1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Vintage Electrics

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by cwhaley, 11 Jul 2019.

  1. cwhaley

    cwhaley

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2017
    Messages:
    737
    Thanks Received:
    57
    Location:
    Erewash, Derbys.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Been using a portable spot light for when I'm working in dark spaces or at night and never really paid attention to the plug used on it. It was given to me by my dad.

    Looked at the back of it and noticed "Empire Made" with "Unbreakable Rubber" written on the front. I'm guessing it's '50s to early '60s? The Rubber has lasted pretty well so the claim on the front paid off. Inside the wires are in good condition, all contacts clean and screws sounds and secure.

    Certainly don't want to take the reigns away from RF Lighting and those fantastic PotW posts but thought it'd be good to get a few photos of electrical time warps and museum items.
     
  2. sparkwright

    sparkwright

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2009
    Messages:
    6,937
    Thanks Received:
    831
    Location:
    Dorset
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Send 'em in.

    Those unbreakable rubber plugs nearly always had a top that had to be threaded on the flex before wiring up the plug.

    Often you will see a cut in the top, where someone had forgotten to slide the top over the flex first.

    Also some of those plugs seemed to have two cord grips, one inside and one outside, from memory.

    Those old plugs certainly are becoming a rarity.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. cwhaley

    cwhaley

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2017
    Messages:
    737
    Thanks Received:
    57
    Location:
    Erewash, Derbys.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Pics
     

    Attached Files:

  4. sparkwright

    sparkwright

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2009
    Messages:
    6,937
    Thanks Received:
    831
    Location:
    Dorset
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There's the double cord grip.

    Is there a slot in the lid where the flex goes through?
     
  5. cwhaley

    cwhaley

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2017
    Messages:
    737
    Thanks Received:
    57
    Location:
    Erewash, Derbys.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I'll have a look when I get home from work -- I can't actually remember! I'd be interested to see though.

    I grew up in a house built around 1899 to 1901 and there were lots of curiosities electrically. The one I remember being fascinated with as a kid was the time we discovered a light switch that must have been original or very early 20th Century.

    When dad wanted to reinstate the alcoves (which had been boarded up) either side of a fireplace, he had to remove the false wall. When he removed it, the original wall found behind it was like a time capsule complete with ancient flowery wall paper. More interestingly was a circular metal switch mounted on a polished wooded base/plinth type thing. The wire feeding it was covered in paper or cotton tacked to the wall.

    Also behind a radiator in my old bedroom was the socket for (I later found out) a BS 546. It was marked 2A.
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    59,675
    Thanks Received:
    3,073
    Location:
    21st Century
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    Verry modern.

    it's even got square pins!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. sparkwright

    sparkwright

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2009
    Messages:
    6,937
    Thanks Received:
    831
    Location:
    Dorset
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I wonder if the round switch by the fireplace was for a bell system.

    Often in those days, larger houses had a bell system, with a bell and bell indicator board in the scullery so the servant would know which room to attend to.
     
  8. cwhaley

    cwhaley

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2017
    Messages:
    737
    Thanks Received:
    57
    Location:
    Erewash, Derbys.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I'm not sure. I don't think the house is large enough to warrant one. It's a thought though as the family who had the house designed and built were all employed in the railways when they were booming here. The wire went into the void above the ceiling and the upstairs floorboards. Never found out where it went though as dad boarded over the lath and plaster ceiling. It wasn't live.
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    59,675
    Thanks Received:
    3,073
    Location:
    21st Century
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    i've had service bells. Always a bellpush, never a switch. May predate the electric light as it could have run off an accumulator.

    a switch might have been for an electric fire or a lamp.
     
  10. cwhaley

    cwhaley

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2017
    Messages:
    737
    Thanks Received:
    57
    Location:
    Erewash, Derbys.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    To be honest, the fireplace is still boarded up so anything could be behind there. When you knock around on the face of the chimney breast it sounds hollow and empty as if boarded over.

    I think it was for a light with the wire going into the ceiling. Strange it was just a single wire though.
     
  11. sparkwright

    sparkwright

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2009
    Messages:
    6,937
    Thanks Received:
    831
    Location:
    Dorset
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yes it would have to be an actual push, as opposed to a switch.

    They always used to sit right by the fire in those days, so many services were put close by.
     
  12. sparkwright

    sparkwright

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2009
    Messages:
    6,937
    Thanks Received:
    831
    Location:
    Dorset
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Just a single wire? Hard to imagine why that would be the case.

    Going back to bells, some systems had a single wire in a metal tube.
     
  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    41,791
    Thanks Received:
    2,622
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I don't think you can go by size. The house I was brought up in (during 50s/60s) was an Edwardian 2½-bed terraced house, but nevertheless had the remants of an intriguing (polished brass and mahogany!) 'call system', with solenoid-operated 'drop-down flags' in the kitchen!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  14. dhutch

    dhutch

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2011
    Messages:
    1,651
    Thanks Received:
    101
    Location:
    Wirral
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Just ripped out a load of MK Ivorine switches and Sockery, with Ashley pendants and junction boxes. 1965 imperial pvc cable.

    Daniel
     
  15. cwhaley

    cwhaley

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2017
    Messages:
    737
    Thanks Received:
    57
    Location:
    Erewash, Derbys.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I think I remembered another plug, this one wasn’t as erm... tidy as I remember! Complete with double cable grip as Sparkwright says and the opening in the top cover. The condition of the wiring was... (potentially) shocking!

    Safe to safe it has been removed and a new length of cable and modern socket will be fitted. Will keep the plug just out of historical interest.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...

Share This Page