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Last ate: 26 April There are currently 15 types of electrical outlet plugs in use today, each of which has been assigned a letter by the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration ITA , starting with A and moving through the alphabet. Click here for a global map showing the spread of the different plug types used around the world. Click here for a detailed list of the countries of the world with their respective plug and outlet types, voltage and frequency. Find out more or adjust your settings. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible.

Of course, bulbs from one system would not fit the sockets of any other system and, while every company claimed their method was superior, their motive for exclusivity was arguably to keep their customers captive. That year the industry decided to settle on the Edison screw base as their standard and to gradually phase out the other systems.

Sockets to fit the non-Edison systems continued to be manufactured for another 3 or 4 years, but by they had pretty much been obsoleted. We mention this bit of history because occasionally you will come upon sockets with these odd receptacles.

As one might expect, they are quite common among the s Lange-style sockets, but only rarely found on the later Tournier types. The Thompson-Houston version is the one most often encountered today because it could be fitted with a simple adaptor to accept an Edison bulb.

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This contributed to its survival, while all of the others eventually had to be replaced and were usually discarded as useless. Like their predecessors, the earliest versions of the Tournier socket had no full insulating liner and relied on the two screws and a fiber sleeve around the front of the screw thread to separate the body from the shell and prevent electrical shorts.

An alternative design replaced the fiber sleeve with a removable hard rubber collar that screwed onto the screw thread.

Both of these styles lacked the circular mica insulator under the central contact. As early ashowever, concerns about electrical safety led the NBFU to recommend adding the mica disk and a full insulating liner to both the shell tube and cap, and over the next few years these measures were gradually phased in. Small improvements to the Tournier configuration continued to be made all through the decade of the s and there are many minor variations in shell shape and length.

It should also be noted that, during this period, several other socket styles were also in general use-especially the keyless Acorn and Electrolier varieties.

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Inthe Perkins Co. Thus it is not uncommon to find a Perkins body in a Bryant Tournier shell and vice versa, and both seeming mismatches are legitimate. InBryant changed the shape of both the Perkins and Bryant switch paddles to a straight rectangle, doing away with the arched top and curved lettering. GE continued to use their curved version until about Through the decade of the s, the Lange 2-screw system of shell joinery remained the market standard, although it increasingly came to be perceived as both too expensive to manufacture and too troublesome to install.

Dating electrical plugs

None of these attempts, however, worked very well and they were all fairly short-lived. This new configuration featured a ring of 20 louvered slots around the top of the brass shell tube and a corresponding ring of perforations around the inside of the cap rim. This allowed the two parts to be securely joined by simply pushiing the tube into the cap and snapping it in place, a method that greatly facilitated the job of installing sockets inside husks.

In addition, the 20 louvers permitted the socket tube to be locked in 20 different positions, eliminating the need to secure the cap at just the right angle so that the paddle would be pointing in the right direction.

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The earliest versions of the New Wrinkle socket left the rectangular slots around the rim of the cap exposed on the outside, but this was quickly deemed unsightly and within a year they added on a metal collar to hide the slots. Many continued to offer their Lange-type sockets for a few more years, but by they had pretty much disappeared from the market.

The next significant change in socket design came around with the introduction of the UNO fitter. Prior to that time, all louvered sockets still followed the old Lange design of including a raised bead around the bottom of the tube to strengthen it.

Shade fitters were added to the socket by means of a complicated little screw clamp that was mounted over this bead.

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InBryant came up with the idea of replacing the bead on the socket tube with a ring of fine threads that would accept accept their new screw-on "UNO" shade fitter. From on, all of the other manufacturers adopted the UNO threaded tube and began to phase out their beaded version as redundant. By all the major producers had also replaced their block letter script on the paddle with a more decorative logo. The technical developments we have outlined so far apply to switchless sockets as well as to the rotary switch "paddle" types.

Pull chain sockets evolved from a totally separate source. The first pull-chain socket was introduced in by Harvey Hubbell, who was trying to address a serious shortcoming of the keyed socket. Keyed sockets often had to be installed in hidden locations such as inside a dome shadewhich made accessing the switch paddle difficult. Impatient consumers often wound up groping around inside the shade, a careless practice that could result in an electric shock.

The tuna line protected the user from shocks, but it was found to wear out and break too easily, so Hubbell went back to the drawing board.

In he patented an improved version now with the wider Tournier-type shell that accomplished the insulation internally and allowed him to use a stronger brass ball chain pull.

Type A plugs are still very common because they are compatible with type B (three-prong) sockets. In Pakistan Type A plug is used with hybrid socket, for home and small offices. Initially, the plug's prongs and the socket's slots were the same height, so the plug . SOCKET TUTORIAL. The years between to witnessed a rapid growth in the use of electric light and with it significant improvements in the design of light sockets. An understanding of what these changes were and when they occurred provides a valuable tool for dating early electric lamps. Standard flat blade plug and connector made of ebonite, a vulcanized natural rubber. A relative high sulfur content and prolonged times of vulcanizing results in a solid product. Manufacturer: Arrow Electrical Wiring Devices. Dating: ca. s. {ChR} As many older North American devices the connector shows two different amperage and voltage.

Hubbell jealously guarded his patent and, for the first few years at least, granted no licenses. Around pull-chain sockets began to appear in the catalogs of other manufacturers- with Hubbell's acorn pull, but they were apparently not as well received since they are rarely seen today. While the pull-chain socket was a big convenience for consumers, Hubbel's design represented a big headache for lighting manufacturers.

The attached chain guide and the need to feed the chain through it during assembly made for a difficult and frustrating operation.

Old Electrical Wiring Types Photo guide to types of Electrical Wiring in Older buildings. We illustrate a variety of types of electrical wiring found in older buildings. While varying somewhat by area of the country in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and other areas, there are recognizable generations of electrical wiring (KNOB & TUBE, greenfield, armored cable or BX wiring, plastic or NM.

All help greatly appreciated! Karen Thanks, Karen. Message 1 of Re: Electric plugs become polarised when? It's a little hard to tell from your photo, but that doesn't appear to be a polarized plug.

Apr 26, Plug & socket types around the world. There are currently 15 types of electrical outlet plugs in use today, each of which has been assigned a letter by the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA), starting with A and moving through the alphabet. Find electrical plugs & connectors at Lowe's today. Shop electrical plugs & connectors and a variety of electrical products online at tiendakiteboarding.com Plugs. Sometimes plugs can help date an appliance, but of course they were often reused and replaced. D&S round pin 13A plugs/sockets, where the live pin is a fuse: s on, some still in use in the s.

It does look like a hardware-store replacement plug, though. There should be a rectangular fibre insulator cover over the exposed screws on the plug. The cord itself looks original, from its age and coloring.

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The polarity of the cord is indicated by its longitudinal ribbing on one conductor where the other one is smooth, but while that was molded onto cords for decades and still ispolarized plugs were a later innovation. In short, I don't see anything on the lamp that appears to be newer than the lamp. Message 2 of Thanks so much! It's not a polarized plug, sorry about the photo. Interesting about it being replaced. The insulator cover is missing, is that dangerous?

I'm assuming that I should date this lamp somewhere between and late 's? Thanks again for your help and sorry about all the additional questions, Karen PS I have some other lamps to list also, do you happen to know when bakelite plugs were used?

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Thanks, Karen. Message 3 of Not really. You can only touch the exposed innards when it's unplugged, after all.


I think that's a fair guess, yes. Those may go waaaay back - early s. I think if you're trying to reliably date a piece, the plug alone will not be of much help, as they were as common as dirt, and whenever one needed replacing, its replacement could just as well have been an older one as a newer one.

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All that aside, the appeal of any given lamp is in its design rather than its exact age with some exceptionsso while it's good to guesstimate the era, and to be clear on what parts are new and what might need repair, I wouldn't get too concerned over whether it's from, say, vs. Message 4 of I believe the polarized plug was introduced in the US around the mid 's.

Message 5 of Thanks again for the help - you have a wealth of information! This is the lamp with the bakelite plug. I have a pair of these and I think that they're depression glass with a marble and walnut base and only 10" tall.

I'm guessingand maybe with a glass shade originally. I respect your opinion so if you don't mind answering another question - What do you think? Message 6 of Here's another odd thing. I thought these were a pair until I put them side by side. Do you think one had it's metal parts replaced? Message 7 of I take it that you're referring to their difference in heights?

You'd have to measure each segment with a rule to see where the height difference is creeping in, but I'm going to hazard a guess here that the wooden pedestals might be home-made replacements.

Construction of the lamps themselves is probably one long metal core or threaded nipple stock threaded tubingrunning from the wooden base all the way up to the lower metal collar of the socket, where it's either screwed in, locked in with a set screw which seems to be visible in profile on the lamp on the rightor both.

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Message 8 of I measured and the difference is only in the socket. One is 2. The sockets actually look different also. It does look in the photo that there are other differences but everything else matches up.

I thought that the wood bases might be homemade also but I can't really tell, they're nicely done.

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How did you come to know so much about lamps? Thanks again! Message 9 of Oh, yes, there ya go. One's a replacement. Most likely some nitwit put a watt bulb in the original socket and cooked it, so a replacement was installed. They're largely comprised of all the same hardware, which hasn't changed in literally decades, so after you've taken a few of them apart, done some rewiring or socket replacements, you pretty much know all there is to know about them.

They're never unrepairable, in other words; any part you need is commonly available. Message 10 of Lol, well I've taken some apart also, but you seem to know much more than I do.

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I've been putting off listing, but my house is getting too crowded! Message 11 of Mar 23, AM. Why do people feel such a need to speak when they do not know what they are talking about?

That is the inherent danger with these "community information" boards. The Wikipedia entry on this is authoritative and referenced to known dependable sources. According to this article, polarization of plugs began in the s and non polarized plugs were forbidden in USA products in

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