Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fun finds never end in our home

Just because we haven't posted in awhile doesn't mean progress has not been made. In addition to dealing with a computer hard drive failure, we've been tackling minor things that need to be finished up before we drywall the attic.. I've started to refer to it this work as "trim framing." Trim framing may consist of any of the following:

  • Scavenging the scrap pile to find the magical piece of lumber that is the proper thickness
  • Scavenging in the garage for the same
  • When that fails, ripping down 2x4's on the table saw to proper thickness
  • Using old (read: non-nominal) lumber, which is thicker than today's wood
  • Shimming behind 2x4's
The idea is to have straight surfaces so the wallboard attaches to a (mostly) flat surface. Tedious work, but as they say, the devil is in the details.

We thought there were few things left for us discover in the house. Little did we know! When doing some work to add an electrical outlet in the first floor bedroom, we found a "hidden" single outlet disguised in the baseboard.

Further investigation revealed that it was a lightbulb socket!?!

Apparently, instead of putting in a normal outlet, some previous owner thought this would be a better route. Fearing an electrical fire if this were actually used, I promptly removed the 'whip' that attached this to the power supply in the basement to disconnect it and began to remove the offending creature.

But now I wonder.. Since the baseboard is already cut up and destroyed, maybe we should just leave the light-socket-outlet-thingy in the wall (but disconnected) as a piece of personality for the house. It would also give some future owner a chance to puzzle over it as well.


richmanrush said...

hey jay!

just wanted to say I appreciate you making it out to the show at the Mutiny last week. Means HEAPS to me man! Hope you enjoyed it and hope we put on a good show (or at least that I rocked/grooved hehe).

I keep trying to make it out to a tribes show, but you know me... hermit mode and my not knowing how to get around the city makes it a bit daunting LOL. Anywho, I shall see you again soon.

Thanks again!

Wine in the Water said...

I know this is a really old post, but I just stumble upon it.

The "outlet" is not unusual at all. When houses were first electrified, it was for lighting almost exclusively. Then it was used for big appliances that were usually hard-wired or had some kind of proprietary plug. The wall outlets that we know didn't exist.

At that time, electricity was often charged out differently for lighting and for these other uses. (Most of the other uses were big like ice-makers and elevators, so they required infrastructure investments.) So, this led to the trend of plugging small appliances into light sockets, often with some kind of socket converter (so you wouldn't have to twist up the cord). One of those socket converters became pretty standard. The electric companies ultimately went to a flat rate for all uses, but by then the light socket and socket converter hardware was pretty standard, so it held on for a little while until hard-wired plugs became standard. All this happened in the early 1900s.

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