UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions
Register FAQ Forum Rules Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 15th Jan 2009, 12:48 pm   #1
pmmunro
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dundee, UK.
Posts: 782
Default Re: Old electrical fittings


This posting is of interest to me as I need information about when shutters on socket outlets were first used.

Unfortunately, the pictures are not close enough for me to see which sockets have shutters, if any.

Can anyone help me find out when shutters were first used please? I need verifiable information, so it would have to be backed by catalogues, standards or similar.

I know that shutters were considered essential by the Post War Buildings Studies Committee who published their report, No. 11 - Electrical Installations in 1944. This led to BS 1363 for 13A sockets which have thus always had shutters. However they were recommended in the 11th edition of the Wiring Regulations first published in 1938 and so it would seem that they were used before then.

(If this enquiry is not relevent to this thread, could it please be moved to a new one)?

PMM

Last edited by Brian R Pateman; 15th Jan 2009 at 5:12 pm. Reason: Thread split note added.
pmmunro is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2009, 6:13 pm   #2
chipp1968
Nonode
 
chipp1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Somerset, UK.
Posts: 2,345
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Unfortunately plugs turn up more often than sockets these days, It may be of interest that Crabtree i think made plugs with slieved pins as is reglation today ,well before the war , and i think they also had a locking mechanism to the earth pin so that it could not be unplugged without switching off first . I have only seen the plugs though . The only shuttered round pin sockets i have seen yet have been post war .
chipp1968 is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2009, 6:56 pm   #3
russell_w_b
Octode
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 1,903
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmunro View Post

This posting is of interest to me as I need information about when shutters on socket outlets were first used.

Unfortunately, the pictures are not close enough for me to see which sockets have shutters, if any.

Can anyone help me find out when shutters were first used please? I need verifiable information, so it would have to be backed by catalogues, standards or similar.

PMM
An advert in my 1929 'Sunco' catalogue shows an 'MK' anti-flash socket (2-pin 5 and 15A versions) that has shutters covering the inserts as soon as the plug is withdrawn. This is marketed more as an arc-reduction device (it isn't switched) than a safety shutter however.

MEM 13A sockets advertised in May 1955 gave great prominence to shutters; not quite a 'unique selling point', but nearly!
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2009, 7:34 pm   #4
Ed_Dinning
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Newcastle on Tyne, UK.
Posts: 2,764
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Hi Peter, In my parents house, which was wired in the 30's, the only 3 pin 5 A socket outlet was of the interlocked type, with porcelain base and bakelite cover. The switch toggle could not be switched ON until the plug was inserted. The plug could not be withdrawn until the switch was OFF. This was typical of the sockets in the NE of England at that time. I'll see if I can find a sample in the spares box.


Ed
Ed_Dinning is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2009, 8:37 pm   #5
Station X
Moderator
 
Station X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, UK.
Posts: 7,543
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

The council house I lived in in Norwich was built in about 1948. It had round pin shuttered type sockets fitted when it was built. The were designed for use with the Wylex?? type plugs where the live pin was a screw in fuse. The earth pin had a pointed end to activate the shutter mechanism.

The problem was that the fuses were apt to break in half leaving a live piece of fuse wire protruding from the socket.
__________________
Graham. Forum Moderator

Keep the soldering iron hot.
Station X is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2009, 9:36 pm   #6
Brian R Pateman
Moderator
 
Brian R Pateman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Western Lake District, Cumbria (CA20) - UK
Posts: 1,849
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Graham's council house was probably wired up to use Dorman Smith plugs. These were very common in council installations until the now common 13A BS1363 ring mains came into widespread use.

When I was a lad starting out in TV servicing we had a variety of standards in use in my local area.

To ensure that the soldering iron could be plugged in on service calls in was fitted with a 5A two pin plug which also worked in our bench sockets. We then had a set of adaptor leads with a corresponding socket. There was one with a 13A plug, a 5A 3 pin, a Dorman Smith, a 15A plug, a 2A plug, one with a Wylex plug and one with a Bayonet adaptor for plugging into the light socket.

That covered most eventualities relatively safely!

The workshop had a large board for each bench with more sockets than you could shake a stick at.

Regards,
__________________
Brian

Forum moderator.
Brian R Pateman is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 1:23 am   #7
BGmidsUK
Heptode
 
BGmidsUK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Leicester, UK.
Posts: 757
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

You could have done with one of those "universal" plugs (I used to have 2 of them) - these had a variety of pins which could be engaged according to which socket you needed to connect it to. If I recall correctly they had pins for 2A, 5A, 15A and 13A.





BG
BGmidsUK is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 6:02 am   #8
Brian R Pateman
Moderator
 
Brian R Pateman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Western Lake District, Cumbria (CA20) - UK
Posts: 1,849
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

We did have those later - in the shop. We sold them but they were too expensive for use by our own engineers!

Also they didn't do the D&S, which were used on our largest council estate.

Regards,
__________________
Brian

Forum moderator.
Brian R Pateman is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 7:55 am   #9
Top Anode
Pentode
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: EDINBURG TEXAS USA
Posts: 91
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Re taking a soldering iron to customer's houses, I came across this picture while in one of my homesick browsing modes.

I thought it looked familiar (changed now of course) but then it came to me. Brand new type transformer quick heat, supplied by PYE. Plugged it in and pulled the trigger. Large bang and pall of smoke. It was one of the few places left that was still on DC.

http://www.francisfrith.com/search/e...er_C136040.htm

My old house at Walton on Naze was wired for the first time in about 1948...not counting a couple of light sockets downstairs. We had a 15a Bakelite plug that was of course unshielded, but it had a curved protuberance with a square section block that was pushed up or down in that crescent bulge. They lasted until I was about 30, abused with all kinds of overloads, and never, ever protested with the slightest fizzing. I suppose it would cost too much to make things as well as that now.
Top Anode is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 8:22 am   #10
Mike Phelan
Moderator
 
Mike Phelan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 3,849
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Station X View Post
They were designed for use with the Wylex?? type plugs ...
For completeness' sake, the Wylex plugs were round, usually brown top and white underneath; the earth pin was tubular and central, the live & neutral rectangular, spaced either side of centre, and one of them (?) offset to avoid being reversed.

AFAIK there were 5a and 15a versions, and some could be stacked ad infinitum as there was a corresponding socket on the top.

We saw many of these, and also the D & S ones mentioned.

The universal "Fittall" plugs were quite common in the past - I'm sure I still have one somewhere.
__________________
Mike - Moderator.
Mike Phelan is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 8:38 am   #11
russell_w_b
Octode
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 1,903
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Dinning View Post
Hi Peter, In my parents house, which was wired in the 30's, the only 3 pin 5 A socket outlet was of the interlocked type, with porcelain base and bakelite cover.

Ed
Like this one? A bargain at eight shillings and thruppence!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	socket.jpg
Views:	155
Size:	143.2 KB
ID:	22470  
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 9:40 am   #12
Station X
Moderator
 
Station X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, UK.
Posts: 7,543
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
For completeness' sake, the Wylex plugs were round, usually brown top and white underneath; the earth pin was tubular and central, the live & neutral rectangular, spaced either side of centre, and one of them (?) offset to avoid being reversed.
The plugs I referred to obviously weren't Wylex then. The ones I remember were generally black, although white ones later became available. The pins were in triangular formation and for some reason the terminal screw of the earth pin protruded through the case.
__________________
Graham. Forum Moderator

Keep the soldering iron hot.
Station X is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 11:34 am   #13
brianc
Heptode
 
brianc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Burghfield, Reading
Posts: 904
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

The plugs with screw-in live pins you referred to were made by Dorman-Smith. The company still make switchgear. These plugs were used in the BBC up until at least the 1980s for technical power to prevent non-technical kit (vacuum cleaners etc.) being plugged into the circuits used for powering the program equipment as this could cause earth-neutral problems. Interestingly, the Wylex plugs were used, again by the BBC, as microphone connectors. This was, I believe, a hangover from the Savoy Hill days. I removed some from the BH TV studio many years ago.
Cheers
Brian
brianc is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2009, 12:32 pm   #14
russell_w_b
Octode
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 1,903
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianc View Post
The plugs with screw-in live pins you referred to were made by Dorman-Smith. The company still make switchgear.
Dorman Smith had a factory at Workington. My auntie made plugs there! The DS plugs I remember (13A BS1363 flat-pin) had a 'fold-out' fuse-carrier, accessed by snapping the live-leg down and hinging the carrier outwards.

They also had (and this might tie in with Graham's observation about the earth-pin) a small rectangular gap in the top, right above the earth terminal. This was used as a locating point for the protrusion on the plug cover, but was of sufficient depth as to allow access to the earth pin with the plug cover firmly in place. Might this have been to run a separate earth-wire to a radio, say, without leading it in with the appliance cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianc View Post
These plugs were used in the BBC up until at least the 1980s for technical power to prevent non-technical kit (vacuum cleaners etc.) being plugged into the circuits used for powering the program equipment as this could cause earth-neutral problems.
Brian
We use Walsall-gauge stuff with the orientation of the pins reversed on the bays at Skelton transmitting station, but they were originally intended to provide a 'maintained' supply around the site. They are non-fused.
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2009, 9:49 pm   #15
Tractorfan
Octode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 1,968
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Hi All,
I seem to remember that Walsall and Britmac did a range of industrial plugs and sockets loosely based around the 13amp gauge with various combinations of pins such as: round earth pin with horizontal L&N pins, round earth pin with vertical L&N pins, 13amp gauge with round neutral pin, 13amp gauge with neutral pin at 45, 13amp gauge with neutral pin at 45 & round live pin, etc., etc. And either DP fused, SP fused or unfused.
Wylex also made a 2amp plug that was like their 5amp one except that the earth tube had two flats. The idea was that lower rated (fused) plugs would fit higher rated sockets but not vice versa (that was until the L&N holes became wider through wear or damage.)
I'm sure this will make no sense whatsoever to our friends overseas.
And I thought it was only me that had a fascination with plugs & sockets since early childhood. I even brought a box of old plugs & sockets here with me. What would Freud have made of it all?
Cheers de Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."

Last edited by Tractorfan; 19th Jan 2009 at 9:50 pm. Reason: Forgot to add "Cheers de Pete"
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2009, 3:16 am   #16
arjoll
Octode
 
arjoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Invercargill, New Zealand
Posts: 1,303
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractorfan View Post
I'm sure this will make no sense whatsoever to our friends overseas.
An understatement AU/NZ has had the same plugs since 1938!
arjoll is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2009, 5:48 pm   #17
Tractorfan
Octode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 1,968
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Coo, didn't know that.
When did you guys introduce the 10amp plugs & sockets you use currently (sorry) in Oz & NZ ?
So you've had the Walsall, Britmac, DS & Wylex thing too? Fascinating. Are there any websites that cover the early electrical history of Oz & NZ ?
Cheers de Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2009, 8:25 pm   #18
dave walsh
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ramsbottom (Nr Bury) Lancs or Bexhill (Nr Hastings) Sussex.
Posts: 1,989
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Yes interesting TF but I was thinking it was about time AU/NZ got some new ones-I know it's a long way but... . Seriously though, this is an interesting subject-especially some of the more exotic 30's bayonet adaptors designed to run the entire household off a light socket! I've got one or two items [inc plugs] that have quite a high quality bakelite finish as well. Perhaps they should be on display-easier to accomodate than radio sets. Dave W
dave walsh is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2009, 10:41 pm   #19
Tractorfan
Octode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 1,968
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

I used to display an assortment of old electrical fittings along with my radios, etc. at steam traction rallies in the north west of England and our visitors were usually very interested in them. They enjoyed having a nostalge and showing their grandkids what they used to use in "The Old Days". One elderly gent invited me to take some old stock from his shop before it was cleared & sold. I got some ancient switch sockets that were unused & in their boxes. Also I obtained a neon shop window sign with a mint condition "Masonlite" 10Kv transformer (How I got it home, then out here is nothing short of miraculous). Once word gets round that you're is interested in this sort of stuff, it's amazing what folk find in their sheds for you!
Cheers de Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2009, 2:45 am   #20
arjoll
Octode
 
arjoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Invercargill, New Zealand
Posts: 1,303
Default Re: Old electrical fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractorfan View Post
When did you guys introduce the 10amp plugs & sockets you use currently (sorry) in Oz & NZ ?
The standard plug used today was introduced in 1938. My dad remembers some 'old' plugs floating around when he was younger - 40's and 50's - two round pins - but generally it was either the 3 pin plug we have now or operating off light fittings.

It has had some changes, most recently insulation on the phase and neutral pins, but the basic shape hasn't been changed for 70 years, so in living memory (mine at least) there hasn't really been much variety, just different brands/styles of the same plugs!
arjoll is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 5:52 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at http://www.vintage-radio.net.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2014, S&P Technology.