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 > Specific Vintage Equipment > Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items

Notices

Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 30th Jul 2011, 12:28 pm   #41
neon indicator
No Longer a Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Co. Limerick, Ireland.
Posts: 1,183
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewhouse View Post
How big is big? 15 amp round pin plugs and sockets are still widely used, size is a bit bigger than a 13A plug with thick round pins. Photos here. Mostly only used for stage lighting these days as they are unfused, chunky and can easily carry the current used in larger stage lights.
The British 15A and 5A etc still the standard in South Africa. Kenya changed from the 15A to 13A system, but I'm not sure when.
neon indicator is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2011, 9:04 pm   #42
Antlong
Pentode
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ellesmere, Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 188
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Hello all,

"DS was in use for tech supplies at the BBC until fairly recently."

I don't think I've ever seen the fact that the DS plugs had a screw-in fuse which acted as the live pin; when they were ceased in my bit of the BBC I came across a number of these fuses which were actually the same size as a BS1363 so I cut all the threaded portions off...

Well, it was a long time ago!

"I discovered the separate new earth wire from the sockets ran to somewhere just under the floor- where it ended!"

A friend paid quite a lot of money in North London to have his large house rewired; a few years later it was found that every single fitting had but a few inches of new cable which was twisted to the old cable just outside the plasterbox!

Regards Ant
Antlong is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2011, 9:39 pm   #43
AndiiT
Octode
 
AndiiT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saltburn-East, Cleveland, UK.
Posts: 1,527
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antlong View Post
.......which were actually the same size as a BS1363 so I cut all the threaded portions off.......
As a youngster/teenager, I remember seeing the same thing done to a few DS fuses, especially if someone had moved from a property with DS sockets to one with BS1363 outlets and had no further use for the DS plugs which they invariably didn't leave behind for the new occupants!!

Andrew
AndiiT is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2011, 2:48 am   #44
G3gener
Diode
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Francisco, California, USA.
Posts: 6
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Here is an excerpt from "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction | by G. Lister Sutcliffe" published in 1900. The link given is to Part IV,Wiring and Lamps.

http://chestofbooks.com/architecture...ps-Part-4.html

So there you see a plug and socket arrangement in the UK as far back as 1900. It looks like a standard 5A plug. In 1904 Hubbell invented and manufactured the flat-blade plug that became the US standard.
G3gener is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2011, 8:06 pm   #45
robin coleman
Hexode
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 301
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

i am starting to collect a few plugs and sockets does any one know if there are any old crabtree catalogues about

I am starting to collect a few plugs and sockets. Does anyone know if there are any old Crabtree catalogues about?
robin coleman is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 2:12 am   #46
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

The information on the "Wandsworth" sockets was most informative. They were used on the Becontree council estate in Essex until the houses were rewired in the 1960's. They were still being used in a Becontree barber's shop that I used to visit in the early 1970's. I always wondered why the earth pin was slotted!

Regarding the date of introduction of mains plugs, I have some GEC catalogues for 1893 and 1912.

The 1912 catalogue only lists 2 pin plugs for domestic use, "Midget" gauge at 3A [ apparently corresponding to the later 2A plugs] ; 5A "Standard" gauge that is still used as the UK shaver plug, 10A "Union" gauge, and "Goliath" gauge 25A. Mechanically robust plugs rated at 25A and 50A for use in theatres were also available. Also illustrated was a range of Concentric mains plugs that were essentially larger versions of the present coax TV plug interface. Apparently the Royal Navy used them. Switched sockets were not available.

A range of earthed connectors was available for industrial and naval use. Reference is made to a Board of Trade report of 1910 that discusses the properties of and defects of the earthed mains connectors then available which I am trying to track down [the IET library doesn't have a copy].

The 1893 catalogue lists 5A, 10A and 20A 2 pin plugs, with a choice of switched and unswitched sockets, together with the once-universal BC adaptor and its ES cousin. In addition, Coaxial plugs were available in 5A and 10A versions that were essentially larger versions of the present low voltage DC power plugs. The 2 pin plugs appear to have been available prior to 1893, but the coax plugs were new. GEC seemed to have been keen on promoting them as most of the illustrated electrical appliances of the 1893 catalogue are depicted fitted with the coax plugs.

It could be that the what is now the UK 2pin 5A shaver plug gauge can trace its origins back to at least 1893, making it a contender for the oldest mains plug gauge [other than lamp bases] that is still in use.
emeritus is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 9:21 am   #47
robin coleman
Hexode
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 301
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

I have just started collecting electrical fittings, are there any books on the subject?
robin coleman is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 7:02 pm   #48
Ed_Dinning
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Newcastle on Tyne, Tyne & Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,546
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Hi Robin, I may be wrong but I don't think anyone has ever written a history of mains plugs and sockets (but try querying the IET library, or post a request on the IET forum).

If you are lucky try googling the various electrical companies and see if there are copies of their caralogues on line. The BVWS did a repro of the Brown Bros catalogue some years ago which had a few illustrations in.
You can also look at old trade magazines as well as books such as "Practical Electrical Engineering". These were often in many weekly parts and assembled into a 4 or 5 volume set.


Happy hunting, Ed
Ed_Dinning is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 7:17 pm   #49
robin coleman
Hexode
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 301
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Thank you Ed I have some of the Engineer magazines which I got from you. I have looked in the Army and Navy catalogues but have not seen any. I may decide one day to write a book on the subject just like they did in the Shire series books on Hobbies and Collecting.
robin coleman is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 7:26 pm   #50
ppppenguin
Banned
 
ppppenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: North London, UK.
Posts: 6,168
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

The Amberley Working Museum has an extensive library of early electrical periodicals, books etc. The honarary curator of the electrical collection is John Narborough who is very knowledgeable. He can be contacted va the museum.

http://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/
ppppenguin is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 9:15 pm   #51
Ed_Dinning
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Newcastle on Tyne, Tyne & Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,546
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Hi Robin, I also have some others in a similar vein, plus a very nice set of Electrical engineeriing volumes with beautiful coloured plates from the 1890's. I'm sure that had some nice detail of the fittings used for both stately homes and industry.
Note that you do not need to be an IET member to access the forum www.iet.org

Ed
Ed_Dinning is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2012, 9:30 pm   #52
robin coleman
Hexode
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 301
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

The ones with colour plates sound wonderful wish they illustrated them like they did then. I shall have to look out for a set. I shall look at that site and contact the Amberley curator. I have looked out also for old trade catalogues from Crabtree.
robin coleman is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2012, 2:23 pm   #53
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Some extracts from the 1893 GEC catalogue. The references to the capacity of the 2 pin sockets as "lights" must surely be a typo for "amps" as is used to describe the ratings of the coax sockets: amps => lamps => lights?

The exposed live centre pin is an "interesting" feature of the coax socket: at that time 110V was the greatest voltage used, and it seems that private installations often used around 50V, so this might not have been a problem.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2 pin 1893.pdf (151.8 KB, 190 views)
File Type: pdf concentric 1893.pdf (210.8 KB, 187 views)
emeritus is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2012, 6:54 pm   #54
dseymo1
Nonode
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 2,491
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

The concentric one is remarkably similar to those used on 'cordless' kettles these days.
These fittings certainly weren't cheap, were they? Given the likely demand and manufacturing methods, perhaps they were partially hand-made.

Last edited by dseymo1; 17th Jan 2012 at 6:58 pm. Reason: Added comment
dseymo1 is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 2:25 pm   #55
Brigham
Heptode
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Co. Durham, UK.
Posts: 635
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
Some extracts from the 1893 GEC catalogue. The references to the capacity of the 2 pin sockets as "lights" must surely be a typo for "amps" as is used to describe the ratings of the coax sockets: amps => lamps => lights?

The exposed live centre pin is an "interesting" feature of the coax socket: at that time 110V was the greatest voltage used, and it seems that private installations often used around 50V, so this might not have been a problem.
Great to see actual advertising material from this period. The concentric type probably died out due to cost. One system of domestic wiring was concentric, and the fittings were probably initially developed to match this. With the cover in place, the centre pin is no more exposed than in an everyday lampholder.

The switched socket seemingly involves rotating the plug after insertion. Simple but effective.

I wouldn't be too sure about 'lights' being a typo. for 'amperes'. The '90s was the decade of the new incandescent light, and the race between the gas and the electric was in full swing; leading to the use of shared technical jargon between the two. (eg. 'Hollow Wire'). 'Lights' is the measure of capacity in the incandescent gas system, based on a given jet/mantle combination, and quite possibly may have carried over into the electric.

The two wooden lampholder plugs clearly show how they quickly became known at 'tops'.
Brigham is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 6:30 pm   #56
Lucien Nunes
Octode
 
Lucien Nunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 1,558
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

I'm wondering about the lights / amps thing now. Certainly a rating in lights has been used for various pieces of kit, house lighting sets for example. You could buy (e.g.) a 16-light system, where the lights were of a specified cp, and their power consumption and hence current was inferred. The generator was of a stated output but the newcomer to electric lighting would perhaps not have found that easy to equate with how many lights he could have on, allowing for battery charging etc, hence the nominal rating in lights. But I'm not familiar with GEC using it for plugs.

In those days 16/20cp lamps were common, taking 0.5A on 100V and 1A on 50V. So amps and lamps might be the same, or different - note how no voltage rating is offered for the plugs either. It seems unlikely that many people would have wanted to connect 20 lights to a single socket though.

Lucien
__________________
Three anodes good, six anodes better!
Lucien Nunes is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 7:03 pm   #57
OscarFoxtrot
Hexode
 
OscarFoxtrot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edinburgh, UK.
Posts: 460
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin coleman View Post
I have just started collecting electrical fittings, are there any books on the subject?
R M Black wrote "The history of electric wires and cables"
OscarFoxtrot is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2012, 12:12 am   #58
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

The comparison with gas sounds plausible on the face of it, but from a consideration of the catalogue as a whole I'm pretty sure that "lights" must be a typo.

The same tabulated presentation of current ratings by ranges, the lowest rating being 1-5, is used throughout the catalogue, and all the others refer to "Amps". In particular, note that the sockets were fused ["with cutout" ], and the corresponding replacement fuse links are rated in Amps.

There is another reason why "Lights" is unlikely to refer to how many lamps could be run from a socket. In 1893 Edison's patent was still in force [but due to expire on 10th November], and while only lamps manufactured by the Edison- Swan company were available on the home market, the 16CP 100V lamp that was said to be the type most widely used, was said to draw a current of anything between .4 to .7 Amperes at 100V, making the [16CP] "light" an unsatisfactory way of expressing current rating. In any event the preamble to the "Concentric" page suggests that wall plugs were intended for connecting the many small portable electrical appliances that were avaialble.

As there seems to be some interest in this, I will post a few more pages which illustrate some of the fittings and appliances of 1893.
emeritus is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2012, 2:13 am   #59
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

re Brigham, it looks as though "Lights" was indeed intentional and not a typo.

When looking for items to scan I came across 3 or 4 further references in parts of the catalogue I had never got around to reading. It appears that "Light" and Ampere" were used interchangeably, insofar as a type of switch that is described as being rated at so many "lights" in one part, is rated as the same number of Amperes in another part. I guess that the terminology was still developing: for example, Bus bars are referred to as "Omnibus bars".

There is a one-page description of a concentric domestic wiring system (which does use "lights"), but no pictures, and you are referred to a seperate leaflet for details which I don't have. My catalogue is actually a set of individual catalogues that have been bound into a single book, and not all volumes of the set are present.
emeritus is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2012, 8:34 pm   #60
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Images of 1893 electrical appliances etc.

The "Stella" lamps are what were later known as "Robertson" lamps, made at GEC's Hammersmith factory.

If anyone is interested in researching old GEC catalogues, the GEC archves went to the Bodliean library as part of the Marconi collection and I believe can be consulted on application to the librarian: see http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/marconi/collection/

My catalogues were kindly given to me by the GEC archivist many years ago following an enquiry about the date of introduction of mains plugs: they were incomplete/damaged duplicates of complete copies held in the archives.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf small appliances 1893 .pdf (139.1 KB, 194 views)
File Type: pdf lamps 1893.pdf (236.1 KB, 214 views)
File Type: pdf Voltage regulator1893 .pdf (78.9 KB, 183 views)
File Type: pdf Lampholders 1893.pdf (219.8 KB, 160 views)
File Type: pdf Concentric wiring 1893.pdf (104.1 KB, 173 views)
emeritus is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 5:39 pm.


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


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2017, Paul Stenning.