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#144768 - 01/13/06 01:40 AM Old bids
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Hello all,

I've found an archive with old documents. Among other things, it appears that it contains bids submitted by electrical contractors in the 19th country, along with materials lists and invoices. There is a glimmer of hope for finding some kind a drawing, but hoping to find complete plans is probably too much.

This archive is owned by the state and I will have to submit requests to get each document retrieved.

Is anyone interested in seeing these documents, apart from me? I will go back next week anyway, but it will take a couple of weeks of tracking down documents this way. It's only open during office hours which is a bit of a hurdle.

Anyway, if anyone wants to see the documents, I'll have to scan them somehow which will be difficult.

-------
Some finds so far
-------
From the top of my head, here is the list of things included in a large private home in 1896. The change orders, which ended up costing more than the original bid, are included.

- Power to the lights
- Power to the two lifts (elevators)
- Power to the gate opener
- Possibly power to electroheat
- 3 (?) main panels, 10 sub panels
- 245 lightbulbs
- 2 high intensity arc lights
- Metal (steel?) conduit. Insulated!
- Boxes, like above
- Cables, double insulated, lead covered, steel armoured (if not in conduit).
- Outlets, a handful.
- Ordinary switches
- Switches with timers in the hallways. Depending on how you switched them, they gave two minutes of light or constant light.

The cover plates had to match the surrounding wall. Green marble walls with green marble switches, white marble walls with white marble or ivory cover plates. The handles were made of either oak or gold plated brass, depending of what matched the room.

In the room with walls of gold [sic!] the switch looked like a part of the wall.

I've found some details about how the panels and sub-panels were installed and how the cover plates were manufactured. (And by whom)

P.S. I have a surprise up my sleeve, but to show it I have to fill out a form where it says on the top that that permission is rarely granted.

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#144769 - 01/13/06 05:52 AM Re: Old bids
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
245 LIGHTBULBS??????

How huge is this house?

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#144770 - 01/13/06 09:07 AM Re: Old bids
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
It was built for a couple and is some 2000 square meters or a little over 20 000 square feet spread across some 30 rooms. The fact that the the ceilings are five meters up contributes greatly to the impression of size.

Edit to add that according to my calculations, the electrical system alone cost the equivalent of the annual wage for ten workers.

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 01-13-2006).]

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#144771 - 01/13/06 09:12 AM Re: Old bids
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Sounds like a mansion!

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#144772 - 01/13/06 10:16 AM Re: Old bids
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Seriously. I'd love to see that house (and the installation, if it's still intact).

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#144773 - 01/13/06 01:36 PM Re: Old bids
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
WOW! That's some amazing building and _very_ sophisticated technology for that time!
As far as I can tell by now the house where I live (1913-1914 apartment designed for quick money with seemingly upscale apartments) had a single light switch in each room, looking exactly like this one:



Not even the looong hallways (8.5m) had three-way switching, only one switch next to one end, near the front door. In each room there was usually one socket, some had more (seems to have depended on the first tenants, unlike the switch positions it varies from apartment to apartment).
The most sophisticated detail of the wiring seems to have been the stairway lighting with push buttons on each floor and a switch and big mercury relay in the basement. The switch had a day, evening and night setting and was controlled by the janitor. Day means off, evening means permanently on and night is 2 minutes or the like. The old relay and switch are long gone, but the wiring is still largely intact, keeping me scratching my head... each time 2 push buttons are pressed the same time the result is a dead short, but according to all my schematics that just isn't possible...

I'd love to read such old stuff!

The oldest thing I've ever seen is a 1937 invoice for some wiring.

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#144774 - 01/14/06 04:04 PM Re: Old bids
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
C-H,
 Quote:
Is anyone interested in seeing these documents, apart from me?

Yeah, mate, I'd be into that!.
Sven,
 Quote:
245 LIGHTBULBS??????

How huge is this house?

I agree, that would have been a gargantuan house with that many lights back then.
Nowadays, a house with that many lights in it wouldn't even raise an eyebrow, especially when you consider that a lot of top-end-of- the-market homes have a heap of them little 20 or 50W halogen lamps where as before there would have been a couple of large fittings per room.
Haven't we learned how to waste electricity since then?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#144775 - 01/15/06 03:22 AM Re: Old bids
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Very keen to read about it.

Must be a huge place with so many lamps.

The inclusion of a timing circuit for the lighting looks very advanced for those days.

Look forward to the details.

Thanks Ray
_________________________
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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#144776 - 01/15/06 08:49 PM Re: Old bids
yaktx Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/03
Posts: 286
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
 Quote:
I agree, that would have been a gargantuan house with that many lights back then.


The history of domestic electrical use in the USA (I'm assuming it's about the same in Europe) is that until after 1910, only the very wealthy had electricity in the home. Labor-saving appliances had no market, since the presence of servants was a given. Usually the only appliances that would have been used were the iron (since it produced superior results to a stove-heated flatiron), and the fan, since there was no other practical means of powering one (yes, there were water-motors and alcohol-fired Stirling engines and the like, but who wouldn't opt for electricity if it were an option?).

Yes, of course it was a gargantuan house. Domestic electricity before 1910 was all about conspicuous consumption, so 245 bulbs in an 1896 house would not seem out of the question. Private lifts would also fall into this category.

C-H, if you can get these documents, I'd be an enthusiastic reader!

[This message has been edited by yaktx (edited 01-15-2006).]

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#144777 - 01/16/06 02:51 AM Re: Old bids
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Sven,

Who knows, maybe you will...

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