50 years of the lava lamp

The iconic lava lamp, launched in 1963, is celebrating its 50th birthday

Vintage Astro lava lamp from the 1960s

Mathmos, the inventors of the lava lamp, is celebrating its 50th birthday this September.

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The Mathmos story began with the invention of the Astro lava lamp by company founder and inventor Edward Craven-Walker. Mr. Craven-Walker originally developed the lava lamp from a design for an egg timer he saw in a Dorset pub.

The first lava lamp came to market in 1963. The “Astro” and “Astro Baby” were the first two lava lamps launched in 1963 and 1964 respectively. They were an instant hit and became one of the defining products of the 1960s, appearing in cult TV series The Prisoner and Dr Who.

Find out more about the history of the lava lamp at the Mathmos website

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(All images © www.mathmos.com)

Astro lava lamps make their on-screen debut, 1965
Astro lava lamps have appeared in two episodes of ‘Doctor Who’: The ‘Wheel In Space’ episode used lava lamps as part of the set design for the oxygen supply room, shown here. They also appear in the episode ‘Dalek and the Daleks’
Vintage Astro lava lamp from the 1960s
Edward Craven-Walker and his wife Christine
Edward Craven-Walker originally developed the lava lamp from a design for an egg timer he saw in a Dorset pub
Advertisement for the Astro lava lamp, 1960s
A vintage advert for a lava lamp
Prototype Astro lava lamp, 1960s
Inventor Edward Craven Walker and his Astro lava lamps
Inventor Edward Craven Walker and his Astro lava lamps.
Vintage Astro lava lamp from the 1960s
Vintage Astro lava lamp from the 1960s