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Joined: Oct 2000
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Found another oddball Hubbell duplex outlet. One face has the "Australian" style craw foot 3 prong outlet 10A@250V. That face didn't get a pie thrown at it, just got painted... [Linked Image] The other face has a "Twin T" pattern that will accept a regular 2 prong 110V plug. The two faces are internally strapped together. The other picture shows an early adapter to go from 2 prong to the "Australian" 3 prong plug. Made by Eagle. 10A@250V or 15A@125V.

I remember seeing in the laundry room of my dorm in college these craw foot outlets provided for the washing machines. Dorm was built in about 1952. Well, the washing machines were replaced with newer ones that came with the usual modern 3 prong plugs. The laundry machine company installer person didn't bother to have the outlets changed, he just took his pliers and squashed the grounding pin flat and twisted the neutral and hot pins to make it fit the outlets...

Considering the brearucracy of the college, it probably would have taken months for them to get to it. The old machines were probably gone before the new machines showed up and this problem appeared; else he should have swapped the power cords on them. Or make up adapter extension cords. Maybe not, his boss might have said to get it done fast. And mangle the new plugs. I was there in 1977.

- wa2ise
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
Geeze Rob, where do you find this neat junk? I should go hanging around with you one of these days.

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
I have 2 of those identical Hubbell combo outlets that I pulled from an old liquor store c. 1920's ... I remember seeing those "crows foot" outlets all over the elementary school I went to as a kid, but to this day don't know the purpose unless it was for a floor buffer or something of that sort. The school was built in the 50's, there was a single NEMA 5-15 and a single crows foot 2 gang by the door of each classroom, and one in the cafeteria. the restrooms each had a "Sierraplex" combo 5-15/6-15 duplex kinda behind the door as you enter about 6'+AFF.. What would a school bathroom need 240V for??? [Linked Image]

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 794
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I think that these crow's foot outlets were an early version of the modern 120V outlet with ground pin. Not 220V, though that's what you'll find in Australia when you see an outlet like this. (and you'll find 250V in the couple I have here in my house; I collect antique and vintage radios, some from Europe and Australia (which want 240V)) A problem with the crow foot pattern for grounded appliances is that it is not "backward compatable" with American 2 prong plugs. Modern 3 prong outlets are backward compatable; they accept 2 or 3 prong plugs.

Where do I find this stuff? Hamfests (ham radio fleamarkets), boxes of stuff from grandma's house, and such. The Northeast tends to have more of this stuff as we've been around since day one of electricity.

[This message has been edited by wa2ise (edited 06-01-2005).]

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 8
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I am new to this forum, but I collect old wiring devices and I had run across a bunch of the hubbell combo receptacles like the one above. I got some that were vacuum packed in Military grade packaging from this place in Reading, PA called "L.B. Metals." Stamped on the packaging is "January, 1957." Since they were vacuum packed, the receptacles were preserved in a brand new state, with bright shiny screw contacts and mounting brackets. Very cool!

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
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Hey Collector,
Welcome to the group, mate!. [Linked Image]
Yes Rob(wa2ise), this is the configuration used down here for the majority of applications in Aus and New Zealand homes and offices.
The standard voltage would be 230-240V AC.
Although in parts of Western Australia 250VAC is used as standard, not sure why.

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
Although in parts of Western Australia 250VAC is used as standard, not sure why.
The story to that is that Australia wasn't always 240V. Into the 1950's the general situation was Victoria was on 230V, South Australia 210V, Western Australia 250V, and the rest on 240. Some country towns with their own generating plant had DC. It goes back to the colonial days before the country was federated. While the eastern states had standardised on 240V by the early 1960's, W.A was always the odd one out. In fact they did not want to become part of the commonwealth in 1901 and only did so with the promise of a railway line across the continent to link them to the eastern states. Incidentally, parts of W.A had 40 cycle mains as a result of purchasing South African plant.
Anyway, W.A did change to 240V in the mid 1980's. Hence the "240-250V" labelling on Australian made light bulbs. In actual fact, the nominal voltage was officially 254 and is why we used to be able to get 260V light bulbs which lasted forever in the eastern states.

[This message has been edited by aussie240 (edited 02-04-2007).]

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 26
When I got out of college in 1975, my first job was as a plant engineer at Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita, KS. In that huge factory complex, every 120V outlet was a duplex crowfoot. Some many years ago, management in its infinite wisdom had decided that they could eliminate the factory workers from pilfering the power tools if said power tools could not be used at home, due to the plug "not fitting" the standard U-ground residential outlet. Management didn't realize that anybody proficient enough to use an electric drill or grinder also knew more than enough to replace the crowfoot plug with a standard U-ground plug after they stole the tool and got it home. By 1977, management realized that the crowfoot plugs were't fooling anybody, and maintenance was tired of having to install a crowfoot plug on every power tool that was purchased. Our electricians spent numerous overtime hours replacing thousands of antiquated crowfoot outlets with modern U-ground outlets.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 288
These 15A crowfoot devices are still being produced, in a high-quality industrial version, no less (pages 9-10). There is even an adaptor to connect a 5-15P to this kind of receptacle.

[This message has been edited by yaktx (edited 02-09-2007).]

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
The story to that is that Australia wasn't always 240V. Into the 1950's the general situation was Victoria was on 230V, South Australia 210V, Western Australia 250V, and the rest on 240. Some country towns with their own generating plant had DC.

Even in a small country such as the U.K. we had a similar situation. Nominal supply voltages varied 200 to 250V from area to area, although in later years the higher end became the more common: 220, 230, 240, or 250V. Appliances such as heaters, toasters, etc. were marked for the full range, sometimes with the tag also specifying the actual wattage dissipation at the ends of the range. More sensitive equipment such as radios and TV sets came with voltage adjustments which had to be set for the area of use.

Right up until the late 1950s/early 1960s era we also had 3-wire D.C. distribution in the older parts of some towns.

We finally standardized on 240V with allowable +/-6% tolerance in the early 1970s.

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