The 1208, 1209 and other early Anglepoise’s

This site is primarily focused on the 1227, which, while it was perhaps the most iconic Anglepoise, was by no means the first.

Most information on the web will tell you that the first was in fact the Anglepoise 1208. This is a little misleading because while it is the first lamp produced by Herbert Terry and Sons, and thus the first to carry the Anglepoise name George Carwardine actually briefly produced a version of the lamp under his own company name: ‘Cardine Lamps’ first.

I have been unable to find an official name for this lamp so lets just call it the Equipoise (as this is what George Cawadine waned to name the Anglepoise originally): This early version was produced in the early 1930’s at George Carwardine’s own premises in Bath,prior to his collaboration with Herbert Terry and sons of Redditch.

The First Anglepoise or The Equipoise Lamp: 

While it looks similar it is not a 1208 and 1209 as these models refer to the Terry and sons catalogue system and therefore to later lamps. There are in fact quite a few subtle differences from the later Terry 1208-09 models :

  • Instead of the familiar Herbert Terry and sons, Redditch stamp a plaque denoting it as Cardine accessories, Bath is present. 
  • The shade, while a similar size has a slightly different profile, thinner and less rounded than the Terry models.

(above left: Cardine lamp above right: Terry 1209)

  • The base to, also has a slightly different shape. when seen from above it is completely square, whereas the Terry models had a bowed edge square.

(above left: Cardine lamp above right: Terry 1209)

  • like the 1208 (but not the 1209) it had five tensioning holes on the upper arm to allow for tensioning the springs.
  • It had a large knurled aluminum locking knob at the wrist of the lamp (behind the shade). This is not found on Terry models the ‘wrist’ connector between the upper arm and shade is also a slightly different design.
  • This first Cardine Angleppoise  was left unpainted apart from its base.
  • The Shade was held in place by a different design of tensioner.
  • The arms (and connection plates: wrist elbow etc) were made from box section aluminium. While this is found on 1950’s and 60’s Terry lamps their earlier 1930’s and 40’s versions all had steel or copper arms.
  • Also the arms have a thinner profile to the steel armed 1208 and 1209.
  • The lamp is held in position by another knurled knob at the ‘elbow’.
  • The spacer bar on the lower arm just beneath the elbow found on Terry 1208-09 lamps was an improvement to the design, adding stability and as such is not present on this early model. This feature does not appear on the original drawings either.The cable fed from the lamp though the top base and exited at the bottom of the base. This neat method design element was not present on the 1208 or 1209 and would not appear on a Terry Anglepoise for many years.

The Herbert Terry and sons 1208 and 1209 Anglepoise’s:

(Above: 1209 Terry Anglepoise)

The 1208 and 1209 were virtually identical:

  • Both the 1208 and 1209 had more rounded shades than the Cardine lamp.
  • The 1209 was fully painted, while the 1208 had chromed arms.
  • Both had steel arms. (Though on later models these are often aluminium, brass or even copper)
  • The first Cardine Anglepoise and the Terry 1208 both have bases with a tall stem which was reduced within a short production period, When the revised 1209 was introduced.

Initially the 1208 and 1209 were virtually identical, the main difference being that the 1208 arms were chromed, while the 1209’s arms were painted*. Later (most likely in the early 1950’s) the models were slightly revised and a short arm version of the1209 became available, it had a 12 inch arm, as opposed to the 18inch arm of the standard 1208 and 1209 (both of which retained the same overall dimensions of Cardine’s original lamp).

The lamps proved to be immensely popular. The high demand led Terry and sons to the idea of producing a version for the domestic market. However they felt that the existing 4 spring designs, while successful were somewhat too industrial for the home. George, collaborating with the designers at Terry and sons, went back to the drawing board. What they came up with was a 3 spring Anglepoise, which, (due to Herbert Terry and sons sequential numbering system for new designs), was designated as the 1227 model. The 1227 was a smaller, simpler and more elegant design than its older brothers. Manufacture commenced in 1935, and sales of the new lamp soon overtook those of the 1208 and 1209. That said the larger 1208 and 1209 had a gained a solid reputation as industrial and architectural lamps and both remained in production for several years.

Like the 1227 the design of the 1208/9 received several subtle changes throughout it’s production. These can be helpful in dating lamps, I;m no expert on these models but hres a brief rundown of things to loo out for ( all of this information was gleaned from the wonderful site at Vintage Anglepoise Lamps)

  • The ‘Angkepoise’ stamp is found on the elbow plate of early models where as on later models it was moved to v section at the base of the arm.
  • On early models the cast base tends to be quite tall with the cable being routed though it. – On late models the base is much lower (occasionally there is a spacer bar to compensate for this) also the cable does not go though the base.
  • The Shade fitting on early models is of a tensioner type, on late models this design was adapted to use a screw.
  • On early models the tensioning screw at the elbow is large and easy to use. Like that on the 1227 on later models it was reduced in size and usability.
  • Similarly as with the 1227 early models have simple uncapped springs. On later moderls caps with screw adjusters were added.
  • Finnaly on later versions there are three spring tensioning holes on the upper arm.

For more detailed information  about and photos of the Carwardine lamp, the 1208 and 1209 please check out the wonderful  site that is Vintage Anglepoise Lamps

Images on this page are and from:

* ( a great but sadly largely un-operational site)

* This is based on information kindly given by Macstiltskin, gained from a 1935 sales catalogue from Terry’s

19 thoughts on “The 1208, 1209 and other early Anglepoise’s

  1. Thanks for this site info. Big help in identifying my lamp.I think it is a1208 in gold with tall stem base ,four springs and 18inch arms. It has five spring adjustment holes on upper and lower arms.
    Herbert Terry stamped on tapered block.
    Looks good in my study after a light polish following years as my workshop lamp!
    Thanks again. Mike Smith

  2. Hi Harry,
    I have a 1208 anglepoise, with ‘ “THE ANGLEPOISE” Pats Pending’ and ‘Made By Herbert Terry and Sons, Reddich Eng’ stamped onto the elbow plate, the cable goes into the base, coming out through a pre-cast hole in the side – just like the Cardine light you show above. It proves that at least some anglepoises do have this feature. If you want some pics of any details of it for your excellent site I would be happy to oblige. I also have a 1227 three step with “Pats Pending”, and then underneath it looks like “SAE Pat No 90/35” stamped on the tuning fork. I am guessing this is the pat pending number and 35 is for 1935, but I don’t know.
    Anyway, excellent site. Thanks,

  3. No, it does have an earth screw, which is integral to the bit with the ‘Pat Pending’ stamp – so I guess it must be original…

    I will get round to taking some photos to send in here, if I get the time!


  4. Hi, I have what I believe to be a 1209 up for sale on an auction website and it has created quite a bit of interest, so I felt obliged to do some research and I found your website. My late husband always said it would be valuable one day. If you would like to see it and perhaps clarify it’s age this is the link.
    (PS I am a writer so am interested in your illustrations)

  5. Hi Ben, It is now me who should apologise for the late response. Sorry. I have three young kids and a lot of distractions, I should also say that I have a Cardine accessories wall mounted lamp which seems to significantly pre-date the “equipoise” lamp above. It is like the early 1208 / 1209 lamps but has just two large (like huge – 1″ diameter) springs: one for each parallelogram . The linkages are more primitive too… It came from an engineering workshop in the Wirral .

    Do you have an email address to which I could send a photo? You should have mine as I have entered it below.


  6. I inherited mine from my father and from my grandfather before that. I was always told that it was a “prototype”, and it seems to have elements of both 1208 and 1209. It has an aluminium shade that used to be painted thinly in a beige colour, it has chromed arms with 5 adjustment holes, uncapped springs, a ;arge knurled adjustment knob at the elbow, and the odd tensioning device at the “wrist”. All those things suggest that it is a 1208. On the other hand, it has a short-stemmed base, and the wording is on the fork at the base rather than at the elbow, both of which suggest a 1209


    A few weeks ago I found a leaflet that must be the first announcement of the Herbert Terry version of the Cardine lamp.

    “This is what everbody has been wanting for years” it says, “- a table-lamp that is instantly adjustable in any position without exasperating fuss.”

    “The ANGLEPOISE Lamp is the result of British brains and effort, and is designed on an entirely NEW principle which eliminates all clamps and flynuts, friction and bad temper.”

    Included in the flyer is a photo of the lamp that shows it has the Cardine-style base (“..highly polished black enamel”) and chromium-plated arms with no added spreader on the lower pair. The shade is the later, curved version with the spring fitment in polished aluminium with what looks like a Crabtree “push bar” switched bulbholder. Also supplied is “12 ft. flex, and compound plug” the latter being intended to fit a ceiling light bulb holder. In that form, the lamp could not be earthed.

    As an alternative to the Cardine-style base, the buyer can choose a “wall bracket or fixed base the same price”. The price is £4-4-0, or for the “Dull Black Enamel Finish” £3-3-0.

    The Professional user is offered a ‘Standard Model’ on a 37 inch high base with ‘easy running castors’ £5-16-0.

    The advertisement has no ‘1208’ or ‘1209’ model numbers, nor does it mention a smaller version of the Anglepoise, probably because the 1227 didn’t exist at that point.

    I wonder if this very first Herbert Terry Anglepoise, as photographed, still exists and will one ever be found?

  8. Hi Harry,
    I recently bought a Herbert Terry model 1414 which is an Anglepoise Operating Theatre Lamp.
    I have dated it as existing in 1963 but it came without the shade head. The ONLY reference I have for it appears in the 1963 A Perfect Spring Catalogue but is hard to see how the head light was made. (Im trying to make one to complete the light). It cost £60 in 1963 where the 1227 cost £4 so in today’s money that equates to approx £2000. By far the most expensive trolley light they produced. The question is, do you have any reference for this light?
    I will gladly send you pictures of the one I have.

  9. I have a 1227 with Pats. Pending and no earth screw. The words “The Anglepoise” are horizontal and not vertical as on the later three step version. I’ve been trying to find out if they introduced that screw already in 1936 or 1937, but no luck so far. The company hasn’t been able to help me. Do you have any idea?

  10. Hi
    Your website is full of great info. I wonder whether you can help me with a query. I have acquired a 1209 anglepoise which I intend to restore to use in my office. The only problem is that the springs on the upper arms are missing. The lower arm springs are present at are uncapped, loop end expansion springs so I am assuming that the upper springs are the same type, diameter and wire thickness, but just longer (about 250mm?). If you can advise on the precise specification for these springs that would be great, and even better if you can give me a lead on a supplier.
    Many thanks

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