NEW for the HOME (Nov, 1950)

I like how this Zip-Tie and modern Zip-Ties serve the same purpose in a totally different way.

NEW for the HOME

Safety Outlet, of Bakelite plastic, features rotating caps that automatically cover the sockets when not in use. When plug prongs are inserted, the cap is turned to align cap and socket holes. Bell Electric Co., 1844-50 W. 21 St., Chicago.

Sliding Door Hardware has self-adjusting spring tension built into top rollers, eliminates fitting time, lets you use all the space between ceiling and floor. Wheels are of case-hardened steel, run on ball bearings. Roll-A-Door Corp., N. Y. C.

Grate Master is a time and knuckle saver for the housewife and host. It grates, shreds and slices fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., and it shaves ice, all in record time. A safety feeder pushes food into grater. Resnick Ind., Ellenville, N. Y.

Meat Slicer pays for itself because it lets you buy meat, bacon, cheese in bulk, slice it fresh as needed. Simple and safe to use, it makes wafer-thin to 3/4-in. slices, holds food 5 in. high, 7-1/2 in. wide. The Idea Treasury, New Rochelle, N. Y.

Zip-Tie Twine Holder takes a 375-ft. ball, has a handy razor blade safety cutter built into its side. Container comes in clear or colored Bakelite plastic, may be nailed or screwed to a counter or wall. J. E. Fricke Co., Philadelphia, Pa.

  1. Toronto says: February 17, 20123:24 pm

    A power bar I bought recently has outlets like that. (And 2 USB ports, which weren’t around in 1950.)

  2. Hirudinea says: February 17, 20123:35 pm

    @ Toronto – Its a nice feature, but its totally manual so people would just leave it open. And if I may go off on a tangent we really have poorly designed electrical plugs in North America, I like the Australian plugs and the switches they have on plugs in the U.K., we should adopt both of these innovations here.

  3. Jari says: February 17, 20124:20 pm

    Hiru: What’s so great in the Australian plug? As I have European(German style) outlets, I don’t have to mind about the orientation of the plug. Easier to plug in. I do agree, that the switches in a UK outlets is a good thing.

  4. WayneJ says: February 17, 20127:02 pm

    Jari: The orientation of the plug is important. One side of the plug is connected to the hot – 120 V in North America, 240 V most other places. The other side of the plug is connected to the neutral (return) wire. Accidentally touching the neutral wire isn’t dangerous (unless your house is wired backward!). For example, on a standard screw base light bulb, the neutral should be connected to the part of the socket that touches the screw on the side of the bulb. The hot should be connected to the contact that touches the end of the bulb. If you happen to touch the side of the screw as you put the bulb in, it’s OK. If the plug is put into the wall the opposite way you could get a shock.

    Plugs where the orientation is fixed, like in Australia and the UK, are a little safer than plugs where orientation doesn’t matter. In North America, many new plugs and sockets have one prong wider than the other to force the orientation to be correct on a two-prong plug.

  5. george says: February 17, 20127:32 pm

    Actually, polarized outlets have been around since the 1960’s or earlier in the US. I remember using one of those twist to open sockets, and seem to recall it being spring loaded. That way when junior stuck a Bobby pin in the slots, the spring would lock it in, insuring a better chance at a Darwin Award.

  6. Jari says: February 18, 20129:23 am

    WayneJ: Yes, basic electric stuff and the lamps should be connected that way. The thing is, that you can’t get a shock that way. At least not from those lamps that I have (…or rather those two table lamps, which were easy to reach). The screw of the bulb makes electrical contact so late while inserting it to the socket, that you simply can’t be touching it anymore. As for most low current appliances, they mostly are double insulated and as such, the plug orientation really doesn’t matter.

  7. Hirudinea says: February 18, 20125:11 pm

    @ Jari – I’ve seen those schuko plugs they use in Germany, they have exposed metal grounds which I don’t like, if someone hooks the ground up to hot (and it can be done) then you have a very real shock hazard, when it comes to electricity the more idiot proof the better as far as I’m concernde. 🙂

  8. Alex says: February 18, 20127:29 pm

    All this electrical talk reminds me of these!…


  9. Mike says: February 20, 20125:57 am

    Hirudinea, a local restaurant was getting some electrical work done in the area after a hurricane. The electrician hooked up hot to ground and when the switch was thrown it took out several square miles of service. More than a shock hazard. The restaurant was down the street, the substation was across the street. People on the street said every telephone pole had sparks flying off from it and you could hear the humming in the wires and the substation from the power surge. Hot to ground is never a good thing.

  10. Alex says: February 20, 20127:33 am

    @Mike All I can say is Black to brass will save your ass!

  11. Jari says: February 20, 201212:55 pm

    Hiru: Mixing up Yellow/Green grounding wire and black phase wire would need some really “talented” person… Fortunately electricians need a lincence 🙂

  12. Jari says: February 20, 20121:05 pm

    Oh, color coding differs in different parts of the world…. At least the ground wire seems to be green or green/yellow everywhere.

  13. Toronto says: February 20, 20121:05 pm

    Maybe he was working with the lights out, Jari. (And they’re fairly dark green, here.)

    Still no excuse, of course.

  14. Hirudinea says: February 20, 20123:30 pm

    @ Jari – They sell electrical outlets at any hardware store and all they ask for is money.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.