Preparing to write a blog about the history motorized hula girl lamps, I naturally went to uncover who the first maker of these bits of kitsch was. Quite a surprise was in store for me, as I found that these enduring and classic bits of decor are anything but ‘kitsch’. Quite to the contrary, hula girl lamps have a rather prestigious pedigree. The first commercial models were made by Dodge, Inc.—the same company that manufactured statues for both the Oscar and Emmy awards for roughly 52 years!
Dodge, Inc. was a trophy and award company founded by Ray E. Dodge in Chicago in 1927. Dodge was an Olympic athlete who participated on the U.S. track team in the 1924 Olympics and the Berlin Pan American games in 1925. In 1930, the operation moved to Los Angeles and began making the Oscar statues. Dodge, Inc. grew to become one of the world’s largest trophy companies as well as one of the largest gift and souvenir companies.
So, as it turns out, the hula girl lamp is in very good company! Both the lamps and the Oscar statues have passed the test of time and are coveted by many. Dodge, Inc. is no longer in business, but like you, we’re very happy that motorized hula girl lamps are still being made today. We have a fun variety of hula girl lamps at RetroPlanet.com, so stop by and take a look. Enjoy a piece of tiki history!