacturers including Appleton, Ivanhoe®, Benjamin® and Goodrich®. Shapes and sizes varied between the brands, but they shared a common trait; they were all made with a porcelain enamel coating for extreme durability.

While the style and quality remains the same today, these lights have found a new use as lighting within home kitchens and trendy storefronts. The RLM warehouse shade above is just one of several pendant styles available at Barn Light Electric. Emblem shades, shallow bowl lights, military reflector shades and explosion proof angle shades are also available to give your home or business an ultra historic look.

Industries utilized these lights to help their workers who needed reliable lighting to execute routine tasks with flawless precision. A great example is seen in the photo above, which shows several RLM warehouse lights – these lights were used at General Tires, in Akron, Ohio. The photo was featured as part of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information collection in the U.S. Library of Congress. Workers weighed ingredients for rubber processing and thanks to the focused supplemental lighting provided by the warehouse shades overhead, they could determine whether the raw rubber should be converted into tread, fabric, gum, tube, repair material or mechanical rubber stock!

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