What they're saying about
We were chosen to be included in the new book released and
Shopping Your Way Across Kentucky - the 101 Must See Places to Shop,
written by Gary P. West and published by Acclaim Press
"Shannon Lamp Service is definitely a
one-of-a-kind." "Shannon Lamps is a business that defines
what small family business is all about." Gary P. West
We are delighted to be featured
in the May 2007 Southern Living magazine. Southern Living prints
monthly magazine with regional issues and
we are in the Kentucky regional issue. You may live in an area that
receives another publication. The following has been scanned directly from
MAY 2006 - KENTUCKY REGION
WRITTEN BY WANDA MCKINNEY
LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER NEWSPAPER
JANUARY 23rd 2006
By Karla Ward
HERALD-LEADER BUSINESS WRITER
'can make a lamp out of anything'
You name it, and Shannon Lamp Service can probably make a lamp
out of it.
A thermos, a minnow bucket, ABC blocks, antique roller
skates, bowling pins -- the Lexington company has turned them
all into light sources.
"We can make a lamp out of anything," said David
Shannon, the second generation operator of the business.
The store, which has been in the same location at 1210
North Limestone since 1963, is celebrating its 50th anniversary
It is scheduled to be featured on KET's Kentucky
Life series at 8 p.m. Saturday. The show will be
rebroadcast at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
David Shannon's father, Coleman Shannon, founded the
company in 1956, focusing on lamp repair and brass, copper, and
silver polishing and plating.
Coleman Shannon said he decided to start making
lampshades in 1972, and that portion of the business became
known as Shamrock Shades. It quickly outpaced and
led to the dissolution of the plating side of the company.
Now 84, Coleman Shannon still works two days a week in
the shop. David Shannon's wife, Amy, also spends several days a
Hard-backed fabric shades that are made on site remain
a big part of the company's business. In addition to what's sold
in the retail part of the shop, the Shannons also sell some
Customers frequently bring in their own fabric and trim
and have custom shades made to match lamps they already own.
The store still repairs lamps and sells Aladdin lamps
the family has refurbished.
As a side business, the father and son do chair caning,
and six years ago, Coleman Shannon taught himself to work
stained glass. He now offers repairs for broken stained glass
Customers frequently ask the store to make lamps from
sentimental items such as jockey boots, football helmets and law
or medical books.
One customer had a lamp made out of the antique water
pump from the family farm.
Melanie Turner said she had David Shannon turn a piece
of hand-blown purple glass into an electric lamp that resembles
an old-style oil lamp.
"They provide good, old fashioned service," said
Turner, who lives in Millersburg but works in Lexington. "Things
are done one at a time, and in today's world that means a good
deal to me."
Frazer Duncan, who lives in Nicholasville, stopped in
one recent morning to pick out two shades and other parts for
two Aladdin lamps that had belonged to his grandmother.
"I've got very little stuff from my grandma," Duncan
said. "You can buy the lamp at an auction, but that one... it
means something to me."
Duncan said the parts he bought aren't readily
"I've looked everywhere, and nobody handles this
stuff," Duncan said. "He had basically what I wanted."
Just over a year ago, when the movie Dreamer was being
filmed here, a buyer for Steven Spielberg dropped in and
purchased nine lamps for the movie set.
One was a custom-made horse-themed lamp with a spinning
shade that appeared on-screen for a few seconds in Dakota
Fanning's character's bedroom.
"It's amazing how many people saw it and they want it,"
David Shannon said.
That lamp was one of a kind, but he said the movie has
generated several hits on the company's Web site.
"It's gotten our name out there," he said. "That's the
Still, most of Shannon Lamp Service's business comes
from repeat customers.
Martha Mooney has bought lamps, has had lamps repaired
and has had shades made at the store.
"My mother used them." Mooney said. "And she's been
dead for 30 years.
KENTUCKY EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION (KET)
January 28/29, 2006: Program 1204
Produced by Joy Flynn
"Since 1956, the family-operated
Shannon Lamp Service in Lexington has specialized in creating custom lamps and lampshades".
--Beverly Fortune, Lexington Herald-Leader Staff Writer--
Beverly wrote an article "Lamps Illuminated"
featuring custom lamps
and designs. We contributed to and were featured in her
article and had many positive remarks made concerning the story.
Following are excerpts from this
trumpet from high school marching band stuck away in the attic
gathering dust. Great lamp potential there. Ditto for the trophy you
won on the office bowling team, your mom's old roller skates, a
manual typewriter and even a favorite teddy bear.
"We can make a lamp out of just about anything," said
David Shannon, owner of Shannon Lamp Service on North Limestone in
Lexington. He has converted blowtorches, fire extinguishers and
riding boots into lamps.
According to the American Lighting Association,
traditional, polished brass fixtures still form the core of the
decorative lighting business, but other options have become more
important in recent years.
Ruth Ann Palumbo, a state representative who lives on
Deepwood Drive, keeps an eye out at estate auctions and thrift shops
for old vases to make into lamps.
"Sometimes you just stumble on a vase where the colors
are just right, It's something you never could go to a store and
find," she said.
With a diamond-bit drill, china and porcelain pieces
can be drilled for a wire without breaking them. The result turns an
old vase not just into a lamp, Palumbo said, but "a beautiful work
Fitting a lamp made from a found object with a shade
can be a challenge though. Shannon's Lamp Service custom makes
shades, the kind with a hard back and straight, slanted sides.
"We can't do curves, but we can do any degree of slant
and any size shade," said Shannon, whose father Coleman started the
family lamp business in 1956. His shop carries bolts of different
fabrics including silk and pleated materials. Customers also bring
in their own fabric. The result is a lamp like no other.
The Light Fantastic
Whether you have a keepsake figurine, an ammo box, or a set
of children’s wooden blocks, David Shannon can turn it into a custom-made
A warm glow surrounds David
Shannon and his wife, Amy – probably due to the plethora of lamps in their
50-year-old family business, Shannon Lamp Service. You might think this
Lexington, Kentucky, institution would be a fun place to visit. But it’s truly
an electrifying experience.
Made in the Shade
“We make our own lampshades,” says
David. “That enables us to customize any lamp or replace any shade.” It also
makes Shannon Lamp different from discount shops that order flimsy lampshades in
bulk from faraway lands.
“People get attached to lamps they’ve inherited from their
grandmothers,” he adds. “The lamps might not be priceless heirlooms, but our
customers love them and want new shades.”
Here’s the really neat thing about Shannon
Lamp. You can bring in pretty much any item, and David can turn it into a lamp
for you. A large plaid thermos? Yep. A stack of books. Check. A favorite toy?
Just take my word for it. (Prices for custom pieces start at *5.)
Remember the Leg Lamp in A Christmas Story? Well, David can
light up your life with one of those, too, for $275. And as for modern-day movie
props, some of his custom lamps were used in the Kentucky-based film Dreamer,
starring Dakota Fanning.
David and Amy offer a wide variety of beautiful (and normal) lamps
as well. One of their best-sellers has a figurine of a horse and rider as its
base, popular in this equine-loving state. Prices for the bronze horse lamps
range from $250 to $450.
Hit the Switch
Aside from lamps, shades, and custom work,
David’s father creates beautiful stained glass pieces. Like I said, the place
has a glow about it. This family business emits a warmth that has little to do
with bulbs and watts and lots to do with craftsmanship, tradition, and a love of
lighting up peoples’ lives.
Shannon Lamp Service: 1210 North Limestone, Lexington, KY
www.shannonlamp.com or (859) 255-5285
We gladly accept Visa & MasterCard
1210 North Limestone St.
Lexington, KY 40505