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Author Topic: Edison Plug  (Read 3766 times)

Frank DeWitt

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Edison Plug
« on: June 09, 2016, 09:12:49 am »

We often mention a Edison plug on this forum, and we should. It is the correct name for that plug we use all the time, (NEMA1 and NEMA5) but it is a interesting name.

It is one of the few parts of home wiring that Edison didn't invent.  Hi invented the home lighting system including distrabution enternce fuse panel. house wiring, fueses, switches, light sockets, the screw base on the bulb, and he prefected the light bulb it self.  but he was creating a home lighting system.  It didn't ocure to him that any one would plug something into his house wiring.  the first devices plugged in were irons and Christmas tree lights.  These were plugged in by removing a light bulb from a socket and screwing a edison base "tap" into the socket.

A number of plugs and outlets came later including the one we use now.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 09:32:38 am »

So who invented the Edison plug?
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 09:50:13 am »

So who invented the Edison plug?

I don't know.  A lot of people were inventing different Edison socket "Taps"  Most had some way of rotating the threads without rotating the cord.  I have one that goes into the socket and expands like a collet.   Harvey Hubbell invented a two part tap one part screwed in, and the other part plugged into that.  It used two round pins.  Later he came up with this


some time later the blades were turned 90 deg.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 06:49:04 pm »

We often mention a Edison plug on this forum, and we should. It is the correct name for that plug we use all the time, (NEMA1 and NEMA5) but it is a interesting name.


We call them U ground plugs here in the Great White North.
We plug it into a hydro outlet. :D
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James Feenstra

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2016, 07:30:05 pm »

We call them U ground plugs here in the Great White North.
We plug it into a hydro outlet. :D
+1 UGAC :)

Americans always look at me funny when I ask for some uground cables
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Russell Ault

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2016, 12:41:41 am »

We call them U ground plugs here in the Great White North.
We plug it into a hydro outlet. :D

U-ground here in Edmonton too (even when the ground pin isn't actually U-shaped), although not enough hydroelectricity to call it that (some how "plug it into the coal outlet" just doesn't have the same ring...).

Americans always look at me funny when I ask for some uground cables

Now if only I could get an American to explain to me how Soca morphs into "sock-o", I'd be set...

-Russ
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 11:27:25 am »

I could maybe understand "Sock-uh" but not "Sock-O"

I'm of the "so-cuh" group.

-Ray
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 01:00:20 pm »

U-ground here in Edmonton too (even when the ground pin isn't actually U-shaped), although not enough hydroelectricity to call it that (some how "plug it into the coal outlet" just doesn't have the same ring...).

Now if only I could get an American to explain to me how Soca morphs into "sock-o", I'd be set...

-Russ
Remember, these are the people that pronounce Arkansas as "Arkansaw" even though Kansas is pronounced...um...Kansas  ;D
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 02:18:39 pm by Keith Broughton »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 01:51:02 pm »

Remember, these are the people that pronounces Arkansas as "Arkansaw" even though Kansas is pronounced...um...Kansas  ;D

And that state on the Pacific coast between Washington and California is called "Ory-gun" not "Arry-gone."

Back on topic, I'd say a "true" Edison plug is the screw-in type properly called a medium base, typically found on the base of a classic light bulb. Calling a NEMA 1-15/1-20/5-15/5-20 receptacle or plug "Edison" is a misnomer as it is a style neither pioneered nor championed by Edison. (The terminology applied to the NEMA plugs likely originated in the stage lighting industry, which distinguished it as the connector used for mains power supplied by the Edison Illuminating Co. of New York -- later becoming Consolidated Edison, commonly known as ConEd.)

The medium base in the United States has an outer diameter of about 26mm and 7 threads per inch (E26). European standards specify a slightly larger base (E27), with an outer diameter of about 27mm and similar thread pitch. Practically, they are interchangeable as there is enough tolerance in the sockets to accept either base. Internationalized manufacturing has ensured that new sockets are large enough to accept E27 base bulbs; you may find older E26 base sockets in the United States have a tight fit with some modern bulbs.

My complaint is the cheap aluminum sockets and bases found on many bulbs. Oxidation tends to lend a high coefficient of friction to both the base and the socket, resulting in bulbs getting stuck in sockets and generally making it difficult to loosen or tighten the bulb. Brass or chrome-plated sockets seem to be more durable and easier to use.

Anecdote: back when electric power distribution was in its infancy, there were many light socket designs. Different manufacturers would supply adapters to allow you to put their bulbs in a competitor's sockets. Edison went one step better: he designed his adapters so that they could not be removed once inserted. I've heard that the Edison power companies also gave away free light bulbs to get you to buy electricity from them. Kind of like printer manufacturers nowadays.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 01:57:12 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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frank kayser

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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 02:01:22 pm »

I could maybe understand "Sock-uh" but not "Sock-O"

I'm of the "so-cuh" group.

-Ray
Like a Tweet on Twitter really should be called a "Twit". ::)   Maybe that's the author? :-\
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Re: Edison Plug
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 02:01:22 pm »


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