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#3625 - 08/24/01 04:41 PM Were you born this way?
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
The 2 wire thread got me remembering.
My grandmother must have had a 30amp 120volt service on her house. It was located on the wall inside the breakfast room. I can remember standing on a bench peering into the little wooden box with a glass door for long, long periods of time every time I went over. It had 2 knife switches and 2 fuses. Once mom caught me red handed with the door open. I had been told that the fuses would blow, and I wanted to feel the wind from them. Grandmother moved when I was 8 yrs. old, so I must have been real young.

Were you guys somewhat preoccupied with electricity as kids? What caused you to pick electricianing? Has it always seemed simpler for you to understand electricity than it seems for others?

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 08-24-2001).]

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#3626 - 08/24/01 05:00 PM Re: Were you born this way?
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
I climbed halfway up a pole on the next block once and looked over to see my Dad looking out the Bedroom window at me from our house. I seem to recall an uncomfortable time sitting that nite


#3627 - 08/24/01 05:46 PM Re: Were you born this way?
Tom Offline

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
I got my start fairly young when my Dad added a room to our house. An electrician friend explained to him what needed to be done & I helped him put in the wiring. The house is still standing 40+ years later, so we did OK. I remember being totally fascinated by this project.

BTW, the house was served by a 30 amp 120 volt service.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#3628 - 08/24/01 06:49 PM Re: Were you born this way?
The_Lightman Offline

Registered: 08/24/01
Posts: 51
Loc: Orlando, Fl, USA
Not born this way, started an early apprenticeship. I've got a scar on the inside of my mouth from biting an extention cord when I was 2 years old.

#3629 - 08/25/01 12:39 AM Re: Were you born this way?
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2334
Loc: West Virginia
Hooked up an old extension cord with the female end cut off to a 6V DC motor and plugged it in... (I was about 9 or 10) and it buzzed for half a second before it Popped a neat little explosion... Sparks and noise... I think I was hooked then (mainly cause I didn't get hurt... I was just even more curious although it did scare me...)

I've since learned that I must have a high threshold (resistance?) to electricity, my hands are usually dry, and even a hit from 240V (hand wrapped around a 250V recept while tightening the ground screw and the &^*% mech turns the CB's on...) only resulted in me rapidly dropping the work and cursing alot... No burns... nothing...
(I've heard of folks getting thrown several feet by 240V!)

I'm still very careful around "hot" devices, etc. but I feel that my "high skin resistance" is a definite virtue for our work.

#3630 - 08/25/01 01:08 AM Re: Were you born this way?
mickky Offline

Registered: 07/22/01
Posts: 48
Loc: toronto
I became interested several years ago when I was a Stage technician ('electrician'), and was asked to wire up some submersible ACL's (aircraft landing lights) that were to be submerged in a fountain onstage. decided I'd better learn a little more about the subject-been hooked ever since. Incidentally, the term "gaffer"-a film term, not a live stage one, comes from the early days of theatre, when lighting was provided by gas-the 'electrician' was a Gas-Fitter, hence the term.

#3631 - 08/25/01 02:35 AM Re: Were you born this way?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I've always been fascinated by everything electrical and electronic as far back as I can remember, an interest I inherited from my father.

I was playing around with batteries, bulbs and bits of wire at the age of 5, which would have been 1971. I remember helping dad route cables when he rewired a house we moved to at about the same time, an I too was fascinated by the wiring in my grandarents house.

This wss an old Victorian house in north London, and although parts had been modernized, it still had some switchgear dating from the 1920s/1930s, including an old lighting fuse-box in a polished wood case with a glass panel covering the big porcelain fuses.

I don't know about you guys, but I've always been a radio & electronics enthusiast as well. I remember getting some books from the library and building some simple transistor radios and amplifiers when I was about 8, and by that time I was often helping dad with his projects.

Friends & neighbors knew of my interest, so we always got given old unwanted equipment like tape recorders, radios, etc, Jumble sales in the 1970s also provided a lot of older valve (vacuum tube) equipment cheaply, and by that time my parents figured I knew enough about safety to be let loose with the higher voltages.

By the way, my first experience of how forceful electricity can be was at the age of 4 when I went to "help mommy" unplug her vacuum cleaner. Before she ould stop me, I had the plug part way out, but then put my little fingers behind it to get a better grip - straight across 240V. Ouch!

#3632 - 08/25/01 03:28 AM Re: Were you born this way?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545

It's true I guess...
I was the kid that made one good bike out of 2 trashed ones. then did variations like the'upside down bike' where the gears are 3' up, and the seat 5'.( This progessed to automotive abominations and subsequent court dates..oh well....) I dragged home everything and field dressed it, learnin' the hard way how things like capacitors work.

I've always been good with my hands, I would like the grey matter to follow suit...

#3633 - 08/25/01 03:27 PM Re: Were you born this way?
Matt M Offline

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 93
Loc: Laporte, MN, USA
Well, I guess I was. Ehh maybe this story is better off not made public LOL. Sorry for the delete


[This message has been edited by Matt M (edited 08-25-2001).]

#3634 - 08/25/01 05:39 PM Re: Were you born this way?
rmiell Offline

Registered: 11/09/00
Posts: 261
Loc: La Junta, Co. USA
I didn't know it at the time I made the decision to become involved with electricity, but it seems I came from a long line of electricial related people.

My dad's mom worked as office manager for my dad's local REA company, way back before I was born (pre 1953).

My dad worked for various utilites, ending up at the last one, which was called Centel. He retired after 32 1/2 years with them.

I started messing around with electricity mainly by tearing apart old radios, tvs etc... at a youge age. In sixth grade I won the local grade school science fair with an electrical magnet.

I have been in the field for about 28 years now. Worked my way up from an electrician's helper at the local VA hospital, where I finally realized that I needed to get my licence. Worked for a local shop, getting my residential wireman's licence, then my journyman's licence. Went to work for another shop, where I finally got my Master's licence. Was offered a job with the local city government, as their electrician and as a back up inspector. How could I refuse, with the type of benifits they offered? Been with them for over 15 years now, where I have been the chief inspector for almost 10 years.

A little story about my dad. At one time, when he was still alive and working for the electrical utility, my older brother also worked there, but in the generation plant. I was working as journyman, wiring houses. There was a time I could say that my brother generated the electricity that my dad transmitted to a house, where I would put it to work. Pretty cool, huh?

Another little story. My youngest son, who does not seem to want to work in the trade, stuck my keys into an outlet when he was about 2 years old. Buzz-Zap. Boy did he run, right over to me and up into my lap. If the previous posts are any indication, he may come around and want to work in our field after all.

Oh, by the way, my oldest son did go into our field, receiving his Master's licence last year. So, in reality, he is the 4th generation Miell to work in the electrical field.

Enough musing, guys. Keep up the great posts on this, and other sites.

Rick Miell

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