Screw You

SDC10824 SDC10822

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.

Double socket

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.

CFL Bulb

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.

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8 thoughts on “Screw You

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    I remember those. Be careful with the cf bulbs. Mercury. I still use incandescent when I can find them. You aren’t older than dirt. You will be around for a long long time.

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  2. I thought at first it was a fuse (the photo makes it look smaller than it really is). We had lots of fuses because they kept getting blown every other day. I think my Dad had a screw plug in his office off the garage, but I don’t recall ever using one inside the house itself.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      I took another photo of the top, hoping to show the plug-in slots, but my photographic abilities, and probably my Kodak Brownie digital camera are not as good as someone I know. It turned out so dark that you can’t see slots, or much of anything else. *

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    I can still remember when we got our first telephone. It was a magical feeling to be instantly connected to the rest of the world. I could call “time and temperature” for free!

    Initially, ours was a “party line”. If you can remember those, maybe you really are competing with dirt for age. 😀

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Our first phone, when I was 7, in 1951, was a party line. Our phone number was 98M, and our yakky neighbors down the street were 98J. About 1956, Bell Canada offered us a private line. The 98M number, and the ‘Number Please’ operator remained.
      About 1961 we were given a rotary-dial set, the hand-piece of which weighed about the same as a steam iron. We got a 7-digit number, with no exchange name (Capital 5-1234) How do you write a capital 5? and ‘operator’ became ‘information.’ But if you wanted time or temperature, you looked at a clock, or out the window. 😆

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  4. BrainRants says:

    I’ve got about fifteen of those things, and three of the dual-use. They’re particularly great at Christmastime.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      I thought that they’d pretty much gone extinct, and I had the last one in captivity. Fortunately, Christmas lights have gone low-voltage, so that the Fire Marshall won’t have to explain why it wasn’t a good idea to plug all 8 strings into the same outlet. 😆

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