The Dripping-Oil-Venus Lamp

Rain lamp, or dripping-oil-Venus lamp

Ah, the avocado-green-era we all knew and loved, aka the 70’s. The turbulent 60’s were still fresh in our collective memories. But in 1975, the Vietnam War was officially over. Protests were a thing of the past. Nobody had been assassinated in a long time. It was a time of peace and love like we had wished for in the Woodstock era.

So what did we do? We grew our polyester carpets long, We quit turning on, and instead, the country’s youth turned to much more mild-tempered grass as the illegal drug of choice. And the keyword of the laid-back years following the breakup of the Beatles was MELLOW.

So what did we buy with our extra bucks during the mid-to-late-70’s?

Oil-dripping rain lamps.

These bronze-tinted plastic liquid-pumping sources of illumination were sold by the droves in the era that immediately preceded disco music. When you think of a fondue party, you think of a Venus rain lamp providing subtle illumination on the goings-on.

Besides, the illicit effects of inhaling smoke produced by the dried leaves of plants of the cannibas family were significantly enhanced by visual stimuli like drops of oil slowly spiraling down plastic tendrils, or so I am told.

Anyhow, the dripping rain lamps experienced a rather short lifespan, especially when compared to the ever-popular Lava Lamp. The Seven-Up flicker light would be more of an apt comparison, as their reign was only about a year or so.

But they had a quirky appeal all their own. Even though the pump that sent the oily rain to the virtual heavens of the lamp’s lid was prone to breaking down and needing replacement, the lamps’ owners loved them.

Here’s to a short-lived period of time when gas prices were falling, when war was not a regular subject of the nightly news, and when we had some free time and bucks to spend on watching little droplets of oil surrounding a plastic statue.

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