1935 tool catalog

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 05-14-2016 09:35 PM 585 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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05-14-2016 09:35 PM

I came across this 1935 catalog of Duro power tools. I was amazed at the prices and what a dollar could buy back then (BTW I was born in 1934). What really struck me was the electric drills shown on page 32. You will notice in the pictures the screw-in adapter on the end of the cord. Back then, most homes didn’t have wall receptacles. only a light socket hanging from the ceiling. To use, you had to unscrew the bulb and screw in the adapter. So you were not left in the dark, there was an adapter that screwed in and had a place for a light bulb and 2 single plug ins. The reason for the lack of wall receptacles was; homes and apartments built before electrification would have exterior wiring run in each room terminating in a drop-down light socket. New construction could provide concealed wiring, but not always. it was an added cost. There were also all kinds of adapters that could expand the number of things that could be plugged in at any one time. it was common to see a radio, toaster and some other plug-in appliance on one drop down socket. Load was usually around 15 amps for the entire house or apartment. Add on wiring was the knob-and-tube system where 2 asbestos wrapped wires were strung along the top of the wall, separated about 2” by ceramic standoffs. There were also adapters so an electric light could be added to the existing gas light fixtures. I can still remember seeing them in New York City apartments. I’m sort of getting off track, but in addition to electricity, water pipes in the cities were made of lead. When I lived in Jamaica, N.Y. the water pipe from the street into the house was lead. That was in 1958 when I left the big city. I’ll bet there is still a lot of lead pipe in the older houses in cities across the country.

Despite the water concerns in Flint, lead pipe doesn’t present a hazard as long as it is not disturbed. The same goes for asbestos; leave it alone and no problem. With lead pipe, water flowing through it developes a lead oxide coating inside that prevents further lead from leaching into the water. Having been brought up in New York City and drinking water from lead pipes, at 81, I am still in good health, so I don’t think lead pipes did me any harm.

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#1 posted 05-14-2016 10:32 PM

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5264 posts in 3481 days

#2 posted 05-15-2016 06:19 PM

Also note the weight of those portable electric drills.

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