A Bakelite plug

Most folks wouldn’t think of an electric plug as being interesting but this archaeological find certainly pleases me.


This might look ordinary enough except that its past ‘in the soil’ life means that mud is spilling out of it. It was clearly made by MK – still in business but it is made of elegant brown Bakelite. I see similar plugs described as art deco in style.


Here we can see that the three pins are round. This was a large size plug rated at 15 amps. Once upon a time houses had different sockets for different purposes and smaller 5 amp plugs and sockets were available and even smaller 2 amp systems as well.

A third photo shows the typical brown Bakelite best.


We can see the three pins are labelled L(ive), N(eutral) and E(arth). The grip screws are labelled as well. Back in the day we were expected to be able to put our own plugs on appliances. They were often sold with bare wire ends with the good excuse that they, the manufacturers, didn’t know what style of plug you’d want.


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