The Lava Lamp Turns 50 By ERIC NEWILL/THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2013 The ’60s taught us not to trust anyone over 30. Unfortunately, we’ve had to abandon this quaint dictum, as Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney have reached 70, and even Twiggy is 63! This week we celebrate the 50th birthday of another ubiquitous ’60s icon, one whose presence in a home guaranteed the owner a measure of hip sophistication: the Lava Lamp. SEE ALSO: Vintage Tupperware: Why We Can’t Put a Lid on Our Obsession In 1963, a classic British eccentric, Edward Craven-Walker, was in a pub (where else?), watching bubbles dance in a liquid-filled egg timer. It struck him that if he replaced the liquid with a mix of wax and carbon tetrachloride, and heated this gelatinous goo with a small bulb, the effect would produce slow-moving colored orbs and shapes. It hit at just the right time, when psychedelics were beginning to influence the cultural landscape in art, music and interior decoration.