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#143763 - 09/05/05 05:54 PM 1904--First Electric plug?  
GeneSF  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 39
Berkeley, California, US
http://www.tecsoc.org/pubs/history/2001/nov8.htm

An interesting story. The lamp-base outlet is still sold in stores to this day.

Matsushita in Japan began business in 1912 making this item. Might explain why Japan adopted flat blade plugs.


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#143764 - 09/05/05 09:44 PM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
aussie240  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Interesting article...from the illustration it does look like the plug pins are of round section, rather than flat.
It was common in Australia up until the 1950's to still be powering appliances from a light socket. Often there was only one power point in the house and that was for a fridge. Smaller appliances like radios and shavers were plugged into a light socket by means of a bayonet plug. A bayonet double adaptor was available if the light bulb was required at the same time.

[This message has been edited by aussie240 (edited 09-05-2005).]


#143765 - 09/06/05 12:27 AM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
SvenNYC  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
I wonder if the reason why Japan uses the American style plug is that the Americans probably influenced the country's electrification after World War 2?

Just a thought.

We still are using those plug clusters and other such things to plug appliances into lightbulb fittings. Sold in every hardware store (and a lot of dollar-stores also!).


#143766 - 09/06/05 08:38 AM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,399
Vienna, Austria
Quote
We still are using those plug clusters and other such things to plug appliances into lightbulb fittings. Sold in every hardware store (and a lot of dollar-stores also!).

And that's something that always amazes me! Of course we have had that stuff too, but it disappeared from the stores around 1960! No way you could sell something like that today! I guess it could end the store owner in jail. Haven't even seen an old one really used in my 20 year life... apart from the one I had as a kid and used to power my cassette recorder from the desk lamp (my desk only had one ungrounded socket next to it, one of the few my dad hadn't rewired because they already had PVC wire, so I was pretty glad I had two additional ungrounded sockets...) but even as a 6-year-old I took great care the bulb wouldn't burn the cord!


#143767 - 09/06/05 10:53 AM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
SvenNYC  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
Going off topic here.

Ragnar, you gotta remember that quite a lot of consumer electrical accessories are sold here without any safety agency testing - some of them even have forged certification seals.

I could show you dozens of extension cords, plug clusters, attachment plugs, sockets, etc. that bear no markings at all. Most, if not all, of this stuff is manufactured in - and imported from - People's Republic of China.

Sometimes, also, the quality of the legitimately marked items is so shoddy (socket contacts that grip so loosely that the plug just slips out) that you wonder how they ever got the certification seals. [Linked Image]


#143768 - 09/06/05 11:02 AM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
pauluk  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Quote
from the illustration it does look like the plug pins are of round section, rather than flat.


I think the illustration is showing the prongs edge-on. I'm sure the accompanying patent notes would have specified the shape and size.

Quote
It was common in Australia up until the 1950's to still be powering appliances from a light socket.


Ditto in the U.K. You could get both a bayonet-cap plug to fit directly into the lamp socket, or an adapter to convert from BC to a regular 2-pin 5-amp round-pin socket.

One rather bad consequence of was that the many people who wanted to use an electric iron from a convenient overhead light would often just leave the earth wire hanging.


#143769 - 09/06/05 11:21 AM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
SvenNYC  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
[Linked Image]

Takes two standard plugs plus a lightbulb.

Pullchain switch controls the lightbulb only. These are also sold without the pullchain switch.


#143770 - 09/06/05 06:40 PM Re: 1904--First Electric plug?  
GeneSF  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 39
Berkeley, California, US
Japan really went full speed in technology after 1868 with the restoration of the Emporer.

This link gives an idea:
http://kagakukan.toshiba.co.jp/en/history/1goki/1921lamp.html

They went with 100 Volts, and US style outlets way before WW2.



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