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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 12th Sep 2019, 7:32 pm   #181
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

The fact that ring mains require less cable may have been a factor. Post-war austerity and balance of payments isses meant that efforts were made to minimise the need for imported goods, for example by requiring new houses to have flat roofs and solid floors to reduce the amount of imported timber required. Ring mains would have reduced the amount of imported copper needed in the post-war house building programs.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 5:38 pm   #182
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The fact that ring mains require less cable may have been a factor. Post-war austerity and balance of payments isses meant that efforts were made to minimise the need for imported goods, for example by requiring new houses to have flat roofs and solid floors to reduce the amount of imported timber required. Ring mains would have reduced the amount of imported copper needed in the post-war house building programs.
That's exactly the same reason I understood for doing it that way. Dave, USradcoll1
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Old 2nd Mar 2020, 9:28 pm   #183
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

Found recently a GEC round pin plug. Not seen one of these before!
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Old 2nd Mar 2020, 10:35 pm   #184
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

I have recently inherited a number of appliances from my parents with old but maybe not vintage plugs. These are current pattern 13A (BS1363) but without shrouded pins. Is it worth me keeping and photographing these?
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Old 2nd Mar 2020, 11:43 pm   #185
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

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I have recently inherited a number of appliances from my parents with old but maybe not vintage plugs. These are current pattern 13A (BS1363) but without shrouded pins. Is it worth me keeping and photographing these?
They are still safe to use.
The two main reasons I see for shrouded pins was to stop naughty kids at school putting a coin between the pins or someone who can't be bothered to find a screwdriver wrapping bare wires around the pins to power something that has not got a plug fitted.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 3:50 pm   #186
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Msg for Tom Williams. I am living in France but moved here from New Zealand. In the process of changing ALL my appliances and tools to the French system I have a collection of NZ plugs which are scattered around the place. Some may well have gone to the déchetterie (tip) but any that are remaining you are welcome to. I travel regularly to Raglan so not too far from Hereford. Let me know if you are interested.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 9:12 pm   #187
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

Wow - two years since I last contributed here. Oops! Couldn't resist a good plug collection post though.

This is just a small selection of a (shamefully) large selection. Apologies they're cropped and collaged, it's how I had to present them in another forum:

WG 5a Bakelite
Perma 13a Orange, Courage Breweries branded (my personal favourite)
GEC 13a Ivory Bakelite
MK 13a SafetyPlug, BBC branded (black sheath pins)
MK 13a SafetyPlug, Moprhy Richards branded (white sheath pins)
MK 13a SafetyPlug, Granada branded (black sheath pins I think)
W&G 13a Nylon type, Electra Branded (East Mids Electric showrooms)

I could show more but I think the others in my collection have already been covered by others in the thread - Rock, MK Bakelite type, Ashley etc etc.

I think I have about 25 individual types but still missing plenty (also trying to come up with a compact, tidy way of displaying them all)
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 6:07 am   #188
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I think I have about 25 individual types but still missing plenty (also trying to come up with a compact, tidy way of displaying them all)
Wire them onto bits of test gear, etc that you use and have them plugged into multi-way distribution boards over your workbench.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 4:54 pm   #189
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Quote:
also trying to come up with a compact, tidy way of displaying them all
Some really cheap extension blocks, 8 way are available for a few quid.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 3:41 pm   #190
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REF #109-Representing a UK electrical accessory company's interests, I was on a BSI accessories work group around the time it became mandatory for all electrical products sold in the UK to be fitted with fused UK 13A plugs. I witnessed many laboratory demonstrations of how the slender and overloaded continental supply leads with moulded-on 2 pin unfused plugs could cause fire damage. Some of the material was made public and dressed up as a serious safety issue, but that was certainly not the main reason discussed outside the committee room. It was naked, commercial, self interest. A standard Europlug could have put some small UK electrical companies out of business and badly dented the profitability of others. All of our BStandards at that time started off on world-wide International Standards committees, then got passed down the committee chain to be slightly modified by European Standards committees who had them rubber stamped by all European members as individual country standards, including BStandards. Moulded on continental 2 pin plugs were very cheap to manufacture and available, along with massive ranges of attendant sockets, from many large continental plug suppliers. Although there seemed to be a lot of different European plug designs around at that time, many of them would fit into each others sockets and there was some enthusiasm for the move. The European plan was to agree one unfused moulded-on 2 pin Europlug design which would then be adopted as a mandatory fitting by all European countries, including the UK. To help preserve the massive UK plug and socket business, there was considerable very high level political manoeuvring which resulted in the UK fused 13A plug being hastily built into UK law and into (BSI) Wiring Standards. Since then, by law, all electrical products sold in the UK have to be pre-fitted with a correctly fused UK 13 plug. Politics aside, I still believe it was the right thing to do. pete
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 3:58 pm   #191
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Very interesting. After MK introduced their original design of 13A socket where the shutter ls not opened by the earth pin, but by the simultaneous insertion of both live pins, it was found that this design allowed a compliant-pin europlug to be plugged in directly (without the use of a screwdriver!). They then produced the current design where the shutter has two recesses that engage the pins of a europlug to prevent the shutter from rotating to the open position. I still have a couple of examples of the original design in use, but don't use europlugs with them!
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 4:22 pm   #192
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The European plan was to agree one unfused moulded-on 2 pin Europlug design which would then be adopted as a mandatory fitting by all European countries, including the UK.
I remember hearing about that back in the 1970s. Commercial interests aside, how on earth (pun, ha-ha) would that ever have been possible with the standard UK ring-main system? Unless the intention was that all existing installations would be replaced with European-style radial systems - kicking off a revolution in the UK.

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Old 5th Aug 2020, 5:16 pm   #193
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As an aside, the specific compatibility issue here is between installation circuits rated to protect the plug and appliance flex, e.g. the 16A radials popular in mainland Europe, vs. circuits of higher rating that require fused plugs e.g. 32A circuits used in the UK, typified by rings but increasingly these days 32A radials. The radial-vs-ring is a historically related but separate debate.

I took a deep interest in this when the prospect of a new standard resurfaced in the 1980s, that resulted in IEC 60906-1. This rather good but unpopular 3-pin plug, of which 10, 16 and 20A derivatives are used in Brazil and South Africa today, was a potential magic bullet from the IEC that unfortunately missed its target. My approach for retrospective compatibility in the UK was to equip sockets with MCBs in place of switches, so that a standard unfused 16A plug and flex would be protected on a 32A circuit. By protecting a double socket overall at 16A, heavy point loadings on rings could also be avoided. A further advantage was interlocking, whereby the MCB could only be engaged once a correctly-fitting plug was inserted and would trip as soon as an attempt was made to remove it. Yet another advantage was to provide selectable In values for the thermal trip region of the MCB curve when differently-keyed plugs were engaged. If this is beginning to sound like a patent application, I didn't quite get that far! Somewhere I probably still have my mock-ups / prototype.

Anyway, returning to Carnivalpete's observations, this is an interesting viewpoint that adds depth to the situation. However, I do think that compelling suppliers to provide a fitted BS1363 plug (i.e. one suitable for the most widely used socket) was a significant advance. Our legacy of incompatible sockets in the UK had been a lingering excuse to sell appliances with bare-ended flex, resulting in ham-fisted plug-fitting attempts by purchasers.

In the early days of the EAW89 regs and the beginning of widespread periodic ISITEE (aka PAT) I was undertaking surveys of equipment inventories to develop a procedure for testing large local authority sites for the first time. Without a doubt, the most prevalent single defect associated with portable appliances at the time was incorrectly and badly wired plugs, resulting in open-circuit earth connections, imminent short-circuits, exposed live conductors etc. I am of the opinion that had fitted plugs been mandatory for the preceding decade, and in turn had moulded BS1363 plugs been more rapidly adopted, >25% of the hazards identified could have been prevented.

Europlug was a widely-compatible problem solver for using Class II appliances up to 2.5A in any locale with 4-4.8mm pins on 19mm centres. It was designed to be compatible and make satisfactory contact even with 'rogue' and legacy sockets that did not meet current standards anywhere. Had we gone down the IEC 60906-1 route, we could have used them too.That would have avoided the horrendous glut of dangerous unfused, unguarded BS1363-to-19mm centres adaptors that we see today amongst grey imports.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 6:00 pm   #194
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REF: #192 - Although sitting in on an accessories working group at that time my main occupation was with mcb development. I was therefore obviously aware that, although wiring systems take some years to replace, the inevitable eventual change over to radial circuits in the UK would have lead to far larger sales of mcb's. Unfortunately at that time the UK was well behind the curve on this and once again European manufacturers were rubbing their hands with glee at the prospects of all that new circuit breaker business. Happily they did not get their way, but it's an eye opener how much politics and hard nosed business influences what appear on the surface to be rather dull technical committees. pete
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 11:52 pm   #195
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

I have a small collection of these Electrak "push and turn" plugs.

They now come under the Legrand umbrella and are sold as a specialist item for IT and EPOS related purposes, but I first encountered them in about 1984, when the Bonded Warehouse on the Granada TV site in Manchester was being fitted out, and a decision was made to exclusively use twin gang Elecrak outlets throughout.

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Now this was odd, the Bonded Warehouse was not an operational or technical part of the station, it was Corporate Hospitality and office space, and the most technologically advanced item you would find in those offices was an electric typewriter.

I was told it was the future, and they would eventually replace the BS1363 socket everywhere. I also seem to remember they were rated at 18A but maybe I'm wrong about that.

You didn't need to be Sherlock Holmes (The Baker St set was just outside) to predict the outcome. Every single piece of equipment had to have an adaptor lead with a BS1363 trailing socket made up by the site electricians.
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Old 7th Aug 2020, 1:51 pm   #196
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

Plugs like this have been used on POS equipment and other shop floor equipment, possibly for use with an uninterruptible power supply.
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Old 7th Aug 2020, 2:31 pm   #197
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

I'm familiar with the Elektrak-type plugs being used to feed 'sustained luminaires' [emergency-lights to most people) - the sustained lighting being powered from a separate circuit. The 'odd' plugs stopped anything else being conected to the secure circuit.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 5:48 pm   #198
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Just stumbled across this thread. I can’t believe other folk find this stuff interesting too.

When i was little in the late fifties early sixties my first task when visiting a house with family was to investigate a houses electric sockets! Every house was different back then. I clearly remember my grandparents had a two pin 15 amp socket in their lounge, they also had a drawer full of old electric plugs and sockets. Needless to say i am now 62 and never throw away an interesting plug. Or charger for that matter. I have a drawer full of continental, US and australian mains leads, kept - just in case. Also have a ton of audio, video, telephone and aerial cables....

Crazy, but clearly i am not alone!
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Old 11th Aug 2020, 9:30 am   #199
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Default Re: Any other plug collectors out there?

Very glad you've found us, Patrick.

No, you are definitely not alone - and not crazy either!

There are a lot of us about
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Old 12th Aug 2020, 5:25 pm   #200
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Just stumbled across this thread. I can’t believe other folk find this stuff interesting too.

When i was little in the late fifties early sixties my first task when visiting a house with family was to investigate a houses electric sockets! Every house was different back then. I clearly remember my grandparents had a two pin 15 amp socket in their lounge, they also had a drawer full of old electric plugs and sockets. Needless to say i am now 62 and never throw away an interesting plug. Or charger for that matter. I have a drawer full of continental, US and australian mains leads, kept - just in case. Also have a ton of audio, video, telephone and aerial cables....

Crazy, but clearly i am not alone!
I'm 75 now, but when I was young, I had the same interest, plugs and sockets. The neighbors used to say that I was crazy, scoping out the electrical sockets and plugs, lighting fixtures, ETC.
My Mother said that the same people that said that were the first ones that called me to repair their radio or TV, when I got older. Later on, I served an apprenticeship as an industrial electrician, so something good came of it.
Cheers from USradcoll1
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