Back to the main home page and front menu
Learning Tools And Research Material

User Forums

Post pictures of your items and ask questions or just learn from reading the posts from others

Ad Database
View or upload ads from antique magazines
Bulb & Socket Bases
View images of the most well known bulb and socket bases

Patent Utilities
Patent Linker
Lets You Pull Up Any Patent PDF File Or Link One Directly To Your Web Page
Group Patent Dbase
Lets You Download The First Page Patent Picture Of Every Patent On A Single Day To View On Quickly Your Local Computer
MultiView Search
Lets You Search For Patents Using Advanced Methods And Provides Hyper Links To The Patent Office And Google Patents

I have not had much time to get many items in the forsale area below. Please keep checking back as I will start adding more items soon.

Items For Sale

Cord Balls & Adjusters
NEW - My cord pendant adjuster project, as well as a good history about them.

Switch Material

Electrical Code
Mica Insulation
CP or WATTS Marks
Socket Bead/Rib/UNO
Catalogs & Ads
Pull Chains / Finials
Socket & Electrical Manufacturer's Items And Their History
GECO Sockets
NEW - This section will allow you to date and learn how to tell one GECO socket from the other.

This is where this site started from. Since this page was done, there has been much more Hubbell history and information found which will make for a complete redesign of this page and section in the soon future.
Hubbell Patents
This section has some early patent research on Hubbell. It is mostly complete with only a few missing patents which will be added in when this section is re done into the new format
Wheeler Reflector Co.
NEW - A history of The Wheeler Reflector Company and tips on how to tell if mirror has been replaced on a shade
Other Manufacturers

This section is a lot of incomplete work and will be updated shortly. For now it serves to give you some extended information on some companies, but will be a much better tool when it is complete
This section is everything you ever wanted to know about the National Electrical Code (NEC) but had no one to ask. Downloads of old NEC's, meetings and much extended information is provided.
GECO Sockets

More companies will be added to this list in the near future. We will also be adding a new list of post 1900 sockets and items.

Bergmann & Co.

Brush Electric Co.
Bryant Electric Co.
Crown Elect MFG Co.
Holmes & Gale (HG)
Tutorial And Early Lighting History

The Lighting Time Table

To read the entire tutorial, you can just click on the first link and then continue to the next section at the bottom of each page. Or, you can select links below of interest to you.


Overcoming Obstacles

About Early Electric Lighting, Generators, Arc Lamps, The First Edison Socket, Menlo Park, etc.
The First Fixtures
About The Start Of The First Incandescent Lighting Fixtures
Light Reflection
About Early Light Bulbs And Candle Power vs. WATTS
About Sigmund Bergmann And The Start Of Bergmann And Company Lighting Fixtures
Lighting Break Down
A Quick Break Down Of Different Lighting Time Periods
Styles 1881 to 1884
Bergmann Fixtures And Styles
Other Pre-1888 Styles
About Early Companies That Sold Lighting Systems And The Fixtures That They Sold With Their Lighting Systems
The U.S. Elect. Co.
The United States Electric Company History And Early Items
The Brush Elect. Co.
The Brush Electric Company History And Early Items
The Thomson-Houston Electric Company History And Early Items
About The Westinghouse Manufacturing Company History And Early Mergers
Mid 1880's Styles
About The Start Of Electrical Supply Houses and how new lighting styles came about
Pre 1900 Sockets
About Early Light Sockets And How To Tell The Difference
1887 New Items
1888 New Items
1890 New Items
1891 New Items
1892 New Items
1893 New Items
1894-1896 Items
1897 New Items
1898 New Items
1899 New Items
Above are catalog items sold in different years. There is no space to duplicate items, so only new and unique items from each year are shown. You would need to view the catalogs for yourself to be complete as I am only highlighting items. You can view catalogs here.

Victor Shade Holder
About The Victor Shade Holder, Atwood And The Standard Holder

I.P. Frink 1899 Items
About Frink & Wheeler
New Wheeler Inverted
Three Links About Mirror Reflector Manufacturers And Their Items And History.
Wheeler Reflector Co.
NEW - A history of The Wheeler Reflector Company and tips on how to tell if mirror has been replaced on a shade

Early Desk Lamps

Some Help In Telling Them Apart

Vitrite And Luminoid

About The Vitrite Holders And Early Vitrite History

Brush-Swan Holder

About Brush-Swan Shade Holders

Cord Balls
My cord pendant adjuster project, as well as a good history about them.


About 1900 Styles
This section covers a basic into into the 1900 section covering information about the 1899 transition, electrical code changes, lighting influence, sharing and licensing of patents and then into the new section of electrical specialty manufacturers,

Electrical Specialty Manufacturers
Harvey Hubbell
This section covers some early history periods of pre Hubbell-Grier, Hubbell-Grier, Harvey Hubbell, Hubbell Company. It also covers a number of items that helped change lighting styles,

This section covers some early history periods for the Benjamin Electric MFG. Co, as well as a small section on Dale and The Federal Electric Company

Federal Electric

This post 1900 section continues to be under current construction

Please Check Back.

| Back to Brush
Next to Crown |

How To ID A Pre-1900 Bryant Socket

Catalogs and Switch Terms

In the early Bryant catalogs there are terms used for their socket switches. These terms are "Bryant No. 1 Key Socket" and "Bryant No. 2 Key Socket".
The term first started being used in the 1895 catalog when the duck bill switch (shown below) made its first appearance on a Westinghouse base socket and called the BRYANT "NO. 2" KEY SOCKET. So, in the 1895 catalog we have TWO Westinghouse base turnkey sockets -- offered as "NO. 1" and "NO. 2" which are one each of the patent design switch and the duck bill switch.

This new Westinghouse base socket was the first socket picturing a duck bill switch. Previously all catalog pictures were using the first patent design of the switch.
By the time of the 1899 catalog the duck bill option was passed on the the Thomson-Houston base sockets and termed as NO. 1 and NO. 2 as well as a Brush-Swan base termed as NO. 2. However because of the contact rings used and examples of these sockets on hand, we know that the T-H base NO. 2 switch started being sold in 1897.

So what does all of this mean? Bryant had two socket switches, the patent design switch shown below and hereafter referred to as Switch NO. 1 and the duck bill design shown directly below and hereafter referred to as Switch NO. 2.

The BRYANT NO. 2 Switch Contact
As shown above, almost all of these post 1895 Bryant porcelain switches use this duck bill type switch mechanism. When the key is turned, the bottom contact is forced upward (as shown above) and makes contact with the terminal. There are no patents found as of yet in any Bryant catalog or elsewhere for this switch. It is clear that Bryant started using it around 1895, but it is also clear that another unknown company was also manufacturing sockets of this design. This mystery company is known to use this Y shaped tab on some T-H based sockets as well as Edison based sockets of which Bryant did not sell at this time. It is also easy to tell the difference between a Bryant porcelain switch and another manufacturer by the socket shell. Bryant used a non-standard shell for their porcelain sockets. To see how to tell the difference between a Bryant short ornate shell, see the non-standard shell type section.

The BRYANT NO. 1 Switch Contact

The only exception is shown to your right and is less common though it is found in Bryant catalogs from 1895 through 1901.

This method of making contact is simple and to the point. When you turn the key, the key post makes contact with the tab and completes the connection. The post itself is the conductor, unlike the switches shown above that use the post to force the tab against a terminal to complete the connection.

This is also the contact method that was used in the original 1890 Bryant patent. Because of this, it will be the same type contact method used on the older pre-1891 (brick red) vulcanized fiber switches. An example of this is shown on the switch to your left (broken down for better viewing).

The Key Handle
The Bryant Patent Date Stamped On The Shell
The Contact Rings (T-H Base Sockets Only)
The black handle (shown above) started being used with porcelain switches around 1891. The 1895 Bryant catalog shows that handles still did NOT have the Bryant name stamped on them. The 1897 Western Electric catalog still shows the unmarked handle, while the 1898 Western Electric catalog starts showing some of the handles stamped with the Bryant name on them. This provides us with the date of 1898 as the start of the transition period for this new variant. The last Bryant catalog using these type switches was the 1901 Bryant catalog.
Both the long and ornate shell designs were offered from 1890 until 1901. Some had the Bryant name and patent date stamped on them and others did not. There does not seem to be any pattern as to why. The new 1899 electrical code stated that the company name and power ratings needed to be stamped on the socket shell. Since these sockets were in the 1901 catalog, it is assumed that these were grandfathered overstock. However, if we are wrong, there will be signed Bryant shells of this type with power ratings on them. If you see one, please contact us.
The round contact ring shown above (after 1894) will always use two screws to hold them in place on the T-H porcelain switches. (note that pre-1896 porcelain and fiber switches uses two rivet posts) The 1895 Bryant catalog still shows ONLY the round contact ring. In an 1897 Western Electric catalog we find Bryant switches being shown with both the round and the oval contact ring. This shows us the transition period for this new variant, as well as providing us with the date of 1897 as the beginning of it. The oval ring and this type socket, is last seen in the 1901 Bryant catalog.
1891 Bryant Westinghouse Socket
1891 Bryant Westinghouse As Shown The Catalog
1891 Bryant Westinghouse Patent
The Bryant Westinghouse base socket was first patent applied for March 9 1891, which also provides us with the date of the first documented use of porcelain in Bryant socket switches. The patent (no. 457,072) was approved on August 4 1891. The Bryant Westinghouse design is unique in that there is only one single contact prong to hold the Westinghouse style bulb. Other NON-Bryant sockets use two prongs as a standard, which clamp around the center contact pin on the Westinghouse bulb base. With this single prong design, makes it easy to ID a Bryant Westinghouse base socket.

Note that Bryant patented their two prong design in May of 1893 Pat. No. 502,655 which was used on newer bases around that time. However there may had been a lot of overstock as the Bryant catalogs show these older switches still using the single prong design for many years later.

1892 Bryant Catalog
Shell Examples
When it comes to these short ornate shells, virtually all other socket manufacturers placed their cap holes in the same place making it a standard. Even though Bryant used the standard offset holes in their fiber switch shell, when the porcelain version came out their design changed which made their shells different from other manufacturers.

Note Many manufacturers of the long skinny shells placed the holes straight across. These were mostly those that used the Westinghouse Lang patent straps in the cap.

Bryant Socket Patents
Socket Patent Example No.1 (Red Fiber Switch)
Shell And Socket Picture
Switch & Tab (broken down for viewing)
Top View
An Inside View Of The Bryant Switch Key

The Bryant fiber switch shown in this section was their first socket and started being sold close to their patent applied date of July 14 1890. As seen in the catalog picture on your right, It was still seen and being sold in the 1892 Bryant catalog (likely overstock). By the time of the 1895 Bryant catalog the fiber version it is no longer being sold and only shows the porcelain switches (round contact ring).

Notice the red fiber switch with the round contact ring as shown on your left.
The ring is held by a rivet/hammered method and is not removable without breaking the fiber. Other manufacturers used screws to hold their contact ring.
The tab shown in the picture on the left (held by one tiny screw) is only used to help hold the switch in place when it is turned into the on and off positions and is not needed for any electrical contacts.

I note this because this tab is normally the first and only part likely missing on aged switches in poor condition.

Socket Patent Example No.2 (Westinghouse Single Center Prong Contact)
Shell And Socket Picture
Bryant No. 1 Switch
Top View
Single Center Prong Contact

Socket Patent Example No.3 (Westinghouse Base Dual Prong)
Bryant applied for their two prong patent design in May of 1893 Pat. No. 502,655 (shown above) which was used on newer bases around that time. However there may had been a lot of overstock as the single prong design is still shown being offered in the 1895 Bryant catalog on this No. 2 Bryant socket.

Socket Variant Example # 1 - Round Contact Ring - Bryant No. 1 Switch - 1890 to 1897
Socket Variant Example # 2- Oval Contact Ring - Bryant No. 1 Switch - 1897 to 1901
In an 1897 Western Electric catalog we find Bryant switches being shown with both the round and the oval contact ring. This shows us the transition period for this new variant, as well as providing us with the date of 1897 as the beginning of it. The oval ring and this type socket, is last seen in the 1901 Bryant catalog.

Note that this is a Bryant No. 1 switch. If this socket had the round contact ring, the date range would be from 1890 to 1897.
Socket Variant Example # 3- Oval Contact Ring - Bryant No. 2 Switch - 1897 to 1901


Round Ring No. 1 Switch - 1890 to 1897
Round Ring No. 2 Switch -
1894 to 1897
Oval Ring No. 1 Switch -
1897 to 1901
Oval Ring No. 2 Switch -
1897 to 1901

Above with the name BRYANT on Key Handle
1898 - 1901

The short ornate porcelain switch if using screws to hold the round contact ring - Post 1896

| Back to Brush
Next to Crown |


Contact Us - Send Private Email To the Admin

Identify Bergman Sockets And Other Electrical Items Identify Brush Sockets And Other Items Identify Bryant Sockets Identify Crown Sockets Identify Electric Engineering And Supply Company Sockets Identify Holmes & Gale Identify Perkins Sockets Identify Thomson-Houston Sockets Identify Westinghouse Sockets Identify Other Socket Manufacturers