Lava Lamps
Jeffrey R. (Sydd) Souza

The world wide web's penultimate (yes, I leave it to someone else to provide the ultimate) list of links to all things Lava Lamp on the web. Accompanied, of course, by my short reviews of the sites as appropriate. So stop reading this already and start melting back & forth.

I've Been Shamed! I confess I have been away from this page for quite some time and have received many submissions fro lots of helpful folks. So today I have updated the page at long last with several new links and more to come soon. Sorry for the delay to all you who have submitted links then sworn at me for never responding. Hey when business picks up the personal pages must suffer. But tonight, sleep be damned, I'm bringing things slightly more up to date.
BTW I received a "cease and desist" order at one point from lawyers for the holder of the "l-l" word, and I fired back questions asking how I go about doing that. But they never responded (nor, as near as I can tell, even read my email even though they provided an email address for me to use). So the page stays up until they can get around to responding. Like I'm making any money or hurting them at all with this page. Yeesh, lighten up people. Lava lighten up... get it? Tough crowd...

THE Source

The original manufacturer of the LavaLite® shows you all of its models in quite a fancy and well designed site. Yes, no matter what anyone tells you, these things were invented in 1963 by Edward Craven Walker and this is the OFFICIAL site. Find out more and see their entire line at this UK site. Thanks to Guni for this link.
[Added 30 Aug 98]

Craven Obit
Edward Craven Walker passed away this year. A CNN obituary is provided here. I was honored to find out my page was linked to from the CNN page (the old URL no longer works as I changed domain servers). We're not worthy. Thanks for the seeing the light Mr. Craven.
Thanks to Regina Engelken for this link.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]

How To

The Lava Lamp Conspiracy Page
In a calculated effort to protect the lava lamp enlightened from the perils of patent infringement, the evil lava lamp manufacturers have conspired to keep their technology a secret, thereby preventing anyone else from making money of their invention. Fascists! Now there's help. This site will help you deal with your urge to repair a lamp or to create your own. Thanks to cheyenne morrison for this link.
[Added 11 Feb 99]
Lava Lamp Materials
A list server article. Thanks to cheyenne morrison for this link.
[Added 11 Feb 99]
Lava Lamp Plans
Another article from HyperReal. I recommend lopping off the tail end of this URL when you are dones and poking about this site. This is the kind of site you'd always heard about but were too distracted by the porn sites to actually find. Thanks to cheyenne morrison for this link.
[Added 11 Feb 99]
How to Make a Lava Lamp
Still another site with plans using mineral oil and alcohol. Mmmmm sounds like a salad dressing I once had at the local diner. Thanks to cheyenne morrison for this link.
[Added 11 Feb 99]
Olivia's Comments: Calling itself the 'hud of all lava lamp traffic on the net' (or something similiar) this site has a lava line with peoples questions and comments, mailing list, mail order (US only), good pics and a selection of diy formulas
Thanks to Olivia, as well as many others, for this link.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]
Lava Lamp City
Patrick's Comments: go see.....the best lava lamp website i have ever been to, you have to surf this even has free email!
Thanks to Pat Wallace (The master of lava lamps), who patiently submitted this link umpteen times but never seemed annoyed that I wasn't responding. It's his page by the way, so of course it's the best he's been to. Of course it beats this little niche page I threw together for content, so...
[Added 16 Nov 2000]
Demonstration of density differentials and temperature
Dr. Jackson's Comments: Since Lava Lamps are very expensive, my science Class has made many a lamp out of common materials of which work and the recipe is given at this site Sydd's Note: You'll be "treated" to a Star Wars midi the entire time you're there so it that mute button before you click the link.
Thanks to Dr. Gaines B. Jackson for this link.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]

Patent Info

LavaLite Patent #3,387,396: Page 1Page 2Page 3
Here are PDF images (you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader, but it's free for the download) of the David G. Smith patent #3,387,396 dated June 11, 1968.
Thanks bunches to Larry A. for providing us with these. Here's what Larry said in his email, only a fraction of the nice things he said (hope you don't mind Larry): I have been searching for this for years and have finally found it. Please make this available to do-it-yourselfers that visit your site. I have only sent this to you because I feel yours is the best site to contain this data.[Added 16 Nov 2000]

From Chris:
Chris sent me this info culled from the Walker patent:

Here is the actual chemicals used in the original patent:

The official way. (from US Patent # 3,570,156 March 16, 1971)

The patent itself is not very specific as to proportions of ingredients. The solid component (i.e., the waxy-looking stuff that bubbles) is said to consist of "a mineral oil such as Ondina 17 (R.T.M.) with a light paraffin, carbon tetrachloride, a dye and paraffin wax."

The medium this waxy stuff moves in is roughly 70/30% (by volume) water and a liquid which will raise the coefficient of cubic thermal expansion, and generally make the whole thing work better. The patent recommends propylene glycol for this; however, glycerol, ethylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol (aka PEG) are also mentioned as being sufficient.

This mixture is placed in a closed container (the "lava lamp shape" is not required, although something fairly tall is good) and situated over a 40-watt bulb. If the "lava" tends to collect at the top, try putting a dimmer on the bulb, or a fan at the top of the container.

Thanks to Chris for the email.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]
LavaLite Patent #3,570,156: Page 1Page 2Page 3
Here are PDF images (you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader, but it's free for the download) of the Edward Craven Walker patent #3,570,156 dated March 16, 1971 referred to above in Chris' message. Looks to me like Mr. Smith beat Mr. Walker to the punch. I didn't compare them, but presumably they are sufficiently different since patents were granted for both. Since Mr. Walker seems to be generally acknowleged as the inventor, perhaps his is a superior design or at least a more marketable one.
Thanks bunches to Larry A. for providing us with these as well, after reading Chris' entry above.[Added 5 Jan 2001]


Newbury Comics
Start off by getting your own lamp. Twenty two, count 'em twenty two lava lamps of all combinations. My fave is the one shown here.
[Added 25 Mar 97] Update: Of course, if you could see my fave here, which you no longer can, then you'd be able to visit the site which, again, you no longer can.

MCM Enterprises
Ok there are twenty eight here and they may be cheaper but you don't get to see every one. Still, they have this cool animated gif there.
[Added 25 Mar 97] Update: But then you can't see the cool animated gif I USED to have here because this one's not responding anymore.

Extraordinaire Plaza
Ok, if anyone casts aspirations on your lava lamp superiority, and you have 230 bucks, get this 27 inch tall lamp!
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Another Big One! And some other Lava-esque products. Nice animated gif here too. The Image at left is their anti-embossed backdrop, sorta. Jeez another one that's bitten the dust.
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Parrot Island Store
Did I say big at 27 inches? Try 32½" Got 300 bucks to send to these Jimmy Buffett fans (hence the cheeseburger)? Lots of other stuff there too.
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Crazy Moon Fashions
Retro clothing, big font text, slow download and 60 dollar lamps in 4 unremarkable varieties. Groove to its peaceful, free-flowing movement. Peace, Man!!!
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Freewheelin' Franks Online
There's a single picture showing 3 or 4 lamps. Click over to the leading candidate for Sydd's Worst Web Order Form I've Come Across award. There you'll get a few boxes, one to fill in your name & address, one to fill in what you want, and one to fill in your credit card info (no idea which ones are honored). "Yeah, Frank? Send the second one on the left to my Baja Bungalo (you know the one) and charge my Toys-R-Us Jeffrey Money account." Looks like it was so bad they went out of business. Too bad, I STILL haven't found a worse order form. You misssed a real winner there.
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Another vendor selling genuine Lava Lite (tm) lava lamps, plus some other stuff. Visit HomeweaR at the 60's Trading Post for the '90's for all your blacklite bulb & dead-head tapestry needs.
[Added 5 Apr 97] Update: as of 5/5/98 they were taking a break form the web catalog biz but you can get on their mailing list to be notified when they're back.

No pictures of lamps from these guys in Wisconsin, but they have among the cheapest prices I've seen and lots of color selections.
[Added 5 Apr 97]

College Depot
Brand new site (as of the posting date) chock full of stuff to "trick out the heppest groovin' pad." {The above phrasology was liberated from a '70s vintage head shop catalog... sorry.} Plus there's everything you need if you're a student on your way to college, or a parent looking to send a care package to said student.
[Added 4 Nov 97]

The Polyester Network
Get sick of the word groovy at this site, and get your retro '70's stuff here too, including love beads and disco balls.
[Added 8 Nov 97]

Cool Stuff Cheap
Three different series and great prices await you at Cool Stuff Cheap. Thanks to Matt Hillson for the link.
[Added 4 Jan 98]

Hippie Haven
Here's a bunch more lamps on a rather crude almost text only site (except for the phots of the lamps). Warning, hard to read red on blur text accompanies this non-blink-free zone. They sell other stuff to so poke around after you checkout the lamps. Sha, like they're paying me a kickback to say that, I WISH.
[Added 6 Jan 98]

The Rest

Thanks SyddBilloCam
Check this out, it's a lava lamp (and often its owner) on a web cam. The lamp is there 24/7 but may only be on when the proprietor is there. But every 5 minutes you can see an update. I suppose if you save each 5 minute snapshot you can make a time-lapse photography film of Billo's life. I told him I was going to link to him and he posted and sent me the picture at left. Thanks Billo! And DO NOT MISS the link to Lavarand that he has.
[Added 11 Oct 98]

Neglected Sheep
This is a band in North Carolina. I first found this tiny animated lava lamp here which is what started this whole thing. These guys have a link from my Petting Zoo Sheep page as well.
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Stephanie's Lava Lamp Fantasy
I'll just let you let your mind wander on what this page is all about before you go visit. Whup, sorry, guess you just have to keep wonderingt, it's gone now.
[Added 25 Mar 97]

InterAct Lava Lamp Forum
You're on the road somewhere and suddenly have this need to have a Lava Lamp question answered right now! Fear not, Dr. Lava is at the ready. Write down this 800 number on that card in your wallet that has all those numbers: 800 352 LAVA
[Added 25 Mar 97] Update: This one's gone 404, sorry.

i love lava lamps
A pink-in-pink animated gif w i t h w i d e l y s e p a r a t e d t e x t. Yo! Trishy! Slow it down hon, lava lamps be slow beasties. At least this one flows nicely from one iteration to the next. This page automagically sends you into trish-o-rama's world after a short pause to watch the lava.
[Added 25 Mar 97]

Brian's Lava Lamp Cam
This is one of those infamous devices connected to the web. Unfortunately it was disconnected back in '95 when the guy maintaining it graduated from the university. Still, interesting to visit for the nostalgia factor.
[Added 5 Apr 97]

A racey site not for the pristine. This is the Lava Lamps section of links from a site that specializes in Asia/Pacific Gay and Lesbian Resources. Looks fairly comprehensive.
[Added 5 Apr 97]

From Aug 22 1995 Iowa State Daily
Hootie & the Blowfish apparently used them as stage lighting. Uh huh, explains a lot.
[Added 5 Apr 97]

Stone Temple Pilots
Now this one's cool! When you first enter you see a rocker's room with all the essentials. If you click on the black light, it turns into an imagemap with all of the areas on the site now visible in the black light.
[Added 18 Apr 97]

Chris' Lava Lamp Page
From Chris Collins: It's not the official site but I try to make it as informative as the Mathmos information leaflets. (Mathmos is the original Lava-Lamp company). Getcher Lava Lamp history lesson here.
[Added 4 Jan 98]

Old Mathmos Site
The original manufacturer of the LavaLite® shows you 4 models (and nothing else except an email address). Thanks to Chris Collins for this link too.
[Added 4 Jan 98]

Gratuitous Animated Lava Gif
I didn't venture much further into Jenn Griffie's page after I found an animated laval lamp gif. It's all I needed to see. But now you can't see it because she took it away. You might poke around a bit though. There's a link to the creators of the gif provided but when I went there I found just a "Coming Soon" grafik. The URL was at the site, gotta love the name..
[Added 6 Jan 98]

My Lava Lamp Shrine
Another "everything you wanted to know" page, quite well done including some original grafix (I'd have included one here but I'll let them surprise you). Plus there's a link to the maker of the Lava Lite® Thanks to the site creator Andrew Green for the link, nice job on your entire site. I got him to help me make my duckie don some long awaited shades. Thanks again Andrew.
[Added 6 Jan 98]

A page dedicated to the inventor of the lava lamp, Edward Craven Walker. Thanks to the site creator, his grandson Geno, for the link. Here's your chance to thank the man who started it all, send your fanmail and his grandson will see that he gets it. This site even includes link to a page that tells you how to make your own laval lamp! And now it's gone, doh! And I didn't write down the directions. If someone finds it again, let me know!
[Added 6 Jan 98]

Poetry with Flavor
There's a pretty standard animated gif of a lamp on this page of poetry. There's also one of the least annoying MIDIs that I've heard (and mercifully a control panel so you can stop it). Thanks to Chris for the link.
[Added 1 Feb 98]

Lava Lamp
Another lava lamp dedicated page with a whole bunch of pix. Thanks to Connie for the link. Not bad for a 6th grader.
[Added 9 Feb 99]

Lava Lamp Cam
How cool is this? LIVE on your screen, a lava lamp of your very own via RealNetworks' SureStream. Thsnks to the folks at Inventive Communications for posting this, and to Seth Northrop of same, for the link.
[Added 10 Feb 99]

Sidekick32's Home Page
Lots of moving stuff here, including 3 animated gif lamps and even one of those water filled snow globes. Seemed like an infinite download over my poor 14,400 modem. Thanks to Cori Thompson of same, for the link.
[Added 10 Feb 99]

Lava Love
The self proclaimed web's largest (and therefore slowest-loading) collection of animated lava lamp images. Totally gratuitous and pilfered, but hey he links to this page so he gets a link back, link whore that I am (on occasion).
Thanks to Sean Cash of same, for the link.
[Added 25 May 99]

Jay's Lava Lamp page. Not much here so far except variations on a single lava lamp clipart.
Thanks to Jay for this link.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]
Java Lava Lamp Simulation
The applet did not load for me, and I did not download the zip file, so maybe you'll have more success.
Thanks to Antal for this link.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]
Poons of the Lamp kind and their Festitudes
No idea what this is, but it so fit the idea of this page that I simply had to provide a link. LOVE the pizza shot.
Thanks to Doug Rowell for this link.
[Added 16 Nov 2000]

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