"The Terrifying Ways Edwardians Wired Their Houses" -Documentary

mbrooke

Batteries Not Included
Location
United States
Occupation
*
This documentary is worth watching regarding all the dangers that electricity presented in early British homes:




No bonding, no grounding, no insulation, limited circuit protection, ect.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
There are still dwellings in Vt that have their original 'gas light' pipework refitted for electricity.
Done way before my time, yet remain energized
~RJ~
 

SSDriver

Senior Member
Location
California
Occupation
Electrician
Just watched the 58min documentary with my wife. I've always found it interesting how inventions have evolved and what used to be normal. Thanks for posting this. We are going to watch some of the other episodes of this series.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I owned a house in Seattle built in 1910 that was originally built without electricity, so it had gas pipes running around in the walls and ceilings. The houses in that area were originally built for the day-workers at the Gas Works down the street (now called Gas Works Park), where they gassified coal for use in lighting and heating in the city, so it stands to reason that even at the dawn of the electrical age, the gas works company was not promoting electricity to their workers. Electricity was added to the house later; probably in the 20s with K&T run as MWBCs everywhere and far too few outlets and fixtures. The original fuse panel was upgraded to a breaker panel, from the looks of it some time in the 60s, when they added electric baseboard heating. The electrical system was a complete mess though, both upgrades appeared to have been done by homeowners at the time. Lots of crazy stuff like uninsulated wires run in the walls (with maybe 8-10" of separation, but still...)
 
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flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
I'd venture most East coast cities have bits of that- the older hardware stores probably still have the parts to mount a light socket on a former gas jet.
It's been a few years now, but I definitely used to find live gas from time to time when the pipe had been capped off and adapted for an electric box.
And those first boxes they used were tiny !
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
It's been a few years now, but I definitely used to find live gas from time to time when the pipe had been capped off and adapted for an electric box.
And those first boxes they used were tiny !
My first home, built in 1929, had a 6-position fuse box with a 60 amp fused pull block for the main. Sorry, no pictures.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Just watched the 58min documentary with my wife. I've always found it interesting how inventions have evolved and what used to be normal. Thanks for posting this. We are going to watch some of the other episodes of this series.
The ones on makeup and stairs will give you the willies.
 
It's been a few years now, but I definitely used to find live gas from time to time when the pipe had been capped off and adapted for an electric box.
At one time, most gas companies would come disconnect and purge old gas light pipes at no cost. Guess it was cheaper than dealing with leak reports or explosions. I remember PECO doing that for some folks in west Philly.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
My first home, built in 1929, had a 6-position fuse box with a 60 amp fused pull block for the main. Sorry, no pictures.
Ours had the ubiquitous two pull-outs (main and range) and four plug fuses.

The second one had five or six pull-outs and twelve plug fuses; the blocks appeared to be randomly located in the panel.
 

robertd

Member
Location
Maryland
Occupation
electrical contractor
This documentary is worth watching regarding all the dangers that electricity presented in early British homes:




No bonding, no grounding, no insulation, limited circuit protection, ect.
Thanks for that link. I have watched several of their videos and they are great. From steps to wallpaper with arsenic and gas water heaters in bathrooms, things were a lot more hazardous back then.
 
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