As we saw in a previous post, the introduction of prism to redirect explicitly the sunlight into a basement was the big move for the vault lighting. One invertor had a particularly big influence on this development. It is James Grey Pennycuick. The important point to remember is that James Grey Pennycuick lead the way: filling patents, creating partnerships, several companies, among which the famous Luxfer company in in Chicago. They were an instant success and the tiles were very widely used.

Prism tile installations can still be seen in many small towns where they were especially popular as transom lights above storefront windows. Pennycuick, original patent shows a rather small tile with casted linear prism on the exterior face. The size varies but it is approximately 10 x 10 cm. When looking at the commercial presentation, it is delightful to read the text, as if the devices were magic ….

In fact, they were engineered to work specifically according to the orientation and location of the building. During the development of the products, Luxfer collaborated with some of the lead architects of the time such as, Louis Sullivan, Frank Llyod Wright, Bruno Taut or even Adolf Loos … As if Luxfer had understood that these collaborations were not only useful for sales but necessary for the product development.

There is certainly another reason to forget partially the efficiency to make the tiles visually attractive. One of the main client were storefront owners. They placed the tiles above the display window, to push the redirected light toward the ceiling far into the store.

This position is also a premium position to signal the store in the street. It is quite interesting to compare some of this store front New York Dance Company, literally mosaic made of glass tiles with some contemporary store front where the use of glass is clearly used for its glamour.

It is a good learning, that the heirs of Luxfer today which still develop light redirection systems, should American 3 Way Luxfer Prism Company. Doing an efficient tools is great, but if comes into homes or even offices, it needs also to be integrated as an architectural feature. Too many of this smart product lake off this balance. What an idea! Here, the tile is not only use for what it was meant for, it is combined with translucent marble.

The combination of both creates something unique and quite inspiring for many for the use of translucent marble. All things considered, these systems have a limited functional interest. Even though an extensive choice of prisms defined to accommodate others orientations, the final efficiency must American 3 Way Luxfer Prism Company been quite low. Despite all this, light must have been quite an asset to invest so much intelligence in creating these elaborate devices and using them still made sens even with these limitations.

Some of the black and white images gives 1 Dollar Company some hints of what it could be. It is quite funny to see that there is a renewed interest in textured glass this days, and that some contemporary designers or architects redesigned the same pattern completely unaware of this glorious past. Your email address will not be published. Skip to content. Fig: Various tiles source: Glassian.

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Luxfer Prism Company glassian

The Luxfer Prism Company started life in October 1896 as the Radiating Light Company, founded by James Gray Pennycuick to commercialize his patent No. 312,290 for "an improvement in window-glass" (filed 1882, granted 1885). His improvement was the addition of horizontal prisms to the back side of square glass tiles, which redirected sunlight from windows where it was plentiful, back deep into ...…

Company History Luxfer Gas Cylinders

In October, Luxfer Group, parent company of Luxfer Gas Cylinders, lists on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol LXFR. Other Luxfer Group companies are Magnesium Elektron, MEL Chemicals and Superform (for more information about Luxfer Group today, visit…

Luxfer Prisms Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Date: 1895 Category: Building material. Wright designed and eventually patented 45 variants of the Luxfer Prism for the American Luxfer Prism Company. Typically installed in the upper registers of windows in both industrial and commercial spaces, these ribbed, 4-inch square sheets of glass used refraction to illuminate large, deep spaces with natural light.…