An Antique Glass Lamp Shade in Modern Times
The gas shade no longer plays the same role as a protective covering for a gas-fired flame as it did in old Victorian times. If they are in use nowadays, they are for electric bulbs except for very particular cases. The advantage of the electric bulb's convenience and safety means that gas lighting is simply neither feasible nor practical.
Domed With An Opening
The late 19th century saw technology progress to the point where it was possible for municipalities to lay down gas piping to deliver fuel to each house, which in turn could use the gas for light lamps. The creation of a utility deliver system meant that the small delivery army was no longer needed for houses to receive a consistent supply of fuel.
The basic shape of gas lamp shades is a spherical piece that can hold a gas flame, and a small cylindrical opening on top that releases both waste gas and excess heat.
The Victorian age saw a proliferation of such gas light shades. The outer surface is characterized by acid etched designs made up of floral, Greek, Victorian, Lace and other kinds of intricate patterning. Colors were generally clear or etched, but other subdued or pastel colors such as rose, pink, and light blue were also common. Partial colors like tints are sometimes preferred because of their interesting looks. The lip of the top cylindrical portion could be cut with interesting designs such as "crimp".
Now Used For Electrical Lamps
Of course, Victorian lamp shades for gas-lit lighting became technologically obsolete when electricity supplanted gas lines. Although gas lighting is no longer used, gas shades continue to be popular shapes chosen by people for their electrical lamps.