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#191232 - 12/22/09 04:46 AM UK Home wiring in 1900  
GeneSF  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 39
Berkeley, California, US
This is from a book called The Principles and Practices of Modern Home Construction,published in the UK around 1900. The link points to the electrical wiring section,but you can peruse other chapters.

Electrical wiring: UK, 1900

The part that caught my attention was the plug/socket arrangement. Hubbell had invented the flat-blade for the US market in 1904,but the UK already had a round-pin type by 1900.

Should be an interesting read.


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#191239 - 12/22/09 10:17 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: GeneSF]  
aussie240  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Interesting to see the bayonet light socket had been standardised so early.
As for the wall sockets, I have a similar thing in the form of a bayonet to two pin socket adaptor, also made of wood. Like the wall socket shown the contacts aren't far below the surface. If one presses their fingers hard enough against the openings a shock can be received.


#191243 - 12/22/09 10:51 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: aussie240]  
GeneSF  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 39
Berkeley, California, US
That's the first <shudder> thought I had looking at that illo. If the voltage was 100-110 back then,it would result in a nasty bite. I guess design improved quickly.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by GeneSF; 12/22/09 10:54 PM.

#191395 - 12/27/09 12:17 AM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: GeneSF]  
GeneSF  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 39
Berkeley, California, US
BTW,does the above design seem exactly like the 5A British shaver plug? I guess only someone who has that antique can say for sure.


#191426 - 12/28/09 10:16 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: GeneSF]  
djk  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,237
Ireland
It's interesting that the 2-round pins had been settled upon by 1900!

Clearly it's an ancestor, or very old cousin of the modern CEE 7 family (i.e. Schuko & the French system), as well as BS546 (and BS1363), the Italian, Swiss and Danish systems.

I wonder where the notion of two round pins originated, as it seems to crop up all over Europe.

Modern French grounded, recessed and shuttered socket, and grounded CEE 7/7 plug... still looks VERY similar, even if it's now a lot safer.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by djk; 12/28/09 10:21 PM.

#191427 - 12/28/09 10:26 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: djk]  
djk  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,237
Ireland
Here's the only remaining British Standard 2 pin plug, the modern ancestor of that plug depicted above from 1900.

[Linked Image]

The very annoying shaver plug, which looks almost identical to CEE 7/16 (Europlug, used all over the EU) but has shorter fatter pins and won't fit anything other than shaver sockets found in British and Irish bathrooms.

They usually won't even fit special shaver sockets installed in bathrooms elsewhere in Europe e.g. I couldn't plug my toothbrush into an Italian isolated shaver socket. I had to use the adaptor depicted above + another adaptor to get it into the wall socket!

Why oh, why the UK and Ireland can't just use Europlug (CEE 7/16) on shavers is beyond me! Europlug fits ALL UK/Irish shave sockets, without any adaptors or modification *and* fits shaver sockets all across Europe and indeed over most of the world too!

I can see no advantage to its chubbier UK/Irish counterpart.

Last edited by djk; 12/28/09 10:28 PM.

#191456 - 12/30/09 12:12 AM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: djk]  
aussie240  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted by djk

Why oh, why the UK and Ireland can't just use Europlug (CEE 7/16) on shavers is beyond me! Europlug fits ALL UK/Irish shave sockets, without any adaptors or modification *and* fits shaver sockets all across Europe and indeed over most of the world too!

The obvious way out of this problem is to fit shavers with the standard domestic plug and provide a standard power point in the bathroom as is done elsewhere. Seems like a crazy system to me. The only place you see "shaver" sockets in this part of the world is where tourists are likely to be staying. They take any form of two pin plug and incorporate a transformer for those who need 120V.
Those of us with a three pin plug on their shaver couldn't use them anyway.


#191466 - 12/30/09 02:00 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: aussie240]  
uksparx  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 44
Egremont,Cumbria,UK
Ah, but this is the UK and as you know old bean, we "don't do sockets in bathrooms", that would be just faaaar to dangerous,lol. Seriously, I have to agree with you aussie240, I've been saying much the same myself for a very long time. I thought we had made progress last year with the 17th Edition of BS7671 (wiring regs.), when at last it was rumoured we can have 13A sockets in the bathroom - well, we can, providing they are 3 metres from the bath or shower!!!! Hmm, I rest my case.


#191468 - 12/30/09 02:02 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: uksparx]  
uksparx  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 44
Egremont,Cumbria,UK
oh, I forgot, I have a very similar socket to that 1900 two pin one in the pic, but it is porcelain based with some kind of fibre type cover. I'll look it out and post a pic very soon. It was taken from a house I rewired many years ago, but was installed in the early 1930s.


#191535 - 01/01/10 05:45 PM Re: UK Home wiring in 1900 [Re: uksparx]  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,392
Vienna, Austria
3m Ok. And here I usually have trouble getting a Schuko socket 60cm away from the bath... and I don't remember UK bathrooms being any bigger than other bathrooms.

The whole book is absolutely fascinating, particularly the sections regarding construction! So many things commonly done today are already described in this book (like concrete slab foundations,. covered with bitumen for waterproofing), double glazed windows, etc. Yet most houses actually built in 1900 are built quite differently.



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