My name is Ben Wiersum, I am an 18 year old sound technician in Naperville, IL. I have been reading this site for several months, and I am registering so that I can post replies. I have worked as a sound technician for quite some time now, and it has definitely shed an interesting light on a whole new world of hack work. Many people think that just because they can hook up speakers they can attack an entire 200 amp panel. Attached is a picture of an extension cord / power strip contraption that is presently listed for sale on eBay. It seemed quite old and rather interesting, probably not a commercially manufactured product. I just thought it might make for an interesting discussion in the "electrical nostalgia" section.
Hi Ben. Thanks for sending the pic. This is an interesting piece of equipment/history. Back in the days when this was built (commercial products assembled by a DIY'er) it would probably be one of the SAFER items around, considering some of the hookups I've seen in various halls and theaters. Nowadays, of course, it is more of historical interest - although I guess you could use it as some kind of weird pyrotechnic device .
Hey, at least it's fused, even if both the hot & neutral are fused. It was listed with a starting bid of $39.00 with $12.00 for shipping. If it was cheaper, I would have purchased it just for novelty (shock) value.
I find it fascinating that it has 6 receptacles, exactly the same number as modern power strips. Home- or shop-built, but par for the course in an era when electricians frequently built panelboards on site. Ditto the exposed live parts, no big deal back then. Safety was equated with common sense; no one thought much of those times when you are busy with something and take two steps backward without looking.
Of course fused neutrals were not prohibited back then; they were required!
Pauluk I agree I'd also like to know what was the deal with the vertical and horizontal slots....was that sup[posed to be a combination 15/20 amp 125 volt circuit? Or a combination 125/250 volt circuit???
Back in the days, some appliances used tandem blade plugs, while others used the modern parallel blades. These outlets were made to accept both types of plug. Some people have actually rigged these to a 240v line though.
That's the difference between US and Europe. In Austria even the oldest stuff I've seen (around 1900) always had covered terminals! A ca. 1890 surface mount light switch with a brass cover even has some kind of isolating sleeve inside the cover.