I came over to see the home my parents had purchased and the ouside receptacle looked burnt. I checked it out later and found that it had indeed been on fire. I looked around and noticed the patio light was wired in a unique way. I then noticed how insane everything in the patio was wired and turned off the power and ripped everything out. This 18g lamp cord run ran from a 15a receptacle, to the patio light, split at the junction with exposed wirenuts, then to a 20a recptacle, a 150w yard light, and another outside, 20a receptacle with each junction being by exposed wirenuts. Both receptacles had been burnt, the outside one had melted pretty severly.
I then did an exhaustive inspection of the rest of their home and found some equally dangerous firetraps. So, I get to rewire everything, because you wouldn't believe me if I told you the rest of what I found O.O
I'm trying to make out how the mounting strap deal works on the baseboard outlet. I've never seen anything like that before! Monowatt, Gem, Academy, and Rodale made these things as well.. They seem to be common in turn of the century houses around here where there's maybe one outlet per room, fed by 16/2 zip stapled (and usually loaded with about 10 coats of paint) along the baseboard to another outlet.
Clearly a previous homeowner knew just enough to get himself in trouble.
Going down memory lane. The 'outlet' device had a backplate that was mounted to the surface (baseboard) with one or two flathead slotted wood screws.
They came off real easy witha claw hammer, and the many coats of paint flew all over the place.
There were some real interesting methods of tapping into the building wiring of the one real outlet. I remember quite a few bent device plates. The zip cord thru the walls was funny to, as the methods to get around a doorway.
That was what you expected to see in the 50s. I have seen those triple taps that screw to the wall and an assortment of other similar devices. I am not sure when the NEC started requiring minimum outlet spacing but one per room was very common in the post WWII housing boom so people were making up for it with these devices. Unfortunately they were typically run with 18ga zip cord but occasionally you saw "heavy duty" 16 ga cord. The only thing that saved us was the usual load was a lamp and maybe a radio or TV.