I always find cool old lamps at thrift/antique shops, but until last weekend I always just risked my life every time I switched the on/off button. Some times I would get sparks, sometimes I'd have to jiggle the lamp a little for a flickering light to actually stay on and sometimes the lamps work. But, in any case, it's probably safer to have the lamp rewired and a new bulb holder (clearly I didn't master learning the names of the parts...) installed.
I picked up a few lamp rewiring kids at Home Depot and went home to the internet to figure out how to do it! It was actually really, really simple and I got 3 old lamps lookin' good within a couple of hours!
Here are pics of an old floor lamp I got at a yard sale a few years ago restored with an actual light working in it now! Until then, it never turned on, it just looked good...
I also did this in our dining room last weekend: