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#196952 - 11/02/10 10:42 AM Very odd old connector
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
On a different board I stumbled across a question concerning a very odd old (probably pre-WWI) electrical connector. It looks like a male NEMA 1-15 connector recessed into the baseboards of a 1912 house.
Anyone got an idea what that might have been used for?
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=25272

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#196956 - 11/02/10 11:35 AM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: Texas_Ranger]
jdevlin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 402
Loc: welland ontario canada
If not power, then possibly and antenna conenction for an old radio.

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#196959 - 11/02/10 02:01 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: Texas_Ranger]
SJT Offline
Member

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 242
Loc: PATCHOGUE, N.Y.
Turn it clock-wise and the safe will open. False front?
Wild guess.

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#196960 - 11/02/10 03:49 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: SJT]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
The original poster said there are several of them in the living room, spaced 8 feet apart.

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#196961 - 11/02/10 04:53 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: Texas_Ranger]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
It's just an ordinary flanged receptacle. Keep in mind that it wasn't always normal to use boxes; the wires are likely individually run within the plaster, just beneath the wall surface.

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#196962 - 11/02/10 06:14 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: renosteinke]
LarryC Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 775
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
I have seem recessed male power plugs used as power inlets before. Are these connectors adjacent windows? I remember seeing a thread about lighting outlets built into window sills. Perhaps these were built in extension cords for remote lighting outlets?

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#196966 - 11/02/10 10:29 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: LarryC]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
An old "off grid" tie system where the family would run dynamo generators in the living room on a hamster wheel or exercise bike?


Edited by noderaser (11/02/10 10:29 PM)
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http://www.hsiprodsvcs.com/

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#196979 - 11/03/10 02:24 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: noderaser]
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4225
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA

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#196983 - 11/03/10 05:36 PM Re: Very odd old connector [Re: electure]
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Although the house is quite old, you might be looking at younger work -- say the 1920s.

Way too early for TV these might be RADIO antenna taps for a home trying to pick up signals with an exterior master antenna.

Back in the 20's commercial radio was high tech. Many broadcasters had weak signals. It was common for the local station to have such a weak signal that fifteen miles would be pushing it!

Now the radio boxes were obviously limited WRT size of antenna. A receiver outside the home which piped in the signal was like Direct TV today.

Since the signal would be captured as a dipole and low voltage, at that -- this kind of tap could be retro-fitted at will in base board. The male outlet style was used so that the connection to the radio would never, ever, ever get jacked into power.

The multiple locations exist for interior decorating reasons. OF COURSE the radio -- the ONLY entertainment box -- is going to be located solely in the living room. However, the lady may change her mind. So the retro tech provided her with a wall or two of convenient taps.

All he had to do was pull off the existing base, pop some small holes, fish wire ( no conduit, not even Romex ) and then punch some inlet holes.

Wham, bam, thank you, mam! That antenna string is installed! That'll be $4.25... please refer me to your circle of friends.

------

My eighty-five year-old father confirms that this is what he saw as a child, and the antenna WAS outside the house.


Edited by Tesla (11/03/10 05:39 PM)
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