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#122230 - 10/14/05 05:54 AM Noarc Gear
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
A question from Joe Tedesco"

Does anyone know the origin of this type of Service Equipment? These are still used in the Boston area today.

Tools for Electricians:
#122231 - 10/14/05 09:28 AM Re: Noarc Gear
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
As I recall, the "Noark" name was associated with Federal Pacific... The wood backing I think I'm seeing hints at some turn of the century piecemeal of equiptment. Is this just solely a fusible disconnect in this box?


#122232 - 10/14/05 10:03 AM Re: Noarc Gear
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Joe, are these devices still sold brand new at the local electrical shops?

I assume if you pull on those handles, you'll end up with a box that holds a couple of large cartridge fuses?

#122233 - 10/14/05 10:18 AM Re: Noarc Gear
mamills Offline

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
If I remember correctly, the Colt Firearms Co. once had a division that produced electrical switches which had the term "Noark" also proudly displayed on its labels. I have a couple of nice examples of these products in my collection.

This box looks like a variation of boxes I've seen numerous times on your Website. They appeared to be made of some type of cast iron, mounted flush in the front brick wall of a building (maybe as a means of disconnecting power in case of a fire...?).

Notice also the bonding of the cast iron box in this example.

During a trip to San Antonio a few years back, I remember seeing boxes somewhat like this, surface mounted, on the outsides of various buildings in the older downtown sections of the city. The term "Noark" was cast into the iron cover, which was screwed into place.

Mike (mamills)

#122234 - 10/14/05 10:57 AM Re: Noarc Gear
wa2ise Offline

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 769
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
Sven, my mom's house has a similar setup as the service equipment, though when you open the panel door you see a black module with a handle. Pull the handle and you have in your hands a double fuse holder. 100 amp fuses. No exposed wires or contacts either. Mounted in the basement just below the kilowatthour meter fed by an underground service. Federal Pacific brand. The fuses then feed a subpanel.

[This message has been edited by wa2ise (edited 10-14-2005).]

#122235 - 10/16/05 09:11 PM Re: Noarc Gear
yaktx Offline

Registered: 02/19/03
Posts: 286
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
These are still made by a company called Boltswitch. (

Apparently, they are designed to take the place of a breaker in panelboards by other manufacturers.

This particular installation looks really scary due to the corrosion, if for no other reason (that is assuming the deadfront is not lost, but merely leaned against the wall out of the picture). The fact that one cannot distinguish between rotten wood and rusty metal (which is it?) is symptomatic of this fact.

#122236 - 10/17/05 07:03 AM Re: Noarc Gear
mamills Offline

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
yaktx: Thanks for the link. Very interesting information there.

...A 400 AMP PULLOUT SWITCH... ? Wow!

Yeah, that equipment is in pretty rough shape. I'd sure hate to have to use it, even with PPE...the whole assembly, wires and all, would probably pop out of the box .

Mike (mamills)

#122237 - 11/17/05 12:57 PM Re: Noarc Gear
goalnantuckt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Ballston Spa, NY USA
I have a NOARK metal nameplate I removed from a piece of residential service equipment I replaced about 30 years ago in my first house. It says 'Colts Patent Fire Arms MFG. Co. Hartford, Conn, USA'

It lists several patent dates between 1916 and 1919. It's a service disconnect, 60 A, 125/250V, 3 pole. The house it came out of was a two-family (upper and lower flats). Each flat had its own 30 amp 120V service. The place was built in 1898.

Hope that adds to the NOARK / Colts discussion.

#122238 - 11/17/05 04:28 PM Re: Noarc Gear
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1226
Loc: kamloops BC Canada
Just in case others missed this thread also


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