Midgard was founded in 1919 by the engineer Curt Fischer. It is a lamp manufacturer who has been producing in Germany to date. Midgard constructed the first articulated "Steering Lamps". It was a true innovation at the beginning of the 20th century. This is why Curt Fischer is considered the inventor of tractable light by many. With his products, Fischer was supplier of Bauhaus, where Midgard lamps could be found also at the desks of Gropius, Wagenfeld, Brandt, Stoelzl as well as in the Bauhaus Appartments.
“We later envied the inventors of the Midgard lamp’s arm. Our lamps were adjustable too, but they simply weren’t as elegant.”
Marianne Brandt, Bauhaus Artist
the history of midgard
1919 - IWA and the foundation of Midgard
Midgard was founded in 1919 in Auma / Thuringia by the engineer Curt Fischer. Originally for internal needs of his machine factory IWA Ronneberger & Fischer (industrial plant Auma), Curt Fischer developed scissors lamps and articulated lamps. This is why he is considered the inventor of the "tractable light". The in these days widespread ceiling-mounted pendulous lampshades provided only static light from above. As such, the entrepreneur regarded them as rather inflexible. This type of lightning caused the workers to cast shadow over their workpieces themselves. Curt Fischer sketched and manufactured first prototypes of articulated lamps by passing the live cable through tubes and developing articulations between the tubes. He perfected the system, developed many multi-armed desk lamps, work lamps and wall lamps. Within few years he turned to be a luminaire manufacturer which he called Midgard (as the North Mythology called the bright Middle Earth inhabited by people). Early on his designs were recognised and valued by Walter Gropius, among others, and hence used at the Bauhaus. Gropius supported Fischer's developments. Their original correspondence has been preserved until the present day.
The post-war period
Curt Fischer passes away in 1956. His son Wolfgang takes over management in the spirit of his father's. Up until in the late 60s Midgard produced their meanwhile three luminaire ranges:
- the historic Steering Lamps, which were used among others at the Bauhaus
- the robust and modulare as well as maintenance-free Machine Lamp
- the Springloaded Lamp.
Midgard in the GDR
In times of expropriation (1971) in the GDR, Midgard continued to produce Machines Lamps and Springloaded Lamps as the nationally-owned enterprise Raumleuchte and supplied IKEA (among others). The merger with other lamp manufacturing companies resulted in the largest Eastern German lamp manufacturer. Curt Fischer's son, Wolfgang Fischer, was general manager in the nationally-owned enterprise.
Midgard after Fall of the Berlin Wall
Due to re-privatisation the company was returned to Curt Fischer's son Wolfgang Fischer in 1990. Wolfgang Fischer renamed it the protected name Midgard. He implemented various product improvements to the Machine Lamp and the Springloaded Lamp and thus steered the company into the new millennium. In the early 2000s he gradually handed over to his two daughters who restarted limited production of the classic Midgard Steering Lamp. The Machine Lamp and Springloaded Lamp continued being produced at the Auma plant.
In 2015 David Einsiedler and Joke Rasch take over the company and lead it back to production after a restructuring. The first range to be produced again is the Machine Lamp, which is typical for a modular and freely configurable system. It is followed by the Springloaded Lamp and from 2019 the Bauhaus light TYP 113. To date Midgard produces the three luminaire ranges Springloaded Lamp, Machine Lamp and K831 completely in germany and under the use of original tools.
The historically important Bauhaus Steering Light TYP 113 will be reissued in 2019.