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Old 5th Mar 2012, 11:14 pm   #101
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

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Originally Posted by Tractorfan View Post
2. W&G used to make sockets with shutters that twisted sideways when a plug was inserted. OK with ungrooved earth pins, but grooved Crabtree plugs would get stuck and could not be removed. I know, 'cos I've done it!
Cheers, Pete

Four years ago, back when I was in Sixth Form, we used to help our friend's Grandad out every few weeks by mowing his lawn on our lunch break, as he lived just down from school. I often used to take up the task of strimming with his Homebase strimmer. To power up, we had to plug into a 5A socket in the side passage, into which the man had a 5A to 13A socket flylead permanently plugged in. At the time I thought nothing of it, as it was an old estate and even my school had employed the odd 15 or 5A to 13A socket adapters in older parts.

And that was that. A few years later however I received a phone call from a completely unrelated friend, who had nothing to do with my school, schoolfriends nor the Grandad in question. Dave informed me that he had bought a new house and there was some old electrical paraphernalia that I was welcome to if I wished. When he told me where his house was, I was amazed and shocked to discover it was the house I used to mow the lawn at!

I went down and explained to Dave that coincidentally, I used to mow the lawn here. Low and behold the old 5A socket and adapter were still in situ. Dave allowed me to have the entire setup.

All that aside, I believe it is the type you describe with rotating shutters, quite odd I thought on such an old fitting! Will get a photo of it up on here tomorrow.

Dave also gave me an amazing 1930's electric drill that was in the loft there that looks like an airship!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:44 am   #102
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

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Dave also gave me an amazing 1930's electric drill that was in the loft there that looks like an airship!
How about a new thread on vintage drills? With piccies of course!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 1:09 am   #103
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Hi Chris, I'd love to see a collection of old drill pics! I've got a Hoover drill amongst my small collection.
David
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 1:10 am   #104
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How about a new thread on vintage drills? With piccies of course!
Will get on it tomorrow!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 10:50 pm   #105
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

As promised I have started a new thread. Also, found the socket in question.

I notice on the back it is made by W&G Goltone. It's odd how all these companies seemed to come together.
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Old 12th Mar 2012, 12:24 am   #106
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Re ~84 to 86, I have now unearthed my copy of Loring's book, and it does indeed refer to Benzine with an "i". It seems to be the domestic chemical as it says "The well is partly filled with benzine (a liquid hydrocarbon), and as every housewife knows, benzine is not exactly a thing to be played with."

Benzine was used in two distinct stages: first the filament assembly was clamped adjacent the platinum-carbon junctions using a "bridging piece", immersed in liquid benzine, and a high current passed sufficient to make the platinum glow white hot under the liquid to deposit carbon over the junctions. Flashing proper was carred out in benzine vapour in a bell jar, current being cut off automatically when the current [= filament resistance] reached the desired level. An air pump was used to extract the hydrogen gas that was produced as a consequence of the disassociation. Subsequent testing included running at 50% over-voltage.

Something I hadn't noticed before was the reject rate: GEC were evidently proud of the quality of their "Robertson" lamps, and more than 33% of production was rejected! Production figures [ 1904] were about 4 million/year, 95% with the standard BC base.
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Old 13th Mar 2012, 2:36 pm   #107
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

I have one of those 5A Crabtree plugs. I always wondered why the earth pin was hollow.

The attached extracts from the 1936 Bulgin catalogue may be of interest. They show all the pages that include connectors.

This was apparently the year that the well-known Bulgin 3 pin mains connector was introduced. Interestingly enough, it seems that the enlarged ridge of the female socket was not primarily designed to provide a finger grip. According to the technical data section, it could provide a locking function for the back panel, evidently to ensure mains disconnection before the panel could be removed.


There is also a fused 2 pin 5A mains plug to the normal BS gauge that took 2 x 1" fuses, apparently of the present BS1362 dimensions, but of glass construction. Could this be the first fused mains plug?

Does anyone know what the R.C.M.F was? The fuses are said to comply with B.S.I. and R.C.M.F specifications but searching the web for the initials R.C.M.F. drew a blank.
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Old 13th Mar 2012, 2:57 pm   #108
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Radio Component Manufacturers Federation??
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Old 13th Mar 2012, 3:35 pm   #109
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

GEC were certainly making plugs with DP cartridge fusing before then, with two or three pins and 5 or 15A gauge. Cartridges were offered as 1, 2 or 5A IIRC. Other manufacturers were probably doing the same.

Prior to these there was a plug with internal rewireable fuse, I cannot recall the maker or whether it was a product on general sale or just a concept piece.

Lucien
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Old 13th Mar 2012, 7:39 pm   #110
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

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The attached extracts from the 1936 Bulgin catalogue
I still have some of these connectors. The catalogue is very interesting, brings back a few memories
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 9:43 pm   #111
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

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I can remember when I was in Brompton hospital in London in about 1979 the sockets for the portable X-ray machines looked like they were 30 amp round pin jobs. They definitely seemed larger than the 15 amp type we had at home.
Hi,
I have just returned from visiting my daughter and my first grandchild in St. James Hospital, Leeds and noticed a number of sockets marked specifically for use with X-Ray machines which look like the 30 amp ones described above.

Andrew
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 10:15 pm   #112
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Smile Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Hi,
The hospital I worked at had those 30amp sockets in the older parts and I think they had an interlocked switch above the socket. Later on special 13amp sized plugs were introduced that were designed to take extra thick cable. They were of an unusual shape, red and unfused. Possibly made by Walsall. Some sockets above the beds had red switch rockers and I assume these were fed from a dedicated supply for the portable X-ray machines. Of course, the machine could be used from any 13amp socket in an emergency.
Cheers, Pete
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 11:25 pm   #113
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

The sockets in the hospital mentioned were mounted on a large metal plate, around the size of a 15" laptop screen (it's the only thing I can think of at the moment for comparison purposes), just above floor level with a large rotary on/off switch, with a pointed knob mounted on the same plate.

The sockets themselves were made of some kind of hard plastic (or Bakelite) material and just looked like overgrown 15 amp ones!!

Andrew
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Old 17th Mar 2012, 5:13 pm   #114
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

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Many years ago I bought a few NOS 13A plugs & matching sockets (from Proops, probably...). Made by MK, with silver-plated blades. I used a couple to add switched mains out to the back of an amplifier. The plug contains a standard BS mains fuse.
These, or something very similar were used on exhibition stands until at the least the 1980s and perhaps latter. The sockets were built into the top of sectional, re-useable wall panels, power being supplied by cable or flex concealed with the hollow panel.

Illuminated signs and the like could then be plugged in and hung from or fixed to the wall panels.
Sometimes, wall sections were equipped with 2 sockets and one trailing plug, thereby permitting of a number being daisy chained together, only the end panel needing a mains supply.

I recall a tedious day making jumper cables for these in various permutations,
It was the day of the great storm in 1987! which is the only reason I recall the date.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 9:10 am   #115
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

I acquired a box of assorted electrical fittings yesterday. The 2 most interesting were a rather nice brass lampholder with a pull chain and a plug that could be converted from 5A 2pin to BC adaptor by twisting the top.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 12:29 pm   #116
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

I'd be inclined to add a bit of insulating string to that chain if I were to put that switched bulb holder into service

The metal bit would still be useful where it dangles past a hot bulb, though.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 12:38 pm   #117
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

It's odd that the chain emerges *sideways* from the fitting. This makes it harder to pull when the lamp is mounted in the usual cap up or cap down positions.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 5:29 pm   #118
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

This type of holder is very common in the US, albeit for Edison caps. One is taught as a child not to pull the chain with wet hands.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 6:57 pm   #119
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

Maybe it was deliberately intended to swing the bulb out of the way when you pull the chain

Difficult to see how else you could do it in such a way that nothing swung about.
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Old 3rd Apr 2012, 12:21 am   #120
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Default Re: Another unusual plug and some other questions

I think the cord entry is arranged like that because the alternate action mechanism relies on a rotating ring or arm from which the cord exits tangentially. There were other types of lampholder attachment that had some kind of radial cord configuration, such as the Dim-A-Lite resistance dimmer on which the whole outside of the body rotates carrying the resistance studs past brushes on the stationary core. Here the cords exit through two fairleads on arms attached to the bayonet plug. It does indeed cause the fitting to swing when operated, however it works well in a standard lamp.

Is that convertible adaptor gadget a Lundberg product by any chance? I have one with the same BC / 5A contact arrangement but without the twisty top. The pins are extended or retracted by pressing in a locking lever and telescoping the body. It's certainly much less clumsy than the traditional BC-5A converter attached to the 5A plug by a piece of string.

Lucien
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