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Exposed K&T?

Posted By: gfretwell

Exposed K&T? - 09/05/11 02:10 AM

We were watching an old 1934 Gable movie and they had a switch on the wall with two wires coming down that looked like K&T but it was a surface run.
Posted By: frenchelectrican

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/05/11 02:20 AM

I haven't see that movie yet but someday I will watch it and I know few very old movies they did use the T&K format and some modern movies they used them for the props { few case a working props }

Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/05/11 02:33 AM


Conductors in 'loom'? Maybe?

Years back, in an old structure that was an American Legion Hall & Offices, the second floor area was all K&T. The surface twist style switches had wooden molding with grooves routed for the conductors. I fondly remember hunting for a fuse box, only to have one of the senior members say 'sonny, it's located in the baseboard right here!' He was 100% right on, two circuits, four fuses block, custom 'box' lined with 1/2" asbestos (the real thing) board with the baseboard neatly mitered to hide it.

Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/05/11 04:50 AM

The movie was "It happened one night" and the scene is the first motel they stayed in, the switch by the door. If I see it again I will get a screen shot.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/05/11 12:22 PM

In Europe this was certainly common practice, even though in finished living areas usually twisted lamp cord was used rather than individual conductors. The latter was commonly used in unfinished and possibly damp areas. The Austrian Parliament is still wired like this to some extent, I saw pictures in a newspaper report about the state of the building (of course this wiring method is confined to the non-public areas, but it was also common in residential basements and the like well into the 1920s). In Germany, exposed wiring on knobs was apparently outlawed in 1910, in other countries it remained in use much longer. The wooden "conduit" trim was commonly used in the UK and Ireland and can still be found in some older buildings (I think I posted pictures of it in a Belfast hostel here a few years ago).

Here are a few example pics I found on a Swedish web site:
Posted By: renosteinke

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/06/11 06:21 PM

Even before knob & tube, ther was electricity.

There were receptacles and switches made for just what you describe- to be set atop surface-run wires. Often these wires would run just under the final plaster coat. maybe an inch apart. Another trick was to run them behind door moldingas and baseboards.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/06/11 09:48 PM

This was strange looking because there were 2 wires, insulated I suppose, running an inch or so apart with a porcelain insulator holding them apart and a round switch below that. I am really mad at myself that I didn't get a screen shot.
Posted By: electure

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/07/11 12:52 AM

Is this the scene?

Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/07/11 02:17 AM

Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/07/11 02:51 AM

Nope, never came upon that method of K&T.
Posted By: sparky

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/11/11 12:38 PM

I have an old K&T meter as office cha cha, two little holes in, two out. This came from an exposed situation one could walk up to.

In fact, much of the first 'wired after it's built'places in New England had exposed K&T

my code book collection only goes back to the 50's, so i'm just guessing that any exposed to physical damage references may not have existed

much of the K&T run back then was in wooden wiremould, but some of it, for instance in grange halls , or manufacturing shops, remained exposed on porcelian knobs or porcelian tubes

my take is the issue was more esthetic than anything else

in fact, the old mill being renovated in Springfield VT had exposed tubes with an I.D. of over 1" for fat copper 3phase conductors , which they just tapped off of into fuse-only museum worthy panels

~S(land code forgot)parky~
Posted By: LarryC

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/11/11 05:52 PM


Any good pictures of the old mill installations?
Posted By: sparky

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/12/11 12:44 PM

I'll see what i can do Larry,

my C-phone does have a camera

it also has a woman's voice to tell me i'm wrong.....

Posted By: Scott35

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/12/11 01:25 PM


We were watching an old 1934 Gable movie and they had a switch on the wall with two wires coming down that looked like K&T but it was a surface run.

I Stumbled across an episode of Hogan's Heroes last night, where Colonel Klink was, once again, nearly being sent to the Russian Front for Combat duty.

During the scenes, when Major Hocksteter (Sp???) was tearing Klink a new one, the Camera angle showed the Entrance Door to Klink's Office.
On the Right side of the Door, is a Surface Mounted "Rocker" Switch (Two Push Buttons; One for "OFF" at the top, One for "ON" at the bottom).
The Switch is connected via exposed, Surface Mounted Wiring, in the form of a Two-Wire twisted pair of Brown Insulated Conductors, possibly #14 Gauge.

The outcome for Klink was typical; Hogan's Sabotage Unit got Klink cleared of the Charges, then made Hocksteter a Hero - which kept Klink away from the Sub-Zero Frontline gig; and all was happy once again.

-- Scott
Posted By: harold endean

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/12/11 01:37 PM

I think I have seen that K & T wiring on M*A*S*H years ago. I will have to look for an old episode.

I have also seen K & T wiring placed in a wood molding that ran down alongside the door frame and the wire was laid inside of it. Then it would pop out and on to a switch that was surface mounted.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Exposed K&T? - 09/12/11 08:13 PM

The twisted exposed wiring was pretty common back in the day.
This example is still live (230V) and used pretty much daily (light switch for an enclosed porch).
[Linked Image]

Blends right in with the door frame, doesn't it?

The wooden wiremold seems to have been more of a UK/Ireland thing, sometimes it can still be found, such as in the Belfast Hostel Paddy's Palace in 2008:
[Linked Image]
As you can see, the electricians didn't want to touch the plaster crown moulding and just ran the individual conductors exposed.
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