Outlet, and light in one?

gardeningmomof5January 27, 2013

In our hallway, we have an old brass plate outlet, that can also have a regular light bulb screwed in also. It is about halfway up the wall. What was the purpose of these to be combined? Why not just have another ceiling light or plain outlet to plug in a lamp.

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columbusguy1

At a guess, you don't want a lamp in a hall way, but you need something to see by, so this was easier than an overhead fixture. I've never seen this combination, but that would make sense. Next to my back door in the kitchen is an outlet about 5 feet off the floor, with a switch for the garage circuit...had to have a new brass cover made for it to match the rest of them in the house--all my switches are the old pushbutton ones.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:55AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

I think I remember that way back at the dawn of residential electrical appliances, a few of them used screw-base plugs instead of prongs.
Casey

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:04PM
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gardeningmomof5

The house was built in 1910, did most house by that time have electricity by then?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:04PM
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liriodendron

No, many houses were not electrified until the 30's if they were in small towns or rural areas.

My Civil War Era house was first (partially) done in 1937; more wiring added in 1960, but we still have unelectrified rooms in our house.

We have several old white porcelain fixtures in service rooms with a screw-in socket for a bulb and a single outlet in the base of the fixture.

HTH

L.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:44PM
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liriodendron

No, many houses were not electrified until the 30's if they were in small towns or rural areas.

My Civil War Era house was first (partially) done in 1937; more wiring added in 1960, but we still have unelectrified rooms in our house.

We have several old white porcelain fixtures in service rooms with a screw-in socket for a bulb and a single outlet in the base of the fixture.

HTH

L.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:45PM
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columbusguy1

My house was built in 1908, and electric was put in at different times...the attic and back bedroom have wall-mounted wiring in the metal conduits, the front two bedrooms had lights, but no switches which were added later with the conduit...the downstairs has properly installed switches, but the outlets are a mix, a few mounted in the walls, most are mounted in the floor, as are half the upstairs ones.

The house originally had gas lighting, possibly with electric also as the attic has a combo gas/electric sconce as the only light source, and I found the gas jet for the bath while doing some repairs. Every single room has either a jet for lighting hidden away now, or adapted to the first electric lighting...the upstairs rooms all have gas piping for heat as well.

From what I have read, even in cities electric was spotty and undependable, so houses tended to still use gas...even more so the farther you were from a town. Now that I remember, a lot of early electrical items did have screw in plugs....:)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:51PM
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gardeningmomof5

We are rural, so I've often wondered if it was added later. I know it had an outhouse that was used pretty late into the century. The bathroom is quite large and has a very large closet. I also suspect that was a bedroom converted to a bathroom after they had better plumbing.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:14PM
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renovator8

It's a combination receptacle and night light mounted to a cover plate usually for mounting in a switch box but at the level of a receptacle, often in the baseboard in early electric conversions. My house was converted in 1903.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:22PM
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