This is another in the series of ‘Old Shit I Own.’ Do any of you know what this thing is, or what it was used for? It’s another piece of long-lost memorabilia I discovered in the protracted Autumn Housecleaning.
The younger ones in my readership may find this hard to believe but, there was a time, not that long ago, when homes were not provided with numerous electrical outlets – or power points, or even wireless recharging of all those indispensible electronic gadgets.
This is a screw plug. It was used in rooms of homes where there might not be even one wall-socket electrical outlet. You unscrewed the light bulb from an overhead fixture, screwed this in instead, and had a place to plug in things like my Mother’s washing machine, which rolled out to the middle of the room on little wheels.
The problem then was, all work had to be done during the day, or the room would be dark. That problem was quickly solved by the development of the above little gadget. You could screw the bulb back in to see what you were doing, and insert the socket on the other side of the Y. I used one of them for a while, until I managed to install a light fixture over my basement workbench.
I know I am truly older than dirt, and born and raised out on the frontiers of the universe. I was too young to do so, but I have seen people using telephones which were a big box on the wall, with a speaking funnel on the front, and an earpiece dangling from the hang-up hook on one side. You picked up the earpiece and turned a little crank on the other side, which attracted the attention of a real, live, operator.
Edison’s incandescent light bulbs, with an output of 60 watts or more, have been outlawed in Ontario, and replaced with CFL Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, or now the LED style which produces more light and less heat, and save power. The only thing more ancient than incandescent, may be wall sconces with flaming torches – and you can’t plug a radio into one of those.