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Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 5
c300g Offline OP
New Member
Hi Everyone. I'm Brian.
I just joined ECN this week so I'm posting my introduction.
I have a quirky and unusual hobby that brings me here. I collect vintage light switches, receptacles and the wall plates that go with them. With it being such an unusual hobby, there is very little info on the net. Almost all info I have found came from this forum so I finally decided to join. I've been reading some of the articles, mostly in the nostalgia section and there is a lot of neat stuff! I think I'm really going to enjoy it here.

Heres my story on how this hobby began.
When I was little and visited my grandmothers 1958 bungalow, I was exposed to plenty of old outdated things. some things were the same as what i was used to at home but other things were similar but very different. these things fascinated me from a young age.
I always thought the light switches were neat. the big, bulky leviton toggle switch molded in the rich brown plastic was very different to the petite beige switches still found at home depot today. when turned on/off, these switches made a loud "click", the distinctive sound of a "quick break" switch. I dont know exactly why I was so fascinated with them but i remember repeatedly turning them on & off driving my grandmother crazy!
over the years, i matured and moved on to bigger and better things. when i was around 12, my grandmother redecorated the living room/dining room/front hall & entrance. she had my dad and i help her out. one of the things she had me do was replace most of the old light switches which had been painted over several times for the most part. for the heck of it, i threw them in my tool box. i kept them in my dresser for years thinking what to do with them.
then several years later, i must have been at least 14, i stumbled upon an abandoned farmhouse, garage & barn. i walked around the property admiring the old building and ended up checking out inside the garage. scattered across the floor, i found tons of vintage switch & plug covers dating from the 1930s-1960s. the patterns on them were beautiful and very different from what i had seen before so i brought them home with me. at that point, i decided i wanted to make a display and paired them up with the switches i had from my grandmothers house. I eventually mounted them all to a piece of barnboard and have been expanding the display ever since.
my interest in old plugs came from visiting my grandmothers house as well. every Christmas, i would set up her lionel train set around the tree. the receptacle that i plugged the transformer into was very different, it had only 2 prongs, was not polarized and was sort of ornate! one christmas, i damaged the train and in trying to figure out the problem, my grandmother purchased a new transformer. the new transformer had a polarized plug and would not work on the old receptacle. she had me install a new one for her. i decided to grab it and put it with the switches i had. eventually, it would find a home in my display.

Anyways. Thats my story. Hopefully it will be ok for me to stick around here. Anything and everything I post of course will be relevant.


Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
Likes: 1

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 794
Likes: 3
Speaking of antique outlets, turns out we had a 3 prong grounded pattern that turns out to be the pattern they use in Australia:
[Linked Image from] [Linked Image from]
Problem was that you couldn't plug a regular 2 prong plug into these.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,381
Likes: 7
Welcome to ECN.

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 5
c300g Offline OP
New Member
thanks everyone for your warm welcomes.
i really like that outlet you shared wa2ise. wish they still made them like that.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,928
Likes: 34
I saw those crow foot receptacles in New Zealand, I imagine Mike (Trumpy) could send you some or I bet they are on the interweb

[Linked Image from]

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 827
Likes: 1
Welcome Brian!

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
Welcome aboard Brian. Interning hobby you have there

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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