ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Shout Box
Recent Posts
Recall notice: Southwire wi-fi wall switches
by sparkyinak. 03/15/18 06:03 PM
Goodman Manufacturing Recalls Modular Blowers
by Admin. 03/13/18 10:40 PM
MAAX Spas Recalls Hot Tubs and Swim Spas
by Admin. 03/13/18 10:29 PM
New in the Gallery:
Housebilding DIY wiring
SE cable question
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 4 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Very odd old connector #196952
11/02/10 01:42 PM
11/02/10 01:42 PM
Texas_Ranger  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,416
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?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Very odd old connector [Re: Texas_Ranger] #196956
11/02/10 02:35 PM
11/02/10 02:35 PM
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
If not power, then possibly and antenna conenction for an old radio.

Re: Very odd old connector [Re: Texas_Ranger] #196959
11/02/10 05:01 PM
11/02/10 05:01 PM
SJT  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 241
Turn it clock-wise and the safe will open. False front?
Wild guess.

Re: Very odd old connector [Re: SJT] #196960
11/02/10 06:49 PM
11/02/10 06:49 PM
Texas_Ranger  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,416
Vienna, Austria
The original poster said there are several of them in the living room, spaced 8 feet apart.

Re: Very odd old connector [Re: Texas_Ranger] #196961
11/02/10 07:53 PM
11/02/10 07:53 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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.

Re: Very odd old connector [Re: renosteinke] #196962
11/02/10 09:14 PM
11/02/10 09:14 PM
LarryC  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
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?

Re: Very odd old connector [Re: LarryC] #196966
11/03/10 01:29 AM
11/03/10 01:29 AM
noderaser  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
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?

Last edited by noderaser; 11/03/10 01:29 AM.
Re: Very odd old connector [Re: noderaser] #196979
11/03/10 05:24 PM
11/03/10 05:24 PM
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,265
Fullerton, CA USA

Re: Very odd old connector [Re: electure] #196983
11/03/10 08:36 PM
11/03/10 08:36 PM
Tesla  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
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.

Last edited by Tesla; 11/03/10 08:39 PM.



2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
lil suzi
lil suzi
Posts: 57
Joined: August 2003
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Admin 5
Trumpy 5
Popular Topics(Views)
244,407 Are you busy
181,523 Re: Forum
171,572 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1
(Release build 20180101)
Page Time: 0.017s Queries: 15 (0.003s) Memory: 1.0032 MB (Peak: 1.1744 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2018-03-19 05:10:00 UTC