Hi Everyone. New guy here.
I have some vintage light switches that I'd like to find some info on, mainly how old they are.
The first 2 photos are push button switches made by Diamond "H". These are by far the nicest light switch I have ever seen. The quality of the spring action, detail in the buttons and the patina on the plate is spectacular.
The plates themselves are solid cast brass, not pressed. Several non electrical components are solid brass as well. On the side, there is evidence of a pad printed stamp. Using all 5 of the switches I have, I believe it says:
Pat'd Mar. ? 18?? (possibly 86 or 88)
This lot of switches came from an antique store so I do not know their origin. However. Last year, I bought a collection of push button switches also made by Diamond "H" and these I do know their origin. They came from a house built in 1917. These switches are obviously newer. all the brass parts except internal components are painted steel and the spring action doesn't have the same quality. The patent date stamped on the side is also much later, March 13th, 1910. I figure the switches in the photo would date from 1886-1910 but perhaps someone on here can confirm.
3rd photo is another push button switch. This one came from the same antique store as the previous switches shown but I do not believe it came from the same house. Its made by Perkins electric. When I got it, it was covered in many layers of paint and when I stripped the paint off the buttons, the bakelite became very rough so I wet sanded and polished it. The end result looks beautiful but i lost the "Perkins Electric" insignia that was in the centre of the lower button.
Final 2 photos are surface mounts made by H&H (Hart & Hegeman). Both came from different locations. One a scrap yard, the other I removed myself from the upstairs of a historic building. The switch had mismatched robertson screws and the paint under the switch was the layer below the current coat. I do believe it had been relocated at some point.
Hopefully someone on here can help me date these relics. I have plenty more switches, outlets & wall plates that I'd like to learn more about but I'll save those for another day. These are the ones that have stumped me the most.