Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small Italy
Heavy duty plugs and sockets
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BTicino offers a 10A three-phase type in its Magic* series. The Magic series has been introduced in the 1960s, but is phasing out after the turn of the century. In workshops nowadays IEC 60309 plugs and sockets are commonly used in Italy.
Another Italian company, VIMAR has developed a 20A, 250V plug and socket that has the characteristics of the Italian CEI 23-50 standard.
Finally, some classic Italian three-phase plugs and sockets are displayed.

* find more about BTicino Magic series on the page about Uncommon Italian plugs and sockets
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Bticino Magic 20A socket Bticino Magic 10A 3-phase socket Bticino Magic 10A 3-phase water resistant socket Bticino logo


Bticino Magic 20A plug Bticino Magic 10A 3-phase plug Bticino Magic 10A 3-phase plug Bticino Magic 10A 3-phase plug

1, 4 BTicino Magic series 20A, 250V single phase socket and plug.
The heavy duty models shown here (nos. 1-7) are larger than the other variants. Inner dimensions of the 20A and three-phase sockets are 30.1 x 10.5 mm, versus 24.9 x 8.7 mm for the 10A and 16A sockets.
The socket is closed by a safety lid (bearing the word ‘’Magic’’ on it, or 3x10) which can be opened only with an even pressure on its surface by an appropriate plug. The plug is energized only when it is inserted fully into the socket.
2, 3 Three-phase sockets rated for 10A, 380V (four contacts: 3P* + earth; *P = either L1, L2 or L3).
Example
no.2 is a flush fitting model; no. 3 is mounted in a water-resistant housing with cover.
5 - 7 Three-phase, 4 pin, 10A, 380V plug. Because three-phase Magic plugs are rarely used nowadays, finding such devices proved to be difficult. The museum is grateful to the BTichino Company for donating a plug and socket.   {MT}

 

VIMAR 20A socket VIMAR 20A plug    

8, 9 VIMAR, single phase 20A, 250V plug and socket. 20A and 16A plugs differ with respect to power pin diameter. 20A plugs have 6 mm pins, rather than 5 mm for 16A plugs. However, the spacing between pins is identical for 16 and 20A plugs. Because of different pin diameters, 20A plugs don't fit in 16A sockets, but 16A plugs can be used in 20A sockets.   {WeO}

 

Classic Italian three-phase plugs and sockets

Bakelite plugs and sockets shown below were made before 1950s when 220 Volt three-phase power was common (in homes 127V between line and neutral). Subsequently, when Italy switched to 380 / 220 Volt, plugs had a rubber housing and porcelain contact base.

Obsolete Italian 3-phase connector Obsolete Italian 3-phase connector, dimensions Obsolete Italian 3-phase 3-pin plug Obsolete Italian 3-phase 3-pin plug
       
Obsolete Italian 3-phase socket Obsolete Italian 3-phase 4-pin plug Obsolete Italian 3-phase 4-pin plug

10 Connector plug rated at 15A - 250V. This model has only three contacts (phase 1, 2 and 3) which are positioned in an equidistant triangular position (see dimensions in figure at right). A neutral contact can be omitted when a balanced load is assured, for example in case of powering a three-phase electric motor. Brand name of nos. 10 and 11: VETO*.   {FF}
Note that similar 3-pin plugs and connectors have been made by the Belgian company Vynckier Frères Co. (link).
11, 12 Three-pin 15A - 250V plugs. Image no. 12 shows a model that dates back to the 1930s. Wires had to be fixed externally by nuts at the base of the contact pins (see green arrow). Additional insulation was provided by a piece of waxed cardboard.   {FF}
13 Socket, rated at 15A - 250V, with a centrally positioned neutral contact. A corresponding 4-pin plugs is not in the collection. The three line contacts have the same spacing as connector no. 10. Brand name is unknown, but the socket shows a logo with  A and C.   {FF}
14, 15 Four-pin plug rated at 15A - 250V. Three pins have a diameter of 5 mm; the longer pin, presumably protective earth, is 6 mm in diameter.   {FF}
 

 
The brand name VETO has been used by an Italian company founded in the first half of the 20st century. In the 1960s production sites for electrical accessories were opened in India and Ecuador. In Italy production moved to other electro-technical sectors in the 1980s. VETO in India and Ecuador still produces plugs and sockets. The two companies are now independent of each other and their Italian roots, but they still use Italian style VETO logos.

 


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