Hi from memette

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Hi from memette

Postby memette » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:32 pm

Hi, I stumbled across your forum while searching the internet to see if there was anyone else out in the world who has the same interest as me in old electrical installations.

I have been interested in electricity since the age of about three, I remember watching my grandad putting a plug on the record player and wanting to have a go at doing it.
He gave me some old plugs and sockets he had in his bench in the shed, and thats where the interest really started.
As I got older I started to aquire old plugs, sockets and switches from relatives, friends and my dad used to bring bits home from the factory he worked in, my collection grew and so did my interest in early wiring systems, and accessories.
It is now a bit of an obsession of mine, I look round car-boot sales and demolition sites to try to get more items, for a year I worked as an electricians mate so I got things as they were being removed from properties, and took them home.

I havn't found anyone else yet who collects these things, although looking on ebay there appears to be others who bid on old stuff, so I don't think I am alone.
I had a few appliances, mostly fires and fans which I have collected, but a lack of space means I can't take anymore also I was diverting resources away from my main interest which is switchgear and wiring accessories.

I hope I can fit in here, seeing some of your things you have photos of on your website I wish you the best of luck with your projects.
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:25 pm

Re: Hi from memette

Postby Lucien Nunes » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:01 pm

Hello and welcome...

I agree - the world does indeed need more electrical-fittings-collectors. The whole idea of Electrokinetica is to fill in all these specialised fields that very few people understand and appreciate, and so present a comprehensive picture of electrical practice rather than edited highlights. The plug and socket seem, in my experience, to fall into a funny no-man's-land between collectable appliances and desirable buildings; where the appliance connects to the building is of marginal interest in either camp. Plugs are certainly sought after to attach to appliances, but rarely are appliances sought after to attach to plugs!

Between us we can fix this. When we have permanent premises, I hope we'll be able to conceal as much of the modern installation as possible but have a vintage system overlaid. We'll need DC distributed as well as 100V AC, so there will be a comfortable muddle of different gauges and types connected up with as many different wiring systems as we can muster. A bit of Stannos? Earthed concentric mineral? Maybe an area done with knob and tube, to show what was popular across the pond.

Perhaps you can post some pics of your collection, and in time do some writeups of various aspects of installations for the site itself?

Black was always meant to be a phase. The neutral phase.
Lucien Nunes
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:26 am

Re: Hi from memette

Postby memette » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:16 pm

Thanks, I would be willing to help where I can.

As I have recently moved house most of my old switchgear is in storage at the moment, as my new house is much smaller than my old one.
In my old house I used to keep most of my things in the spare bedroom, however in this house I don't have a spare room so I had to put my things in store.

I have some things at home, and when I find them I can post some pictures, here are two to show what I like.
efPIC00464.JPG (51.66 KiB) Viewed 47761 times

This is in the top corner of the room I have my computer set up in, and is all complete with service fuse, 1930's electric meter and switchfuses.

efPIC00221.JPG (73.13 KiB) Viewed 47761 times

This board is in my workshop located at a local farm and it is mostly items I have removed from site but which are damaged or have parts missing.
The large GEC fuseboard was salvaged from a building shortly before it was closed for demolition. It had already been disconnected but was still on the wall as it is heavy, and no-one could be bothered to take it down, but when the wiring was removed the fuses had been thrown away or just lost. I have seen a picture in a book of this board, and the book is dated 1937.

Most of the smaller switchfuses are just slightly damaged in some way or another, and it seemed a shame to throw them away so I just fastened them to the board and put cables from them to make it look more realistic.

Just out of shot in the second picture is a Crompton-Parkinson star-delta starter which I removed from a factory I worked in, the fitters told me it was laid on the floor in a room on the warehouse roof, all I had to do was get it down if I wanted it.
The next time I was on nights I climbed onto the roof by the outside fire-escape ladders (the only way up to it) and tied a rope round it before carrying it on my back all the way to the ground, the warehouse roof is 120 feet above street level!
I have plenty of other switchgear, and as I sort it I will put some pictures up if anyone is interested in seeing them.
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:25 pm

Re: Hi from memette

Postby ppppenguin » Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:49 pm

Welcome to EK.

Here are some photos of abandoned switchgear in the catacombs of Alexandra Palace. I was fortunate enough to be taken on a very unofficial tour. My main interest is early Television. Very few traces of the original 1936 installation can be seen at AP. AFAIK all of this gear is later than 1936,
ap_switchgear3 (Medium).jpg
ap_switchgear3 (Medium).jpg (30.17 KiB) Viewed 47757 times
ap_switchgear2 (Medium).jpg
ap_switchgear2 (Medium).jpg (45.84 KiB) Viewed 47757 times
ap_switchgear1 (Medium).jpg
ap_switchgear1 (Medium).jpg (43.09 KiB) Viewed 47757 times
Jeffrey Borinsky www.borinsky.co.uk
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:22 pm
Location: London

Re: Hi from memette

Postby memette » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:46 pm

Thanks for those pictures, that is exactly the kind of equipment I like.
The switchgear in the top picture looks like 1930's vintage to me, and encased in cast-iron too.
The last picture looks 30's-ish, with the exception of the grey MEM switchfuse, early 80's probably.
It is hard to tell with the middle picture as there appears to have been modifications over time on that, but pyro cable was well in use in the 30's.

I once had an early Philips valve TV set in my collection, until one august when I noticed woodworm beetles in the house. Upon close inspection I found that they had come from the wooden frame inside the TV cabinet, no holes were evident anywhere on the outside of it.
By chance an elderly relation told me of someone who would be interested in it, I was supposed to be getting a large box of switchgear in exchange for the TV, a reel-to-reel tape player, and other valves etc.
He got my things as I needed them out of the way, but I am still waiting for my switchgear in return some 5 years later. Doubt if I will ever see it though, we live and learn.
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:25 pm

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