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Old 16th Apr 2020, 6:50 pm   #1
MurphyNut
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Default Bakelite Dee Gee control units

I picked up these recently to add to the museum, a single and double unit for electric blankets.
Going by the rather Art Deco styling I'm thinking they might date from the 1930's, but I'm not sure as I cant find anything about them on the internet.
They are extremely well made and very heavy, totally useless objects as I don't have the blankets to go with them, but rather nice to own and look at!
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 7:04 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Gorgeous... and equally Fascinating... at least the big one appears to have an isolating transformer included, thereby reducing the probability of the electric-blanket-user electrocuting themselves when their 'additional' rubber hot-water-bottle perished and leaked, or they had a 'nocturnal enuresis event' while asleep.
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 8:24 pm   #3
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

The 5A in-line connectors with one male and one female swapped over was how the loudspeakers in my junior school classrooms were connected.
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 9:56 pm   #4
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Gorgeous... and equally Fascinating... at least the big one appears to have an isolating transformer included, thereby reducing the probability of the electric-blanket-user electrocuting themselves when their 'additional' rubber hot-water-bottle perished and leaked, or they had a 'nocturnal enuresis event' while asleep.
And at only 9V, so as long as it uses a regular transformer and not an autotransformer pretty much completely safe barring any electrical fault inside the controller allowing the live section to come in contact with teh low voltage section. Quite interesting!
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 10:48 pm   #5
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

..and I thought low-voltage electric blankets were a new thing. You live and learn!
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 7:45 am   #6
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

I had one of the single controllers years ago as a kid.

Fully isolated output, and good for a couple of amps, if I remember correctly. I added a bridge rectifier and reservoir capacitor and used it to power my CB radio.......😬.

Very well made, I wish I still had it.


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Old 21st Apr 2020, 9:08 am   #7
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Foubd online:
Quote:
Starting in 1946 with a staff of six in
a small factory in Poole, Dorset, the
pioneer's company, David Griffin, Ltd.,
recently moved to a new factory in
Blandford.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 9:09 am   #8
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

And:
Quote:
Griffin soldering kit David Griffin Ltd of Blandford, Dorset, has produced the Griffin soldering kit, which includes a 25W soldering iron, a spare fine-work bit, a reel of multi-core solder and a pair of tweezers. The Griffin soldering iron is also available bepar-ately. The soldering iron, originally marketed under the Dee Gee brand (model 3612), is quick, safe and simple to use. Its anti-roll handle prevents it rolling off the work bench, and the sen-sible size and its light weight (21oz) ensure easy handling, especially for precision work. The expected retail price for the kit it 4.50, and 3.50 for the soldering iron. This iron is available from retail outlets.
I actually had one of these irons. Bought by mum in the late 1970s in Woolworths.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:16 am   #9
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Back in it's day that low voltage blanket and its controller would have been rather classy and expensive items.

Any relation to John Griffin of Griffin and George limited, thinking of schools.

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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:19 am   #10
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Yes, I remember having a 25W Dee Gee soldering-iron in the early-1970s, complete with a rather natty *RED* mains-lead.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 11:06 am   #11
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Rare to find something like this that can be repurposed without damaging it!
The transformers were probably run well within their rating.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 10:04 pm   #12
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

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Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
Rare to find something like this that can be repurposed without damaging it!
The transformers were probably run well within their rating.
Dave
I wont be using them for anything, I just liked the look of them, I've been collecting Bakelite for 30 years and never seen these before, so I guess they must be quite rare.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 10:31 pm   #13
The Philpott
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

Absolutely, why not.
Fran (of 'Franlab', in Philadelphia), has had an incident of noxious outgassing from more recent plastics, (see youtube) which makes Bakelite seem very stable by comparison.

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Old 24th Apr 2020, 9:20 am   #14
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

My parents had a low voltage electric blanket bought about 1947. Made by a company called Windak in Poynton Cheshire. They had made electrically heated flying suits during WW2 and turned their expertise to the domestic market afterwards. There was a very heavy transformer unit with a 4 way rotary switch off/low/med/high.

Later they bought me a single bed version. By the 1970's I ended up wth both transformer units. One I gave away and the other I converted to a car / motor cycle battery charger ( 10 amp solid state bridge rectifier ) + car ammeter in the place where the rotary switch had sat.

Just recently have converted the unit to a high current AC only source with 5 x 4mm output sockets. Ground 4V / 8V / 16 V / 24V ; from tappings on the transformer. Fitted ON/OFF toggle switch and an internal fuse. Resprayed the case in dark grey metallic.

The transformer was labelled "Davenset" who I think were a manufacturer of battery chargers.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 1:35 pm   #15
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Default Re: Bakelite Dee Gee control units

You beat me to it!
My Dad who had an electrical shop in Gatley in the Fifties wouldn't have a directly connected electric blanket and insisted on a Windak unit instead. I still have one of the transformers. As you say, it had a four position rotary switch which, if I remember, was illuminated different colours depending on the setting. This was set in a gold coloured hammered finish steel case.
They continued manufacturing them well into the Seventies - possibly longer - as he was able to get a replacement blanket. Now the controller was in an ivory plastic case and had a variac-style continuously variable control. They could safely be left on all night (so they claimed) should you so wish.
ISTR seeing an identical late model transformer in a catalogue in the Sevenites, labelled DeeGee. I wonder if the firms merged?
Of course cost triumphed over safety where blankets were concerned.
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