Mystery device

glenradJanuary 26, 2010

In my older home, we have three interesting wall plates. Two are on the wall about a foot below the ceiling, and the other is embedded in the top of the plaster mantel. They are rectangular covers like a switch would have, but they have a single round hole in them. When removing the cover, there is a porcelain socket (with the hole) which unplugs revealing contacts. There is 120volts to the contacts. Two are switched, and the one by the mantle is unswitched. My electrician, who works in many old homes, has never seen anything like this. It appears some sort of light or device would have plugged into the porcelain hole. We want to make use of them for picture lights. Anyone seen these?

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Are they marked in anyway as to mfr. or country of origin?

Got a pic? Does it appear that you are missing only the (exotic) bulb, otherwise all there?

SOUNDS like some type of artsy lighting which architects love, and suppliers never heard of. The locations suggest the 2 on the wall illuminated paintings, the one on the mantel perhaps for a sculpture, with a built-in or light-sensing auto-switch...??

They could be Euro in origin, as they use 240V everywhere, thus their fixtures typically exceed the stds. of our 120V stuff.

It'll be great if you can just obtain the bulbs, plug in, and go... otherwise you'll be paying your sparky to adapt those boxes to newer, just as stylish, and MUCH MORE AVAILABLE lighting choices.

Intriguing indeed. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 5:09PM
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You might want to post this on the old house board. There are several people over there that love hunting down this type of mystery. If you have a picture, I'm sure that would help.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 8:17AM
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