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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.

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How To ID A Pre-1900 Perkins Company Socket

The Switch Contact TAB
There was only one Perkins patent for these different designs and variants. This same switch was used for both Westinghouse and Thomson-Houston base sockets. All of the Perkins switch designs use the contact "TAB" to make electrical contact when the key is turned to the ON position. Some designs use a spring under the lower contact as shown in the last picture above to your right and as shown in the original 1892 patent.
June 21 1892 Patent Date
The Perkins Rounded Key
The Perkins Key Hole (Later Sockets Only)
Most all Perkins shells were stamped with the June 21 1892 patent date. Patent No. 477,407
Perkins sockets of this era used this rounded key. Much earlier sockets used an ornate key.
Later Perkins shells used this cap and shell. The new key hole slid the key over when you closed the cap.
Perkins Cap Screw Posts
All Perkins shells used one of these two designs to hold the shell cap with exception to the last variant which was a two piece porcelain switch.


The June 21 1892 Perkins Patent Sockets
All of the socket designs shown below are from the same patent with minor changes and socket bases. These are listed from oldest to newest designs or variants.
Keep in mind that as shown in the identification section above, that all of these sockets shells are stamped with the June 21 1892 patent date.
Socket No.1 (Westinghouse Base)
Notice that the shell and insulator is still close to the common shells of the era. This switch uses two posts for the shell cap screws.
The switch uses a spring under the bottom contact as shown in the picture above.
A view looking down into the standard Westinghouse prong base.

Socket No. 2 (Westinghouse Base)
Notice that the shell now has a new key hole and that the cap is now threaded into a cross bar design.

A view of the switch tab

Notice that the black insulator is now thicker.
Socket No. 3 (Thomson-Houston Base)
The cap and shell design remains the same.
The cross bar remains the same, but the tab is now a rounded design as shown on the top of the picture.. The ring is held by only one screw and the screws that hold the cross bar and a terminal screw are under the ring. The T-H center bulb contact threads into the bottom key bar and is held with a drop of solder.
Socket No. 4 (Thomson-Houston Base)
The shell has not changed, but the cap has. The screws now thread into the cap like a standard Westinghouse cap design.
A side view of the new cap design.
The basic switch design is unchanged.
The ring is unchanged and still held with one screw.
The cross bar has now been replaced with a porcelain top which is notched for the new cap to fit onto.
As like the other T-H switch, the bulb center contact threads into the center of the key holder base and then held with a drop of solder on the back side.

Miscellaneous Early Perkins Patents
Switch For Incandescent Lamps
Switch For Incandescent Electric Lamps
Incandescent Electric Lamp
Incandescent Electric Lamp And Switch
Electric Lamp And Switch
Electric Lamp And Socket
Electric-Lamp Switch
Socket For Incandescent Electric Lamps


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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