Know Your Electrical Wiring History PDF Print E-mail

Ever wondered about the history behind the electrical wiring in your house? Do you know whether the wiring in your house is classified under 1800s wiring, 1930s electrical wiring, or modern wiring?  In 1892, the United States Patent Office awarded Thomas Edison the patent to what he called "Electric COnductor". This invention made it possible to insulate the wire to make it both waterproof and fireproof and Edison's electric conductor became the basis of early residential wiring systems. Early wiring systems, including 1930s electrical wiring, consisted of a conducting wire, a braided cotton separator over the conductor, and an outer covering that sheathed the wire. Staples bolted the wires to the house's studs while cloth tape shielded these wires in the areas where they go through the walls.


Although older wiring methods were still in use by the 1930s, their practice started to wane. 1930s electrical wiring took a turn by incorporating nonmetallic-sheathed cable, also widely referred to as Romex, and a rubberized fabric that covered the cable. compared to older wiring methods such as knob and tube wiring and armored cable, 1930s electrical wiring was a quicker type of installation method. In knob and tube wiring, the hot and the neutral wire were separated from each other. However in nonmetallic-sheathed cable wiring, the hot and the neutral were both run together in one sheath. Despite their differences, both wiring methods shared a common trait: lack of ground wire.


In 1940s, new developments were introduced in the world of electrical wiring. Metal conduits filled the hole left by older wiring methods by serving as a grounding method in itself. The use of metal conduits spread and the 1930s electrical wiring practices started to fade. Developed some time around 1960s, plastic sheathing almost entirely replaced 1930s electrical wiring practices. It was not long until further developments in the electrical wiring scene rendered older wiring methods, like knob and tube wiring, obsolete. Although many changes have been implemented in electrical wiring, the system has remained somewhat unaltered. Nonmetallic cables, fuses, and other things invented centuries ago are still being used to this day.


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