Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small Classic continental European
not earthed plugs and sockets,  part 1
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Part 1 shows sockets and flat plugs (i.e. having a rectangular base), made of porcelain, steatite, ebonite, Bakelite or a comparable resin. Part 2 shows plugs with a round base.

Unless stated otherwise plugs have the following features in common:
1. Pin diameter of 4 mm and pin spacing of 19 mm.
Pin length is 19 mm ± 0.5 mm
2. Rating, if indicated, of 6 Amp - 250 Volt.


Siemens Schuckertwerke steatite surface socket Siemens Schuckertwerke steatite socket, inside
Flush socket with glass front plate Stotz-Kontakt bakelite flush socket

Unknown Bakelite switched socket Unknown Bakelite switched socket, inside Winkelhaus Bakelite surface mount socket with switch

1, 2
Surface mount, white glazed steatite socket, rated at 10A-250V. Both poles are fused (see green arrow). Fuses existed at least for 2A, 6A and 10A. The advantage of a fused socket that in case of short circuit the consequence are limited to not working appliance(s) connected to the socket, rather than a power failure that concerns the whole house. It was possible - but risky - to replace these simple fuses without switching off electricity.
As an alternative to fused socket, separate porcelain or steatite fuse boxes were used (see page on classic French material). Dating: 1910s.   {RH}
3 Flush mount socket of unknown origin. The wall plate is made of non-translucent white glass. Designs with clear glass existed too. They allowed a nearly uninterrupted look at wallpaper. Glass sockets were typically a luxurious product. Rating is not indicated, but it has two fuses (comparable to image no. 2), each rated a 10A. Dating: 1930s, but glass wall plates were already produced in the 1910s.   {RH}
4 Flush mount socket, rated at 10A-250V, assembled and sold by Stotz-Kontakt, Fabrik elektrotechnische Spezialartikel in Mannheim. The Bakelite wall plate has been produced by Preßstoffwerke H. Römmler in Spremberg (Sachsen), while the steatite body was made by Steatit-Magnesia in Teltow bei Berlin. Probably late 1930s.   {RH}
5, 6
Combined Bakelite single pole light switch and not earthed socket, rated at 6A-250V. It was efficient to combine socket and light switch if a room had a single light source and no more than one socket. It has a remarkable logo, showing birds (parrots?). The only other mark is a Danish certification mark (encircled D), which may indicate that the socket has been made by an, unknown, manufacturer in Denmark. A French 1936-37 catalog of Croissandeau (wholesaler in Orleans) shows a very similar "combinaison" (combination of switch and socket for domestic use), but without a link to its origin.   {YG}
Socket and single pole light switch. Socket is rated at 15A-250V, whereas the switch is rated at 10A. Both porcelain body and Bakelite cast carry the CAW logo, used by Casp. Arn. Winkhaus in Carthausen (Westfalen), but the cast itself has been made by Ernst Bremicker in Kierspe (Westfalen), given the MAPD code 61-S (see MPAD page for details). Dating: 1930s.   {WN}

Unknown ebonite plug Unknown ebonite plug
Unknown ebonite plug, parts

Unknown porcelain plug Unknown porcelain plug
Felmas porcelain plug
Unknown ebonite connector

8 Basic type of plug, made of ebonite. No rating, or indication of manufacturer. Probably German made in 1900s - 1910s.   {WN}
9, 10 An example of a very popular type of plug made in Germany in the 1900s-1930s. Comparable models made of timber have been made before 1900. See also steatite plug nos. 11 and 12. Rating: 6A-250V; no other marks or indication of manufacturer.
To connect wires two ring shaped nuts have to be unscrewed. Nuts are exposed, rather than being hidden in a recess (compare with plug nos. 16, 17 and 20). Only in connectors as no, 14, with recessed contacts, the full length of pins can be inserted to eliminate the risk of touching parts under tension.
11, 12
Black and white glazed steatite plugs that are essentially identical to ebonite plug no. 9/10. The ball shaped ends of pins of nos. 9  and 11 point to an early - 1900s- '10s - model. Dating of plug no. 12: 1920s - '30s.  No rating, no name.   {RH}
13 Black glazed steatite plug with partially recessed nuts to fix wires. The design resembles plug no. 8. Dating 1920s.
Plug has been made by
Gustav Schortmann & Sohn, Fabrik elektrotechnischer Spezial-artikel in Leipzig, who used the trademark FELMAS. The company was in the 1930s one of the German market leaders for plugs and appliance connectors, but after WW II the company badly hit by Soviet Union reparations. There have been made Felmas installation materials, but the successful prewar years were definitely over.   {RH}
14 Ebonite connector that matches with plug no. 9/10. Probably German made in the 1910s-'20s.   {WN}

Unknown steatite plug Thega-Kontakt porcelain plug
Kopp Bakelite plug and connector

Siemen Schuckertwerke porcelain plug
Inventum ebonite connector
Unknown Bakelite plug

15 Basic, porcelain plug. Compared to plug no.13 it has an improved system of wire connection. Manufacturer is unknown. Dating: late 1910s.   {RH}
White glazed steatite plug with an alternative method of wiring, made by Thega-Kontakt in Berlin*. It has a patented system by insering wires through the a hole in the round nuts before screwing down. The drawback of the system is that copper wires will be hardly secured and may tear apart. Dating: late 1920s - early 1930s.   {RH}
A list of Jewish businesses in Berlin shows that Thega-Kontakt was founded in 1923 and confiscated in 1938. Post-War electrotechnical products of Thega-Kontakt are unknown.
17 Bakelite plug and matching connector, made by Heinrich Kopp, Spezialfabrik elektrotechnischer Artikel in Sonneberg (Thüringen). The company was founded in 1927. After WW II large parts of the company were claimed by the Soviet Union for reparations; Heinrich Kopp started again in Oberfranken (northeast Bavaria). From 1956 electro-technical parts are produced in Kahl am Main. Shown plug and connector date back to 1930s.   {WN}
18 Porcelain plug made by Siemens-Schuckertwerke in Berlin. Brass nuts, connected to pin extensions are used to assemble both parts of the plug. Because nuts are directly connected to the pins, they are under tension when the plug is connected to mains. Siemens plug no. 10 (next page) shows an improved model. Dating: late 1910s - early 1920s.  {FS}
19 Ebonite connector with an unusual large grip. Connector no. 2005 is shown in a 1932 catalog of the Dutch company Inventum shows that the large grip offers the possibility to relief cord tension by wrapping around cords.  {WN}
20 Simple Bakelite* model that was a popular model in France, Belgium and Switzerland in the 1930s. No name or marks.   {WN}
* A 1934 catalog shows a similar plug, made of Excellithe, a trademark for Bakelite used by Vynckier Frères & Co. (Ghent, Belgium).

Unknown Bakelite plug Unknown Bakelite connector
Stauch Bakelite plug
Stauch Bakelite connector

Vynckier thermoplastic plug and connector
Unknown white thermoplastic plug and connector
Stucchi thermoplastic plug and connector

Plug and connectors nos. 21 - 27 are successors of the ebonite plug no. 9 and connector no. 14. The original transversely divided housing is replaced by longitudinally division. From 1990 Europlugs (CEE 7/16) became the standard flat plug with 4.0 mm pins for lower power devices that do not need earthing.

21, 22
Bakelite plug and connector that were commonly used in the 1930s and 1940s. The rating of shown specimen is inconsistent: the plug is rated 10A versus 15A for the connector. Similar types are rated at a more usual 6A. Plug and connector have good quality pins and contacts. A previous owner of the connector created an original alternative to a cord grip. The manufacturer of plug and connector is unknown.
23, 24
Plug and connector produced in the 1950s. Due to a shortage of materials, shortly after WW II, pins were made of folded metal sheets rather than using solid pins. Plug and connector have been made by Franz Stauch in Unterrodach (Oberfranken region of Bavaria).
Plug and connector that can be regarded as successors of nos. 23 and 24. The plug has solid, partially split pins.
The VFC logo stands for Vynckier Frères & Co., a Belgian company established in 1937 in Gent. General Electric (US) acquired Vynckier in 1995; the company still makes plugs, sokets and other electro-technical accessories.
26 Low cost plug and connector commonly used in the Netherlands in the 1970s. The safety standard of these types was limited because the plastic housing was quite breakable. The manufacturers name was never shown.
27 The solidity of this Italian design was much better than previous plug and connector. Dating: second half of 1970s - mid 1980s. The AA&G S logo stands for Italian company Aristide, Arturo e Giuseppe Stucchi (founded in 1944 as Electra in Lecco (Lombardia, Italy); in 1950 renamed to A A & G Stucchi). Today the company is globally active in developing products for lighting.

Wooden plug with brass pins
Plug made of vulcanized fibre
Unknown red thermoplastic plug Nameless simple plug

28 Wooden plug (beech?), once painted black. Very early, late 19th century plugs have been made of wood. In the 1920s - '30s, when steatite and Bakelite were commonly used, wooden plugs almost disappeared. At the end of World War II, when resources were scarce, there has been a short lasting revival of wooden plugs. Dating of the shown plug is uncertain. It could be an early 20th plug, because it has brass pins of good quality. Brass pins almost certainly exclude that it is a mid 1940s plug.   {RH}
29 Plug made of vulcanized fibre, a laminated material composed pressed layers cotton rag sheets. The inset shows the typical look of vulcanized fibre, which is 100% cellulose. Vulcan fibre has high tear and tensile strength and a high insulating value. A sizable number of layers offers the possibility to make very stable blocks that can be processed. Dating: possibly 1930s - '40s.   {RH}
30 A small, basic plug rated at  6A-260V, made of red melamine resin. Manufacturer: Heinrich Wiedersprecher in Erndtebrück, Westfalen, Germany. Dating: probably 1970s.   {WN}
31 An unusual, quite minimalistic plug with short pins. Wieger Nieuwenhout has informed me that such plugs have been made in a variety of colours and designs. They have been made of galalithe, a plastic that could made in any colour and were rated at 3A. It was quite popular in France and Belgium. It is unknown for which type of application these small plugs have been made.     {WN}
21st century 'retro-style', Italian galatithe plugs are shown on the CEI 23-50 page.

GEMA 2-pin plug with special pins
Plug with hollow pins
Hollow pins wiyh variable diameter

32 Flat, two-pin plug, rated at 6A - 250V. Pins have a diameter of 4.0 mm and a raised metal strip; see enlarged image of a pin and cross section. The strip is flexible and can be fully pushed in. It assures stable contact with inflexible tube-type socket contacts that were used in some older sockets.
The plug has no mark that can give a clue about the country of origin. The abbreviation GEMA may refer to the German company Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische und Mechanische Apparate. See list of German manufacturers for details.
Indication of dating: the German company existed from 1934 until 1945.
33, 34
Ebonite two-pin plug without any marks or texts. Pin spacing: 19 mm. Partly split pins have a length of 18.5 mm.
Rating, manufacturer and dating are unknown.
The reason to show the plug is the adaptable pin diameter. Pin ends - in the plug housing - have a shaft. A 35 mm long needle, with 1.7 mm diameter (see image 33), can be screwed into shaft. Initially pin diameter remains unchanged: 4.0 mm; see upper pin in image 34. Screwing in the needle another 2 mm widens pin tip diameter to 4.7 mm; see lower pin in image 34.

There are two reasons why an adaptable pin diameter can be useful: (1) to ensure physical touching a socket contact that has a diameter more than 4.0 mm, and (2) firmly locking the plug in a socket with 4.0 to ca. 4.5 mm contacts.

An essentially comparable locking mechanism is used in a modern locking Schuko plug, designed by Kalthoff GmbH, see images 11-14 on uncommon Schuko page.


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part 2