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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 9:44 am   #1
Martin Bush
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Default Old mains sockets

Hello all

I have a number of old mains plugs which I clearly will never use for actual appliances. Even the more modern ones I'd not trust having read threads about them self destructing in use.

However I did wonder about trying my hand at making one or two simple display items and wondered if old sockets were as available as old plugs? I guess not as they would be more likely to be scrapped during a rewire, but I do have some old light switches which you'd think might suffer the same fate.

The thing I had in mind would simply be a piece of wood made to look as nice as I could make it holding the socket, and the plug inserted perhaps with some period looking flex.

There's no purpose to this other than my own amusement.

Martin
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 10:05 am   #2
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Period varnished wood pattresses would be Ideal I would suggest. Mount a group on a similarly styled wood plinth?
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 10:16 am   #3
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

That is very much what I had in mind looks wise, but with sockets set in to the wood if they can be found. Theo be honest I don't know much about the old style sockets. I think a neighbour of my grandma's had the old sockets still in situ in the 80s (presumably disconnected), but that's the only place I think I will have seen them.

Plugs wise ive had some interesting and scary items off the forum and market stalls.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 11:34 am   #4
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Although flush-mounted sockets were certainly available before the first world war, most of the pre-war installations I have seen used surface-mounted sockets and light switches. Even our 1938-built house, which still had its original wiring when we moved here in the 1980's, had surface-mounted 2A and 15A 2 pin sockets screwed to the skirting boards, although the light switches were flush-mounted using wooden boxes and metal conduit embedded in the plaster.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 11:43 am   #5
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Agreed, surface mounting was much more common until the 50s, at least in domestic premises.

You often come across old sockets in flea markets following shed clearances, though they're mostly not very interesting BS546 ones.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 12:24 pm   #6
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Thanks chaps. I will keep my eyes open.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 7:41 pm   #7
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

I have fitted a few types on a board as a test board. Still have a few to make into a lamp limiter. I have had a few flush mounted sockets and switches made in the 1930's. I have seen only recently here in Portsmouth houses with brown Bakelite switches and plugs and butler sinks with only one tap. So there are still a few properties about with pre and post war fittings still being used.

Regards, Robin.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 10:16 pm   #8
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

If I was making this exhibit, I would sink an old flush 13A Wylex socket into the wood and show off the various plugs ans plug combinations it supported.

Mind you, I'm in Manchester where they were common, I don't think you will find many in Oxfordshire.

Graham.
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Old 24th Jul 2017, 9:22 pm   #9
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin coleman View Post
I have fitted a few types on a board as a test board. Still have a few to make into a lamp limiter. I have had a few flush mounted sockets and switches made in the 1930's. I have seen only recently here in Portsmouth houses with brown Bakelite switches and plugs and butler sinks with only one tap. So there are still a few properties about with pre and post war fittings still being used.
My granny's bungalow in Fareham had 1947 vintage plugs and sockets in it up to the time it was sold to a developers in 1984. I remember that though it had 3 pin, 5 amp sockets there was no earthing until my brother installed an earthed 13 amp socket in the kitchen for the wash machine.
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Old 24th Jul 2017, 11:32 pm   #10
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Good evening,
Considering it is now 2017, it was only last year that my uncle's rented flat in Cambridge was rewired and he got square pin sockets for the first time in his life!! It had had 15A & 5A round pin surface sockets with rubber twin & earth.
Was he grateful? No, he was really annoyed that he had to change all the plugs on his appliances
Cheers
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 5:26 am   #11
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Hannah.

I see you are from the Weymouth. I remember the houses of Quibo lane having lots of rewiring done in the late 1980's and I got a few fittings out of skips for my collection there while on holiday and some new boxed ones from the shop Gimlets down the road.

Regards, Robin
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 1:03 pm   #12
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
If I was making this exhibit, I would sink an old flush 13A Wylex socket into the wood and show off the various plugs ans plug combinations it supported.
G3ZVT

Do you have a picture of this type of socket by any chance?
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 1:32 pm   #13
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Hi Robin I know Quibo lane its unfortunately the road to the cemetary! Glad you were able to give those old plugs a good home I had only just moved here in 1988 so was still finding my way about. Gimlets is still going strong.
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 6:42 pm   #14
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bush View Post
Do you have a picture of this type of socket by any chance?
I was unable to find an image of a flush socket in-situ for some reason.
Here are the various plugs, and a surface mount socket.
http://www.plugsocketmuseum.nl/Wylex1.html

Graham.
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 7:28 pm   #15
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

We were having this conversation over dinner last saturday. Our dinner guest's nephew has bought a 1930's bungalow at a knock-down price. It still has all its skirting-board round pin 5/15A sockets. I wondered what would happen when the place inevitably gets rewired.
The parental house was built in 1954 and it was only when I started doing electrical work that most of the fittings I updated to 'modern'. It's still wired in rubber (perfectly good condition still apart from replacement PVC pendant flexes which have suffered from heat or light exposure) and still has a few old fittings such as crabtree dolly light switches. Most of the original 'Bill' 13A sockets I replaced with modern flush doubles for practical reasons but the sockets are still supplied on radials from an MEM 'Kantark' teak & porcelain fusebox. Of course the incomer is now an MK Sentry RCD but otherwise its 'original'.
The old 'first generation 13A' switched sockets....I kept as they were bakelite-faced but made from porcelain or some sort of ceramic at the rear.
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 8:21 pm   #16
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Here's a photo of an in-situ flush Wylex switched socket that I snapped at a wedding venue in Norfolk 10 years ago. Judging by the paint, it had evidently not been used for some time.

Lots of old types of plug in this closed thread:

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/s...t=71262&page=3
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 9:19 pm   #17
robin coleman
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

I have not got that type in my collection. I have mostly have round pin types. Hannah I am glad Gimlets is still open I occasionaly still go to Weymouth but I usually go to the quay on the radio hunt and always have a look in the skips down there for more electrical fittings.
Regards
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Old 27th Jul 2017, 4:43 pm   #18
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
If I was making this exhibit, I would sink an old flush 13A Wylex socket into the wood and show off the various plugs ans plug combinations it supported.

Mind you, I'm in Manchester where they were common, I don't think you will find many in Oxfordshire.
I remember my Grandad's house having some of those. I'd never seen them before. That was Droylsden.
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 5:20 pm   #19
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Default Re: Old mains sockets

Perhaps you might like to include the Dorman & Smith sockets which was common in some areas.

Regards
Trevor.

http://www.plugsocketmuseum.nl/DormanSmith1.html
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