Neighbours threw out a gorgeous lamp, which had broken by the socket becoming disconnected from the wires. My housemate brought it home, and I tried rewiring it. Following an internet tutorial, I figured out which wire was hot and which was ground (necessary since I want to put LED bulbs in) and then wired the socket back in. Voila, it works... sort of!
The lights are really dim - subjectively like at most 10% as bright as they are in a different lamp. Tried both LED and CFL.
So I figured maybe I can finally put my engineering degree to use and bought a multimeter. Sure enough, resistance through the bulbs seems to be about 2 milliohms, but from the plug to the socket, about 300-500 milliohms. That would explain why the circuit is mostly not lighting up the bulb!
(Come to think of it, this would also explain why, when I tried testing which wire was hot and which was ground using a coin cell battery and a tiny standalone 5V LED, it worked with just battery & LED, but not when I tried to run the circuit through the lamp wire.)
...but what do I do about it? What's a likely source of the issue? I suppose maybe we could keep the lamp fixture and completely replace the wire & footswitch...