The lava lamp turns 50 this year! The product's inventor, Edward Craven Walker, was inspired by a Christmas ornament containing oil and water. This month in 1963, he launched his company, now called Mathmos, named after the lava lake in Barbarella. Check out an early prototype below.
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From BBC News:
In the mid 1960s, they made their first TV appearance on the set of Doctor Who. Another sci-fi series, The Prisoner, followed and in 1980 Hollywood called - the Craven Walkers were asked to deliver bespoke models to the set of Superman III.
"When did we realise things were going really well? The day a store in Birkenhead phoned to say that Ringo Starr had just been in and bought a lava lamp," said (Craven Walker's widow Christine) Baehr.
"Suddenly we thought, 'Wow, we have hit it.'"